For Parents Update: Summer of new activities (and be careful what you wish for)

CLgym

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Hi, all. I am looking for a little pep talk from my Chalk Bucket peeps :) For those who haven't seen my recent posts, my daughter began having major mental and physical struggles as an 11 year old L8, which continued this year as a 12 year old repeat L8. Gymnastics has felt pretty yucky this past year, so I decided summer was the perfect time to encourage some new activities. I wanted to make sure my DD knew she was way more than just a gymnast.

She started rock climbing and rowing (crew),and just told me today that she'd like to skip a second week of gymnastics so she could do more rowing. This is wanted. I thought. I should be happy that she is enjoying the activities I encouraged her to try, right? So why was my first instinct to feel like she should get back in the gym after this week off? That she shouldn't miss a second week in a row? And to feel kinda sad that she appears to have one foot out the gymnastics door?? (For the record, I told her she should do whatever would make her most happy next week, which appears to be rowing.)

Anyone with words encouragement as we (potentially) near the end??
 

cogymmom2dd

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Hugs. We are in a similar boat. My DD is an almost 12 y.o. Who will be repeating level 7 due to some of the mental blocks and growth spurts that have happened in the past year compounded by COVID.
I initially encouraged her to maybe try something outside of gymnastics and she chose volleyball. I signed her up for a camp with a local volleyball club and they took one look at her with her well defined muscles and small frame and were impressed from the start- and guessed she was a gymnast. They are actively trying to recruit her to their National league club travel team. She is currently deciding whether or not she wants to do that (has until October to decide), and travel volleyball season happens at the same time as gymnastics meet season, so she has to make a choice. I’ll be super bummed if she doesn’t want to do gymnastics, but also want her to be happy.
 

Aussie_coach

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They put a lot of their life into this sport and parents put a lot of time and money into it too. But if she moves on, it won't be wasted. The skills learned in gymnastics can be transferred anywhere to allow her to be successful in other sports and in life.

If she stays in gymnastics too long after she is clearly done, then many of the positive lessons can actually be undone.
 

LPmom

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That wouldn’t be the worst outcome! I’m very biased because half my family is deeply involved in rowing, but it’s a great sport with a lot of potential for high-level competition and travel even in high school, and it has opportunities for longevity that gymnastics doesn’t yet offer for most girls/women. The closeness of team parents is similar to gymnastics because of the vast amounts of waiting around at regattas, and the hours for your daughter will be less (for a while). I can think of a few former gymnasts who excelled in rowing; of those some didn’t get very tall and ended up coxing in late high school through college, and others had small frames and ended up as lightweights. Gymnasts are strong, physically aware and coachable; even collegiate rowers struggle to be both powerful and have good technique so your daughter will have an early advantage.
 

Tmacs

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It’s difficult. I’m trying to prep myself now... I love the gym, her friendships there and the parents! It will be hard to leave. But I’m 90% sure she will quit before high school even though she’s completely sold right now. But... I know whatever sport she chooses, we will enjoy the subculture that comes with it. It will just take time for everyone to get used to it. And come high school, there are so many fun sports and opportunities, she will love it!
I swam in college but did one season of crew and my biggest regret was not quitting the NCAA swim team and choosing club crew instead. It was a way more positive experience (and still very competitive) than collegiate athletics.
 
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GymAir

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I would just be prepared to try a few more things after rowing. Gymnastics is great for people who love to learn new things, as there is always a new skill to master. If she is like that, once the newness wears off she may be changing directions again.
 
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CLgym

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@LPmom and @Tmacs -- Thanks for the info re: crew. I know nothing about the sport, but am glad to hear it includes team camaraderie and a good community.

@GymAir -- Honestly I am not sure if it's rowing that DD likes, or just trying something new. She has been spinning her wheels for so long in the gym, that something (anything) different is a nice break.

DD is doing the rowing/crew camp with a few school friends. She had drifted away from her school buddies this past year due to her gym schedule and covid/virtual school. I think it has been fun and important for her to reconnect before in-person school resumes this fall. And they are able to bike together to/from the boathouse (it's nearby), and hang out a bit after (grab a cool treat, hit a bike trail, etc.). Honestly, I think she is having fun being a typical 13 year old more than anything else. And her gym pallor has been replaced with a little suntan -- gasp!

Anyway, I am going to send an email right now to the gym letting the coaches know DD will miss another week. I imagine they will not be too happy about it <eek>
 
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Jenny

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I think they get a big kick out of going into a new sport and finding out they are fitter, stronger, better coord and more disciplined than most others and therefore they shine. I think of it as the reward of gymnastics training.
 

novagymmom

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Glad to hear your daughter is enjoying some new things. I'm right there with you though! As I've mentioned, my daughter is stepping back from L9 to Xcel (I'm glad she's not totally ready to leave the gym yet). But, she's experimenting with both field hockey and basketball this summer. So it will be interesting to see where her heart really is after this year!
 
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PreciousJ

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I hope all goes well with your DD's foray into rowing! I've only done white water rafting and kayaking and I know it's not at all the same, but rowing sounds like fun!

I want my DD to try non-gymnastic sports, and we had hoped to explore some this summer, but we've had some bumps along the way. Mostly due to logistics, as the county I live in (we're in the metro Atlanta area) doesn't offer a ton in the way of youth sports through our parks and recreation program. We'd have to travel across multiple counties for many sports camps/classes. We don't have a county pool (yet). We wanted to try tennis camp but couldn't make the schedule/distance work. Other available camps I suggested were ones she wasn't interested in. Track was on her list, but we only have highly competitive AAU teams training at this point in the year. She's starting middle school in 3 weeks (6th grade) and I'd be concerned about her training >1 competitive sport during that transition - not to mention, returning to in-person school full time. No middle school athletics until 7th grade, per county policy.

Honestly, I'm kinda jealous of those of you who have easy access to things like diving, rowing, and rock climbing! Stars did not align for us this summer, but I think it's great for gymmies to try new sports if they have the interest.
 
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PeanutsMom

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Hi, all. I am looking for a little pep talk from my Chalk Bucket peeps :) For those who haven't seen my recent posts, my daughter began having major mental and physical struggles as an 11 year old L8, which continued this year as a 12 year old repeat L8. Gymnastics has felt pretty yucky this past year, so I decided summer was the perfect time to encourage some new activities. I wanted to make sure my DD knew she was way more than just a gymnast.

She started rock climbing and rowing (crew),and just told me today that she'd like to skip a second week of gymnastics so she could do more rowing. This is wanted. I thought. I should be happy that she is enjoying the activities I encouraged her to try, right? So why was my first instinct to feel like she should get back in the gym after this week off? That she shouldn't miss a second week in a row? And to feel kinda sad that she appears to have one foot out the gymnastics door?? (For the record, I told her she should do whatever would make her most happy next week, which appears to be rowing.)

Anyone with words encouragement as we (potentially) near the end??
Her gymnastics, her journey. I will say, that as a parent I will miss the gym when my daughter decides she is done. This is our "thing" together..her brothers hate sitting through gym meets, so often it is just her and I while her brothers and Dad do "boy" things together on meet weekends. I will miss the sing alongs in the car, the hotel trips and silly dinners. But this has always been her journey, not ours. So when she is done, we will support her.

I was a coxswain for our local crew program from the summer after 8th grade all the way through high school. Much like gym, the kids in my boat were my best friends. It is long hours, highly competitive, and teaches a lot of discipline (awful weather, rain, being soaked) and it also depends on a TEAM to win, not just an individual which is a great life lesson. I hope your daughter finds what she loves and excels in whatever she chooses to do (gym or maybe even on the water). Good luck!
 

gymjunkie

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I totally get it. Because I was a gymnast, I had no issues with my own kids quitting. I had already "done my gymnastics" and did not have any need to live through theirs. Only 2 of my kids even wanted to compete. My oldest daughter moved on to other things at your daughter's age. She still wanted to be associated with gymnastics for several years so she worked at the gym once she was 15. My youngest has been through 2 times in her life where she wanted to quit. I was torn because I've seen her bounce back and get her passion back and did not have a crystal ball to know if that was going to happen either time. She's full of passion now, but the person who helped her make her decision to stay was not me it was one of her PTs who said that the fact she was tearing up when talking about wanting to quit told her she really just needed a break. She said when you are truly ready to quit, you will have peace over it and not be so torn and tearful. I think it was great advice. It sounds like your daughter has peace with her decision -- so be happy for her!
 

gymjunkie

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Afterthought to my post above. When I really thought my daughter was going to be done for good, my first thought was "I am never going to see her do her magic again & I wish I had taken more videos as of late." Once she resumed, I made sure I did not make that mistake. I videotape parts of her practice when I can, knowing this could end at any time. I recommend the same. Once our kids get up to the higher levels, it's easy to only tape their competitions. My daughter's injuries kept her from competing the year that was almost her last & I hadn't taken a single video of practice that year even though I am one of her coaches.
 
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CLgym

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Thanks, everyone! Love hearing all the info about crew.

My daughter ultimately decided to do a little of both this week, thanks to some rain in the forecast. Yesterday she had a fun day with school friends and crew/rowing. Today she went to the gym. When I pulled up in front of the gym for drop off, DD immediately expressed feeling nervous ("I'm going to be terrible"). I hate that she feels so bad about herself there. And I think it runs so deep that no "mom pep talk" will change it at this point. What's weird is that DD told me last night (in response to my suggesting she look into either crew or rock climbing team for the fall), that she is still committed to continuing gymnastics. Originally she thought only one more year, but last night said maybe through high school (she'll be starting 8th grade this fall). So I really can't figure out where her head is at...

Finally, I'm going to post another thread later today looking for advice on something my DD shared with me at pick up today (it was a short practice today), so be on the lookout for that.

Thanks again. This community has been such a great support to me
 
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