Senior year. The year that was suppose to be the best year of my life.
It started out like no other, dealing with gymnastics problems that seemed never-ending. Having lost our entire starting lineup to graduated seniors, as Captain, I had the responsibility of recruiting freshmen to bolster our team.
My worry only increased as I began to doubt my coach, who had just opened up her own gym. Attempting to run a business AND coach a team was not going well. My doubt grew when she told me, “the team is not a priority for me this year”. Imagine having your coach tell you she doesn’t care about you or your team. I couldn’t contain the feelings I felt for her after she told me that. Resentment, sadness and disappointment flowed through me.
I wasn’t going to let this get to me and I especially wasn’t going to let her hurt my team. So while she wasn’t there for the new freshmen, I was. I coached them through new skills and perfecting old ones. By the end of the season they were unrecognizable. We even improved our team score by seven points by the last meet which is a HUGE increase in gymnastics.
At this point I was not only enjoying our team success but my own individual success as well. Massachusetts holds an Individual State Championship for high school gymnasts and I qualified to compete for the All-Around title. With the second highest all-around average in the state I was also ranked #2. Unfortunately the girl that was ranked first had an average all-around higher than my highest all-around… only a little intimidating.
However with a strong and confident mindset I was ready to take on this girl. This was going to be the meet where all the stars finally aligned. I was going to take home the gold.
Three hours of competition went by in a blur. I started on bars (my best event) and executed a solid routine with a stuck landing. I moved on to beam and managed not to fall! Finally I made my way to floor and vault where I again performed some of my best routines.
By the time awards started real nerves set in. I grew excited when they announced I won both Bars and Floor- State Champion for not one event, but two!! Finally, the all-around awards. I was shaking. I knew I stood a good chance of winning the gold. They announced third and second place. But not my name. They announced first place and…IT WAS ME.
I couldn’t believed it. I stumbled up to the podium with tears in my eyes, looking out for my parents who were crying too because they were so proud of me. All of my hard work, dedication and perseverance had paid off. I deserved this. I deserved being the 2017 Massachusetts State All-around Champion.
By far, the best part was being able to hug my parents afterwards. Knowing how happy and proud they were of me topped any award I could have gotten. They supported me and stayed by my from the moment this rollercoaster ride with gymnastics started and I could be any luckier.
So I owe them the biggest thanks out there.