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MaddieLynn

Coach
Gymnast
Dec 7, 2013
51
27
Hey guys! I'm totally excited to have been able to join this forum! I love all things gymnastics and I'm happy to have finally found a place to discuss them with other enthusiasts.

So, a (longish) bit of background:

I remember being 8-10ish and asking my mom for gymnastics lessons. My next door neighbor took them and I was interested. My mom boycotted this idea because she was uncomfortable with the gym's rule of "no parents watching" (and I can totally see where she was coming from, although I wonder all the time what would have happened if I had started gym at age 8).

So I let it go and wasn't really interested anymore... until the '08 Olympics. It was the first time I had ever seen gymnastics on TV and I was totally enthralled. My family moved across the state later that year and in August of '09, I finally got enrolled in gymnastics at age 14.

I did rec classes for two years. When I was 16 the owner & head coach of the gym approached me about coaching preschool classes, since I'm good with kids and their main preschool coach was getting married and moving away later in the year, so I shadowed her for a month before starting coaching. That job has had such a big impact on my life. I used to be very shy and, while I'm still totally introverted, I've learned how to be outgoing, cheerful, and friendly when needed. It's also given me opportunities for other jobs as well.

At the same time I started coaching, I decided to get into competitive cheer. I did that for a year but ended dropping out at the end of the season. It was a really bad fit for me. I couldn't put up with all the drama which, surprisingly, didn't come from the team kids but from some of the adults in charge. 'Nuff said.

Anyways, with two years of rec and a year of cheer under my belt, I decided to ask my boss/coach about the competitive team. Now, just for background, this is a T&T gym and not an artistic gymnastics gym. I thought it would probably be a much better fit for me than competitive cheer was, and I was right! I loved it, even though at 17/18 I was the oldest team member. I competed level 5 on floor & trampoline and level 6 on double mini.

About March of this year I really had some ankle problems start to flare up. I'd had trouble with my left ankle in the past that I really thought was probably some kind of stress fracture, but x-rays turned up nothing and eventually it healed. Then my right ankle really started bothering me in exactly the same way, but again, x-rays showed nothing. So I decided to take 6 weeks off and miss the April meet in an attempt to heal up my ankle.

So, after 6 weeks off, one night after I finished coaching I asked my coach if I could hop on trampoline and work my pass a few times, and she said sure. Long story short, I took a few warm up bounces, did a straddle jump, pressed out a little too hard, bounced way forward, came down on one foot... and cleanly broke my left ankle. Lovely.

So, that was surgery, a plate and 5 screws, 7 weeks on crutches, and 3 more weeks in a boot/brace. By the time I could walk again it was June and I was headed off to college in a different state in the fall so I pretty much figured my gymnastics days were over.

Fast forward to now. I'm at that college in a different state and was able to easily land a job at a gym here thanks to my prior coaching experience. This gym teaches artistic gymnastics so I'm pretty much in heaven getting to watch and experience all of this new stuff. It also made me miss the heck out of gymnastics! It seriously is like an addiction. So... I tentatively asked the owner/head coach of this gym if there was any way I could do a level 3 or 4 class once or twice a week, wherever I could fit it in to my schedule, and to my surprise she was very enthusiastic and said sure! To top it off, I asked how much it would cost since I'm a broke college student and all, and she said "hardly anything. I'm not even worried about it."

Guys. I am OVER THE MOON. I've always wanted a chance to work with the artistic apparatus and now I have it!! As I got older I never thought I'd get it, and once I broke my ankle I just knew I was done. I am so excited to start this! The only minor hitch in the way is that I'm having surgery to take the hardware out of my ankle a week from tomorrow, so I'll have to wait until that heals up before I start, but my doctor acted like it's really about the incision healing at this point and not the bone, so it shouldn't take too long. I'm not interested in competing or anything (ain't nobody got time for that in college), I'm just wanting to do it to stay in shape and for the love of the sport.

So, if anyone is still here after all this rambling, hi! There's my whole life's story in gymnastics. I'm exited to be on this forum, and I'm even more excited to continue my journey in the gymnastics world!
 
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