Making and Breaking Commitments Pt. 1

I want to believe that I am capable enough and strong enough to make a commitment and stick to it. I want to do it for myself, and to prove something to my parents and to the world.

I know that making a commitment is easier said than done. It's so much easier to say that I'm going to do something than actually follow through with it. It's hard knowing that people see me as just too lazy, tired, or distracted, to do the right thing. Especially when in reality, I was actually trying my hardest.

When I was eight years old, my family moved to a new city and decided to enroll me in gymnastics. Our new house was right across the street from the gym. I had always been in sports; dance, soccer, and softball. They were fun, but I had never been in the same one for long.

I loved gymnastics from the start. I was with some other kids from my new school, and it was an opportunity to play and have fun with them. It didn't matter whether I was good or not. I don't remember comparing myself to those around me. At that age, none of that occurred to me.

When I was ten, we moved again. When we got to the new place, one of the first things my parents did was get me back into gymnastics. Things were a little bit different this time around because a  part of me now wanted to be the best. I saw the other girls and I began to compare our levels and skills. I envied the ones who could do it all.

One day the older, more advanced girls came in to train at the same time as us. They were so cool. Their hair was slicked back in ponytails. Their bodies were small, skinny, perfectly toned, and muscular. Their tumbling lines and bar routines looked like a 10/10.

This was the competitive team. It was insane that they traveled to competitions, trained 15 hours a week, climbed the rope with no legs, and won gold medals. It never occurred to me that  gymnastics could be this amazing. I longed to be like them and found all my motivation just watching them.

The commitment part of this story began when I tried out for the team. I got on. I loved it. Every part of me wanted it so badly and it was a dream come true. I began training 10 hours a week with 5 other girls. Over the years many of those girls left and new ones came. I was determined to never quit. I had made this huge commitment and I was determined to keep it.

The girls and I would talk smack about girls who quit gymnastics. We never understood how they could just give up. We thought they were lazy and tired. We gave them the silent treatment outside the gym. They became outsiders.

In three years of competitive gymnastics, I managed to get up to level 6. There was 10 levels. I went to many competitions, won many medals, and accomplished so many things that I never thought possible. I thank gymnastics for that.

(See Pt. 2)