With a big leap I entered a world of blue. This was my favorite place. My favorite part of my hour long practice. Playing in the foam pit. All around me the blue blocks lay waiting for me to comfortably fall on.
At age 3 there was nothing I looked forward to more than getting to jump in or having my coaches throw me onto the blocks. Some kids dreaded the pit. Since the blocks were bigger than most at this age, it was easy to keep falling deeper and deeper into a place that seemed bottomless. I, however, was unafraid. I was fearless at this age.
Eventually, when it was time, getting out was a difficult task. Every step up and out was harder than the last, as the blocks kept falling on me, until finally, I would feel a pair of warm comforting hands lift me up. I would look up to my mom, always there to help. Grabbing her hand I dragged her from event to event in, what at the time, seemed like the biggest gym in which I had ever practiced gymnastics.
Even at such a young age my favorite event was the bars. With the help of my coaches I would swing back and forth like a monkey, giving my mom a heart attack every time.
I would place my hands deep inside the chalk bucket until they were painted white with the powder. Clapping my hands together I would smile and laugh when the chalk exploded around me. Sometimes I would even give my mom a nice big hug and run away laughing because I had put handprints on her back that she didn’t know about.
Another favorite place of mine was the tumble track. Bouncing up and down I would momentarily feel like I was flying. When it wasn’t my turn I was always impatiently waiting for when I could go up again and show my mom just high how I could jump.
Sometimes I would fall. Back then I didn’t know the risks in falling, either. I didn’t know the true dangers of what I was doing in my little three year old brain. But every time I fell I always got back up. This determination would carry me through my career in gymnastics.
At the end of every practice my fellow classmates and their parents wouldgather around and sit in a circle. All the young girls and boys sitting in the comfort of their parents laps. I dreaded this part. I knew this meant one thing, that practice was over.
Don’t get me wrong I love my mom very much but I was never ready to leave.
My parents and coaches noticed my love and ambition for this sport right away. I was a strong, and, as I said before, fearless toddler who had found a passion in a demanding and time-consuming sport. At such a young age there was no way to tell how big a role gymnastics would play in my life, but as the years started flying by I soon learned all my lessons, values and skills from the sport.