Tuesday, April 3, 2012

existential crisis, take 10

If one more mother makes a "helpful" suggestion on how she would like her child to be coached, I may punch someone.

This general theme of annoyance (with the taut pull of arm muscles) made up most of March. Lately, it hasn't been the kids. It's the moms.

Here are my suggestions:

  • Realize that sometimes, your kid has a bad meet and it's not the coach's fault;
  • Realize that sometimes, your kid will have a good meet and still not win an award, though she placed 3rd (or whatever) last meet;
  • Spend over a decade in the sport so that you can coach your own child, since obviously you already know so much.
Instead, I take out my aggression by reading Game of Thrones. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The gentler one

They like me because I'm the gentler one. Sometimes I can call it: the littlest girls leave the gym with tears in their eyes, and the next day, I know that I'll get a text from my boss: "Colleen wants a lesson with you."

I can be mean (can't we all, under certain circumstances?), but when it comes to skills that they're afraid of, I am not. I know what that fear is like. They'll stand on the high beam and shake.

I put them back on the low beam. I tell them to put every mat they want under the high beam. We'll take them away one at a time. It will be a slow deconstruction. But it will work.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lest we forget our roots

Thanks to Adie, this is too good not to share.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Things I don't miss about actively participating as a gymnast, part two:

The perma-knot in my left shoulder.

In the last two years of college, that thing solidified and would not budge. I probed it as I sat in class or idled at red lights. I asked boyfriends and friends to massage it. Sometimes, it felt like it was loosening. But moments later, it hardened back into perma-knot form.

It took a good while to ease after graduation, that ball of stress and clenched muscle. If I hit up open gym, it fired back with its old fury. But if I laid off on basically anything besides dancing, it slipped back into dormancy.

As I dragged my bag through the airport this morning, I remembered that old chestnut. The steady, tight presence that never ached in the gym, just everywhere else.

That was always the way of it, wasn't it? At the beginning of practice, you started warming up slowly, thinking of the pain, and then by the time you were standing under the bar ready to do pull-ups, you had forgotten everything. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Things I don't miss about actively participating as a gymnast:

Waking up too early for school/class/life, sleepwalking through the day, and fearing that practice would kill me, just about literally. I could hurt myself in such a state.

You would think that the fear would wake me up, but instead it was a mix of worry and lethargy. Like drinking black coffee and watching your fingers twitch, wondering if eventually your brain would catch on.

I can live without that feeling.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

What happens when you've been at a compulsory competition for too long

Humming with the music turns to making up lyrics for the music turns to covering your ears/eyes, trying to make it go away.

Mentally judging the other routines turns to counting how many girls are left in the rotation. Is there really a whole team that still needs to compete floor while everyone else is done? Really?

The host gym has this weird thing where parents can make shout-outs to their kids, which are read out loud by the meet director during warm-ups. It's all pretty generic, like, "Dear Alex, We love you! Good luck from Mom, Dad, Timmy, and Skittles."

When you've been there for more than three hours, you start to hope that the shout-outs will sound like this:

Friday, January 27, 2012

Some [girls] have all the luck

Yesterday, I had a lesson with one of the Level 5's. Cute child, well-behaved, did a nice job.

Today, my boss texts me to say that the child has lice.