After my first college competition at Virginia Tech, I had a whole new view of gymnastics. Of course High School gymnastics was very team-oriented and I had my handful of teammates cheering me on, but college was something different.
Instead of about 10 teammates shouting for me, I had a mini army of 40 people yelling, “you got this” or “c’mon Julia”. They were so loud I couldn’t hear myself think but I loved every second of it. In fact, it’s a great feeling knowing people are rooting for you and want you to succeed.
This encouragement from my teammates gives me confidence and spirit, making me feel unstoppable. It also makes me love the sport again. Connecting with so many people that have the same interest as me in college made the adjustment to a new environment so much easier. Not only is it easy to relate to the girls, but the guys are just as fun and nice to have around at practice (as I’ve never practiced with guys before).
Anyways, when we came back from Virginia Tech everyone was ecstatic. We had done so well. Nobody imagined we would be winning first place. This turned out to be the best thing for the team as everyone got extremely motivated. Our next competition would be at James Madison University and everyone was ready to show the teams there who the real competition was.
Which, when it came time for the competition, was exactly what we did! Once again our Women’s and Men’s team both took first place. This time I even placed individually. In fact I placed third on vault and fifth on floor over everyone at the meet. You could say I was pretty excited. The only thing that could have made that weekend better would have been having my parents there.
With the JMU meet over all we have left for this season is our home competition in March and Nationals in April! Nationals is what I’m really looking forward too, as everyone tells me it’s a lot of fun because we will be spending 5 days in Fort Worth, Texas… Lets gooo.
In addition to this, with our recent wins everyone believes we have a strong chance of placing top 5 at nationals (as long as we keep up all of our hard work). As long as we remain dedicated and make the most of each practice, I think were have a good chance.
I really can’t wait to see how well this team does at both our home meet and nationals.
Anyways, I’m thankful for Penn State Club Gymnastics and can’t wait to see what the next 3 years of it bring to me once freshman year is over. Whether it be as a gymnast, on the executive board (maybe President of the club one day), or a coach, I am thankful for my club gym family.