Last week I wrote a blog post listing my five favorite events to watch at the Summer Olympics. By far, the reaction I received the most from people who read the blog was this:
“Why isn’t gymnastics on the list?”
I left it off for a reason.
No, I don’t have any ill will toward the sport. Both the women and men are spectacular athletes who do incredible things. It isn’t even that I won’t watch the sport because I will. Sidney’s favorite Summer Olympics sport is gymnastics and I have enjoyed watching it with her over the past few days. However, I had more than my fill of gymnastics when I was younger to ever become a big fan at this stage in my life.
My sister was a gymnast. She did club gymnastics throughout her whole childhood and then was an excellent gymnast at the prep level for Mead High School in Spokane. As you can imagine, many hours of her young life were spent at the gym. Maybe not as obvious is that because of this, I also spent a lot of time at the (gymnastics) gym.
My parents were very big about the three of us kids supporting each other. My sister and I went to most of my brother’s sporting events and other extracurricular activities. My brother and sister went to my endeavors. Glen and I went to my sister’s pursuits…many of which were gymnastics meets.
Do you have any idea how long gymnastics meets actually are? Let me say this, you get your money’s worth! I spent entire days inside gyms seated next to nervous parents as young athletes tumbled across the floor, flew over the vault, swung on the bars, and danced on the beam. As the same floor routine music played over and over and as the time seemed to crawl as judges tabulated scores, I did my best to keep sane.
If we were to do it all again, I would have encouraged my parents to build a house right next to a gymnastics gym. I say this because growing up, the club gyms my sister belonged to all seemed to be located 45 minutes from where we lived. With a schedule that seemed to have her practicing no less than eight times a week, the family car was going back and forth to the gym pretty much non-stop. So what happened before my mom finally trusted me to stay at home? Yep. I was driving back and forth as well. Luckily there was a car pool system in place with other parents but the numerous rides I did go on contributed to the gymnastics fatigue I now carry with me into adulthood.
When my sister reached the high school level, things did get a little better. Her meets now took place in large gyms inside various schools. My brother and I would run off and keep ourselves entertained exploring the hallways while the athletes battled it out late into the night. We did have fun but we also had our bouts with boredom. These struggles wouldn’t help my lack of gymnastics fandom 15 years later.
Don’t blame Simone Biles or Sam Mikulak for my gymnastics indifference. Please just know my history. With that said, I hope Team USA continues to dominate. Don’t Blink.