Sunday, July 12, 2015

Acrobatic Gymnastics National Championship: First thoughts

We're back from Greensboro, NC, and the acrobatic gymnastics national championship!

I've been thinking about what it was like for the kids and how very impressed I am that they willingly (even enthusiastically) chose this endeavor. Ever taken one of those Very Serious multi-day exams to which you had to fly or drive forever, get your ID checked a million times, and sit in a cavernous concrete convention center under cold flickering fluourescent lights with your fight or flight response on full blast the whole time?

That's what a week at the acrobatic gymnastics national championships is like, except there's also a podium, judges, and (thankfully) fun bonding moments with other athletes. I was gratified to see Paloma quietly join her competitors at the civil rights museum in downtown Greensboro, where our families took an intense guided tour together. 

It's very demanding for the competitors.  So it was a tremendous lesson for me, as it always is, to see how these kids, ages 6 and up, adapt to that pressure, do their jobs, and then embrace fun when it's time for that. I hope these lessons translate to other areas of their lives as they grow. 

(Make no mistake-- the schedule was intense for the parents/caregivers too, with a daily by-the-minute email update (at 9:46 AM, be at the venue, at 10:41, this group competes...). The coach very plainly states it: "This is not a family vacation." Indeed, it's a family endeavor to make it all happen.

So, I am a bit tired but so grateful for the experience. Paloma and Sabrina both did a great job with the pressure and the fun. I learn a lot from them both about the many ways to approach pressure, and pleasure, successfully.

More pictures of the team are at West Coast Training Center's Facebook page; more of the elites, along with rhythmic and tumbling/trampoline at the USA Gymnastics Facebook page.

Originally published at my main site, But I plan to post acro-related things here.
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