Friday, February 16, 2007


Since we have come through the valley, I'm ready to tell you about our week at gymnastics!

It all started on Tuesday. We needed to add another toss in Maria's rope routine. I emailed the coach's daughter (who speaks fluent English) so there wouldn't be a confusion in the translation. So during the practice on Tuesday, they reworked the ENTIRE rope routine. I had left the gym to go home and shower. When I came back in one of the Romanian girls came to get me and ask me to "come please". I looked at her and asked, "me???". She smiled and nodded. You see the parents aren't allowed in the gym. The coaches don't like us to even LOOK in the glass door! So I followed the gymnast wondering what in the world was going on.

As I walked into the gym there stood Maria on the floor with her rope, barely holding on to her composure. I looked at the coaches and they motioned for me to JOIN THEM on the FLOOR! I immediately kicked off my shoes and went to them. I avoided looking at Maria (you know that makes things worse sometimes). They wanted to show me the changes they had made. Several of them Maria had already gotten and I was VERY impressed to say the least. A few they wanted us to work on at home. One of the skills I didn't know how to do so I took the other gymnast's rope to give it a try. HA HA!!! It required me to do a cat leap (small jump) over the backward turn of the rope while actually turning my body too. Yeah right! I tried and it kept getting caught on my last foot coming over. The coach started yelling at ME, "sus!", which means "up!". I tried it about three times with her yelling louder at each attempt. After the third time I just cracked up. I mean I had three things going against me:

1 - The rope was the right length for a gymnast 4' 10", I'm 5'5".
2 - I had on my "European" jeans (read straight leg, no extra room!) that I found at Goodwill.
3 - I am 34 years old and it has been almost 20 years since I did Rhythmic Gymnastics.

When I stopped laughing, I looked at the coach and said, "Nu sus!" - "No up!" She just smiled and the other gymnasts laughed, although I think they were impressed that I tried. It was discussed in the locker room for two days after that.

Needless to say Maria and I went home and worked for two hours after school and she got all the skills. I even got the cat leap thingy twice!

The next day, Wednesday, they took on the ribbon routine. And made LOTS of changes. Maria could do all but one of the changes right away but she was coming off a hard day so Wednesday was hard too. And again I was out in the gym.

Thursday was just minor tweaking but Maria was tired of all the changes and I was asked to the gym yet again. She did both routines to music with only minor mistakes. The coaches were pleased but of course Maria thought they were just being nice. She is a perfectionist, and she was right in the fact that they weren't perfect...YET!

Today was great. Her rope routine is outstanding. Very exciting to watch and she is already doing it well. The ribbon is beautiful and she is already "fine-tuning" it. The coaches seemed pleased with the routines and Maria got through the practice without any "extra" emotions.

I was the proudest of her, not because she got the skills, but because she forced herself to endure some VERY hard practices working on skills that she couldn't do at first. This is very hard for a perfectionist. She was also up at 6:45am each morning and getting ready to return to the gym without griping or worrying or anything. My little girl is growing up!