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jwerity

Banned
Gymnast
Dec 7, 2021
1
21
So, I'm a 12 year old, female. I’m starting gymnastic practices soon because why not? it’s something fun to do and I'm interested in it. (+I’m also flexible!). The problem is,

I have bad anxiety sometimes, often mood swings as well. And I’ve done my research, seen it all. i’ve heard stuff like “It’s too late”, “It will be harder when you’re older” and more related to the examples i just stated. I feel like the other female gymnastics there who have trained longer than me will judge me for something yk what I wear, my body, my skills that are matchless to theirs. Like I wouldn’t fit in. Especially when I’m a POC… And there aren’t many POC gymnastics here where I live. I tend to overthink a lot. Which I know I shouldn’t be doing. I’d literally cry if I embarrassed myself in front of so many talented people. Ugh. Sorry, I’m just overall scared. There’s more I want to say but I feel like it would be too much.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Jan 21, 2007
4,418
Baltimore, MD
Alright, this is going to be a multi-part answer.

For anxiety and other mood disorders, please see doctor if you're not already seeing one. I think often we tend to think of these sorts of issues as being "not real" because they're not visible, but in reality they are just as real and just as serious as physical injuries, and should be treated by qualified experts.

Anxiety and mood swings are not in any way a disqualifying factor from gymnastics. They might make it a good idea to shy away from competition, but that's not really an issue at the beginning level.

As for skill level and age, you're never too old to start gymnastics for fun! Gyms separate recreational athletes by age, and most gyms will have classes with other girls your age (and some older) who are also just beginning. You'll almost certainly be in a class with other girls near your age and near your skill level.

While gymnastics does indeed skew white, in most areas the number of POC in gymnastics seems to be gradually increasing. You'll likely be in the minority, but you likely will not be the only POC there.

Trying anything new can be daunting for anybody. I know that finding a community you feel comfortable with is a challenge at any age, and it's especially a challenge at 12 years old.....

.... which makes this next part difficult, but sadly necessary. If you're 12 years old, the Chalk Bucket cannot be that community for you. I wish we could, but unfortunately for reasons of safety and privacy, we cannot allow members under 16 years old. I wish you the best of luck with whatever you decide to do, and I would love it if you decided to rejoin our community in four years, but I must ban your account until you are old enough to join this forum. You should still be able to read replies here, and I have set your ban to expire in 2025
 
Last edited:

MuggleMom

Proud Parent
Dec 22, 2016
648
Virginia
I always tell myself I regret the things I dont do more than the things I do....and this is very true! Starting something new can bring all sorts of feelings but don't focus on what can go wrong and let yourself be open to all the good that can come from this new experience. You got this!
 

Pirouette

Proud Parent
Oct 16, 2014
195
50
12 is not too old to start gymnastics!

My DD started at age 11, did the Xcel program for middle and high school, and now is enjoying club gymnastics as a college freshman. She is very tall for a gymnast (over 5'9" tall) and sometimes felt out of place on her team and at competitions. But she didn't let it keep her from enjoying her favorite sport.

So if you really want to try it, go for it!
 

Fina

Proud Parent
Aug 1, 2020
19
Alright, this is going to be a multi-part answer.

For anxiety and other mood disorders, please see doctor if you're not already seeing one. I think often we tend to think of these sorts of issues as being "not real" because they're not visible, but in reality they are just as real and just as serious as physical injuries, and should be treated by qualified experts.

Anxiety and mood swings are not in any way a disqualifying factor from gymnastics. They might make it a good idea to shy away from competition, but that's not really an issue at the beginning level.

As for skill level and age, you're never too old to start gymnastics for fun! Gyms separate recreational athletes by age, and most gyms will have classes with other girls your age (and some older) who are also just beginning. You'll almost certainly be in a class with other girls near your age and near your skill level.

While gymnastics does indeed skew white, in most areas the number of POC in gymnastics seems to be gradually increasing. You'll likely be in the minority, but you likely will not be the only POC there.

Trying anything new can be daunting for anybody. I know that finding a community you feel comfortable with is a challenge at any age, and it's especially a challenge at 12 years old.....

.... which makes this next part difficult, but sadly necessary. If you're 12 years old, the Chalk Bucket cannot be that community for you. I wish we could, but unfortunately for reasons of safety and privacy, we cannot allow members under 16 years old. I wish you the best of luck with whatever you decide to do, and I would love it if you decided to rejoin our community in four years, but I must ban your account until you are old enough to join this forum. You should still be able to read replies here, and I have set your ban to expire in 2025
i'd give you two likes for this response. very good