I have wanted to write about this for a while and now seems like a very approriate time! We are so gymnastics excited over here! (And I must add that I AM SO HAPPY FOR ALY R on floor!!! AND the whole USA team!!!!)
Yes, gymnasts are a different breed. They don't walk, talk or think like normal people. I mean, they can blend into a casual conversation or a crowd (provided they don't use too many gym terms or show their guns or washboards) but there is definitely something sparkly and special about these girls...
I have tried a number of times to put it into words...expand on this idea of a whole unique subculture...how quirky, committeed, couragous, and grounded these girls are. My favorite, of course, is the courage part. After all they encounter in the gym, typical life lessons seem easy and overstated. Still, they seem to be a little socially immature and yet very wise beyond their years. Their bodies are banged up and bruised and yet their strength grows wild from the inside out. Something about them lets you know that they are invincible!
As I was thinking about my gymnast and her teammates, I stumbled upon a Facebook group called You Know Your a Gymnast When.... I decided to share some of the statements the girls on that page have shared. Some are pretty funny...and all are true! My favorite seems to be their moto and it reads
Here are some more: (and a peek into the life of a gymnast)
You know you're a gymnast when...
You have bigger muscles than your boyfriend.
You are on your hands as much as your feet.
You use more chalk than soap.
You do handstands everywhere.
Leotards and biker shorts become more comfy than clothes.
Gymnastics is life and the rest is just spare time.
You always know where the ground is.
Holding a quarter, you tell people you will flip them for drink, and then do a standing back tuck.
Changing into a leo in less than one minute becomes easy.
You sit in straddle splits when you watch TV.
You have more than 12 sisters listed on Facebook.
When you hear a good song on the radio, you start choreographing a routine to it.
You’re able to put on or take off grips in 30 seconds flat.
Swinging bars with rips becomes the norm.
You recycle everything from grips to leos.
You beat all the boys in the Presidential Physical Fitness tests.
The gym becomes your second home.
You always do handstands in the pool.
You laugh at football players for being wimps.
You always feel like you are in the land of giants – Everyone in school is way taller than you and in the gym you are always doing giants on the bars.
Your bedroom is clean because you are never in it.
You have traveled more places than your parents.
You spend more time with your coaches than with your parents.
Your gymbag is a pigsty because you are always in it.
You always cheer for your teammates. Always.
When you hear music on the radio, you don’t know the name of the song, but you know who does a routine to it.
You know every one of your teammates routines.
You love to play judge for your friends and teammates.
Potentially hazardous sports are off-limits until after States/Regionals/ Nationals.
On Mondays, you have no idea what your friends at school are talking about because you were at a meet over the weekend.
You always want to see the bloodiest rips.
You have the ability to balance on a narrow beam, yet you have convinced your mom you can’t bend over to pick up your clothes off of the floor of your room.
You can beat all the boys doing chin-ups, push-ups and sit-ups.
Aerial isn’t a mermaid.
Karate is a no-no because you find it hard to kick with flexed feet.
You can stick without glue.
If you are standing anywhere for more than two minutes, you start practicing your floor and beam routines.
Listening to Compulsory music is awful compared to listening to Optional music.
You find “balance beams” everywhere.
You become a master in the field of hand health care.
When waiting in line at the mall you stand in fifth position.
You only watch TV if gymnasts are on.
You can remember every routine you have ever done.
You understand gravity long before you study physics.
You fall asleep in splits.
You have two sets of friends, your school friends, and your gymnastics friends. and none of them know each other.
The topic of almost every paper you write in school is gymnastics.
When someone says “bars” you don’t think of jail or drinking.
You miss dinner every night because you are at practice.
You don’t think of a spot as a stain.
Your pajamas are a gymnastics T-shirt and “Got Chalk” shorts.
You worry more about having water than food.
You call your dad “Coach” and your coach “Dad” on a regular basis.
You wonder why the average person goes to touch their toes and can’t get past their knees without groaning.
You go to grab something off the floor and your leg shoots up to a perfect scale.
You like to pull the skin off rips.
You hear, "Eww. Who bled on the bars today?" on a weekly basis.
Your deductions aren’t part of a tax return.
Furniture is just more gymnastics equipment.
You are the shortest one in your class.
You’re not sure if the mirror has become your friend or your enemy.
The jeans you buy to fit your calves are too big in the waist.
No matter how hard you fall, you never even think of not getting up and doing it again.
You start counting in school, “And one and two and three and four.”
You do gymnastics everywhere including underwater in the pool.
You point your toes in your sleep.
Being corrected isn’t considered an insult.
For you a flip flop is more than a sandal.
The hardest gym class you ever had is easier than your gymnastics warm-up.
You rant and rave about the joy of stretching out.
You have way more medals and trophies than anyone else at your school.
Every T-shirt you own is from a gymnastics meet.
You learn how to laugh and make light of a mistake at a meet.
You think the best cure for a sprained ankle is to tumble on it.
You work out Monday through Friday and then still go to open gym on the weekends.
You are sure your bed is a trampoline.
You can’t run more than a few steps without doing a hurdle step and round-off.
You are the only person in Physical Therapy under 50.
You take more Motrin and Aleve than anybody you know.
People constantly think you are training for the olympics.