It’s officially the new year. Which doesn’t feel that different from the last year, but it does mean one thing for collegiate gymnasts all across the country: it’s time for season. In the 2011 season, it was not all that hard for me to accept that I wasn’t really competing or that I wasn’t in line-up. Maybe I didn’t mind because I knew going into my freshman year that I was going to get little to no “playing” time. I was okay with that. Because I still got to train the events that I could do, and I was just having fun doing gymnastics. Even standing on the sidelines at the meets I had a blast: cheering, moving mats, high fiving my teammates. It really didn’t matter what I was doing; I felt important. Maybe that was naïve of me—but it’s how I felt. And if I had a good attitude, who was really going to complain?
Then at the last home meet of the 2011 season, I caught a glimpse of that competition feeling. Just one event. One routine. One exhibition. And I didn’t even make it. I fell on the dismount. Right on my butt. But it was fun! Just like all the other meets had been. However at the next away meet, I set myself up for disappointment. I thought I was going to exhibition again, only to find out that my coach just forgot to tell me that it wasn’t my spot this week. The disappointment was heart breaking, and that’s what made that meet so miserable in my mind. I tried my very hardest to put on that same strong, good attitude and tell myself that this is fun, but I just couldn’t make that particular meet “fun.”
So maybe that’s what’s making these last couple weeks so hard. As the rest of the team is getting ready for season, I can’t help but feel like that spot that was so close to being mine one month ago, is no longer there. It’s the disappointment that makes this so hard, because it wasn’t supposed to be this way. It wasn’t supposed to be this hard. But I have two ways to look at this. Regardless of if I am able to do a full bar routine in a couple of weeks or not, I can choose to focus on the disappointment and continue to feel discouraged, or I can focus on finding that same (naïve) joy that I had going into last season. I am going to try and individually move as far forward as possible, but I’m more importantly going to help my team move forward into the season that WE have in front of US.
So there it is. My officially declaration to focus on the future that is in front of me, instead of the future that was ALMOST in front of me. And I encourage all of you to remind me of that when it seems like I’ve forgotten it. Call it my New Years Resolution. Happy New Year to you all and GO AGGIES!