By: Maddie Hansen, IATG ContributorAugust 23, 2016
I devote my life to a single sport. I show up at practice every morning and every night. I get the weekends off, but I still spend every second thinking about the gym. I think about the new things I’m going to do in the week ahead.
But in the back of my mind, I know that the week ahead will be the same as last; I will end up mentally and physically exhausted.
GYMNASTICS. It’s a scary word for me. To some people, it’s just dancing around the floor, and to others, it’s solid dedication. Yes, you could describe it simply as "dancing around the floor," but you need to include the 20+ hours of practice a week, the self doubt, the challenges, and most of all, the tears you cried over tiredness, frustration, and, especially, fear.
You have to wake up at 6:30 in the morning, every morning, to make it to the gym on time. You arrive at practice half asleep but still tumble on a 4" beam. Imagine standing there, feet off the ground, trying to decide if you want to jump backwards, letting your hands dangle to your side and your feet flip over your head to land on a skinny line... without hurting yourself
That's what I call fear.
Everyone witnesses it, and most of the time you just want to curl up in a ball and hide from it.
The truth is, fear sucks.
Fear stops you from being THAT GIRL and letting your inner self shine. Fear is like a big block in the road telling you to turn around, but we have to gain the confidence to get a sledgehammer and start tearing it down. If you don't, fear will eat you alive.
As a good fish in the ocean once said, "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming," and she swam through tough times and her life ended up pretty amazing (a 135.1 million dollar opening weekend and a great sequel to the movie, Finding Nemo). You have to keep swimming through the roadblocks and see the endless opportunities on the other side, because in the end, it will all be worth it.
It’s time to break down some fear roadblocks! Start small today and overcome a little fear. Maybe it’s finally talking to that cute guy, or maybe it’s signing up for a school play or applying for a new job. Whatever it is, “keep swimming” towards your goals and right past your fears!
I am a level 8 gymnast with the desire to show the world of girls that they can make a difference. Gymnastics has brought me into a lifestyle full of challenges and struggles. In the future I want to make it on a collegiate gymnastics team and become an anesthesiologist. This fall, I will be a freshman at Fort Atkinson High School.