I will never forget my very first gymnastics meet ever as a level 3. Despite it being in my home gym, it was still one of the most scary things of my life. (For reference: this was still back in the day that USAG had two different floor routines: one for just tumbling, and one for just dance.) To this day one memory sticks out: The most exciting part for me? Was getting my rainbow ribbons. Looking back on it now, my gym was genius with their ribbon-giving. Typically 9.0+ is blue, 8.0-8.9 is red, 7.0-7.8 is white, 6.0-6.9 is yellow, and anything below a 6.0 is left up to the discretion of the gym, which in my case was rainbow. After the meet, we would count who got the most rainbows, and that girl was then the best in out eyes. After this competition, I was an old pro at these things, even though I just had one experience. I don't think I attended more than two as a level 4, but I still own the shirt, and to this day, it is the oldest shirt I still have in my possession (from 1998).
During this time, I spent most of my life in the gym out of pure love. When I wasn't there for weekly class, I was having fun privates with my coach Kim to battle my beam and bar troubles. I was an open gym regular, where I goofed off with my teammates and learned the level 6 routines. I loved being there for summer Friday practices, where we only did conditioning and dance for two hours, before playing a gym-wide game of capture the
flag toilet paper roll. The gym was my life, and I had no problem with it being that way.
As a youngster, I moved up through the levels quickly (probably because of all that open gym...). I didn't spend more than a year in level 3, 4, or 5. And all that competition? Yeah, it didn't really mean much to me. I was more focused on getting my 9.0 or above on floor so I could change my ending pose. But I'm not going to lie, I did savor my first first place finish ever as a level 5 at my favorite meet (Winter Sun Invitational). Winning just wasn't the most important thing for me at this time.
Goals: Mentally prepare for Inishfree feis
Days till worlds: 59