Identity Crisis

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Dec 27, 2019
This is my first time writing on any kind of forum so forgive me if I do something weird lol.

Hi guys,

I'm not really sure how to approach what I want to say. I'm not the type to post this kind of stuff but recently I feel that this might be of some help.

I'm 19 years old and I'm a gymnast, although sometimes it feels difficult to even call myself that. I've been in gymnastics classes since I was little but I never competed. The closest I ever got was being on my club's pre-team in middle school. The club didn't have enough money nor interest from kids for a boys team at the time, but my pre-team was starting to change that. Towards the end of my 8th grade year, my coach had us try on leotards for the first time, and 13 year old me was not too fond of the short shorts and such lol. Little did I know that the club was going to get us ready for competition season later that year, yet it didn't happen. That summer, I and a few other boys left the gym. I left because I was going on to high school. The school I went to was 1) not close to my club and 2) was much closer to a parkour/freerunning gym that I had been to only a few times but really enjoyed. A few years later, after I transferred high schools, I got into coaching and started coaching rec classes at a different gymnastics club. This in turn got me interested in gymnastics again. I looked up my old club from middle school to find that it had moved to a location much closer to my home and that the adult classes were taught by my old coach.

I had really enjoyed going to the adult classes there and I had really started to see an improvement in my training, although I wasn't training for anything in particular. This changed however when I went to college. I moved across the country to a small school in a small town with very few gymnastics clubs. My school didn't have a team and I couldn't get to the gyms around me, so for the first year I felt lost.

This past summer, I contacted the coach of the swimming and diving team at my school and asked if I could join the diving team as a walk-on. After having a few conversations with the coaches, I was in! After one semester of my second year in school, I can say that it has been fantastic being on the team. I have never dove before, but my gymnastics training has given my a leg up in advancing quickly. I've been able to learn skills that at the beginning of the year, I would have never even thought I could perform.

That being said, being on the team has rekindled my love for gymnastics. It's December now and I haven't set foot in a gymnastics club since August, but the only thing in the world that I want to do right now is to go out and train. I've never wanted to be a competitive gymnast this badly until now, but I fear that it might be too late. I know that competitions like the Olympics and such are most likely well beyond the scope of what I can train for, especially because I'm already an adult and if I started training seriously now (which realistically I can't), I wouldn't be able to make much progress in a short amount of time. However, I still want to compete. Is it too late to think about this? Are there adult leagues where I can compete that aren't either college level or elite levels?

I just wanna say thank you if you've made it this far. I appreciate anyone who took the time to read all of this.
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Both NAIGC (college club - but you can compete as an independent ... and it isn't necessarily "college level" gymnastics) and AAU have competitive options you might be able to find.
Definite look for an NAIGC club team that is a drivable distance from you. I bet it would be a great fit!
There is a Facebook group that is always ready to help someone find adult gymnastics classes and competitions nearby. It’s called Just Like Fine Wine...Adult Gymnastics Group.
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