How I Got Here: Beginnings
I was signed up for gymnastics classes as a youngster, like most other little girls, and I was so excited for it. I don't remember much about my first classes (hey, I was under the age of 4), but there are a few poignant moments that still stick in my memory. I won't forget walking into the YMCA in Fremont, NE and seeing the absolutely enormous equipment for the first time. I won't forget the first time they lifted me up to the low bar and I scooted my way across. Or the first time I was set on the high beam and wouldn't move until my coach held both my hands (my basket-case brain is something we'll get into later). And then there was the performance we did for the nursing home behind my grandma's house. We set up our mats and we performed how well we could climb over them and do somersaults down the cheese mats.
By the time I was five, my family and I moved to Arizona, where I was enrolled in gymnastics at a community center. It was a non-competitive gymnastics and dance academy, where I also took ballet classes as well as tumbling. Since we didn't compete, we did local exhibitions (some outside in parking lots) and a big annual company production of Mary Poppins, where I was featured as a tumbling chimney sweep. I also made fast friends with one of our instructors and also had a little foray into partner acrobatics just for fun. I was having the time of my life.
After being at the community center for two years, I began to surpass the level of the older girls in the class and my mom decided it was time I enroll in a gymnastics club. At the age of six or seven, I started in a level 3 recreational/compulsory class at Desert Lights Gymnastics. Going from a small academy that only focused on tumbling, to a full-on gymnastics club was so cool to me. I walked right into that two-roomed warehouse-turned-gym, and my jaw dropped. There were two floors, and three sets of uneven bars, eight beams, and many trampolines and this really awesome thing called the pit! I was in shock and awe, especially watching the older girls do their stuff. I was completely fascinated with floor routines. The music, and the dance, and the tumbling. . . At the time, it was all uphill from that exact moment because I had become a "real" gymnast.
Goals: Turnout, stamina
Days till worlds: 76