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RTT2

Proud Parent
Oct 9, 2015
857
So many insightful responses here. Even though it’s the gymnast’s journey and not ours, I feel we as parents walk right alongside them. Watching them struggle is just so gut wrenching sometimes. Even more so when they throw themselves into this amazing but brutal sport with so much passion, grit, and determination
It's definitely DD's obsessive love for the sport that makes it hard on me. She just wants it so much. I would have been happy seeing her do so many different sports or activities and I think almost anything else would have felt less intense and stressful, but gymnastics is everything to her and so I worry all the time about injuries and getting the new skills and levels and then meets going well. I want so badly to see all of that hard work, grit, and determination translate into success (not necessarily trophies--just her feeling proud of how she did).
 
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Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
563
Yes, no, maybe? I don't know. This is such a complicated question. The trials and tribulations that she has experienced due to this sport have made her who she is today, and she is IMHO pretty awesome. And she loves it. Like really really loves it. Over the years I have made it absolutely clear that she can quit at ANY time, that this is not required at all that she has value and worth and purpose beyond this sport and we value HER, not what she does in the gym. I confess that there have been times I REALLY wanted her to quit. Times when her tears and struggles were just too much for me and I begged (and yes even attempted to bribe) her to quit. All because to ME it wasn't worth it. Through it all though she never wavered. She loves this sport and isn't ready to let it go. She's had some really amazing experiences from this sport and some really horrible ones. There was abuse (heck at this point I would say that 99% of all high level gymnasts have experienced it- it seems to be the norm sadly) but there have also been lessons and bright spots. I wouldn't wish her journey on any kid, she has truly walked through the fire, but on the other side of that inferno she's gained maturity , insight into others, and an insane ability to give grace to those who truly don't deserve it. She is a better and kinder person than I ever will be. So yeah, I guess I just don't know. Would I make the choice to do this again? Im not sure. I do know that if I did ever get a do over I would make some different choices along the way and trust my gut a bit more. But you don't know what you don't know. And hindsight is always 20/20
 

Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
563
My gymnast is retired now, and I have nothing but regret. If I'd never signed her up for gymnastics and let her join team, she'd probably still be happily enrolled in ballet. My career wouldn't have been destroyed by the stress of getting her to practice after school and during the day during the summer, along with physical therapy for the never-ending parade of injuries. She would never have been exposed to high-pressure coaching tactics that seem to have done permanent damage. We would have a lot more money and the whole family would be a lot happier.
I completely relate to the stress that gymnastics places on a parent's career. The years of trying to balance work obligations, part time coaching (which helped fund gymnastics) and the efforts involved in getting my gymnast to and from practice, Friday meets etc really made it difficult to advance in my field. I will say the one benefit to being an empty nester is the ability to focus on work with out the underlying worry of making all of the pieces come together. I was finally able to get a promotion that had long eluded me.

That said, no real regrets as my gymnast's path was relatively stress free. She wasn't interested in college gymnastics and decided skills after level 8 were just not for her and moved over to Diamond. She was also lucky to have great coaches and amazing teammates.
 

Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
563
Yes. Every time. I have even asked my gymnast if they will allow their child to do gymnastics. The response was "if they love it as much as I do, absolutely." That shows that it was a good choice for my kiddo.

In addition, the number of things my kiddo has gained from gymnastics far outweighs any issues. The time management, grit, resilience. The friends all over the world. It was truly a gift for them.

I know it isn't for everyone, but there are great, positives from gymnastics, and really, most sports. But we love gymnastics!
 

Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
563
It's definitely DD's obsessive love for the sport that makes it hard on me. She just wants it so much. I would have been happy seeing her do so many different sports or activities and I think almost anything else would have felt less intense and stressful, but gymnastics is everything to her and so I worry all the time about injuries and getting the new skills and levels and then meets going well. I want so badly to see all of that hard work, grit, and determination translate into success (not necessarily trophies--just her feeling proud of how she did).
You nailed it. I feel EXACTLY the same way!
 
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Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
563
Actually I am thinking about quitting the level 9 girl because she is heading toward freshman high school now. We think she can focus on academic in high school .
 

Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
563
Yes. However, I would have stayed at the small recreational gym she started in and just let it be a fun physical outlet versus an all-consuming lifestyle it quickly became after moving to a power house gym. There, she and her teammates sustained mental, emotional, physical and sexual abuse on a daily basis for years.

We all knew (“we” as in all the other parents) that our kids were being sorely mistreated (BUT we weren’t aware it also included sexual abuse until much later). Shamefully and with much regret I can admit now that we were deep in the cult and we all turned a blind eye because our kids were doing such amazing things.

Now that many of my daughter’s former teammates have moved on to NCAA, it is startling how many stories they hear from girls from other club gyms who also survived abuse to reach their college dreams. The number of gymnasts who have shared that they have been depressed, suicidal, or have anxiety or eating disorders is heartbreaking.

If your kid is in a high performing, healthy gym consider yourself extremely fortunate…
 

Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
563
Yes. However, I would have stayed at the small recreational gym she started in and just let it be a fun physical outlet versus an all-consuming lifestyle it quickly became after moving to a power house gym. There, she and her teammates sustained mental, emotional, physical and sexual abuse on a daily basis for years.

We all knew (“we” as in all the other parents) that our kids were being sorely mistreated (BUT we weren’t aware it also included sexual abuse until much later). Shamefully and with much regret I can admit now that we were deep in the cult and we all turned a blind eye because our kids were doing such amazing things.

Now that many of my daughter’s former teammates have moved on to NCAA, it is startling how many stories they hear from girls from other club gyms who also survived abuse to reach their college dreams. The number of gymnasts who have shared that they have been depressed, suicidal, or have anxiety or eating disorders is heartbreaking.

If your kid is in a high performing, healthy gym consider yourself extremely fortunate…
It really is heartbreaking that these kids go through so much chasing their dreams, and it does seem to go from fun after school activity to all-consuming fast. I’m so sorry you and your family went through this, and I appreciate you sharing so that we remember to be more vigilant as parents. Hope you both are out of that situation and in a much better place
 
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