When I was standing at the school yesterday freezing to death as I waited for my youngest to get out of school, I heard a really funny conversation that made me laugh. I couldn’t help but eavesdrop. It was totally a conversation that I could picture myself having with my husband. A couple walked up behind me, and they were playfully arguing about chickens. The man seemed to be trying to convince his wife that they should buy some chickens so they could have fresh eggs every day. She was of course telling him all that would entail and how much work it would be. I even heard her say that he would have to be the one to deal with them because she wasn’t getting near them. Then I heard her ask, “You know that I don’t do animals, right?” This is the part that made me laugh because I can’t tell you how many times that exact thing has come out of my mouth. For those of you that missed my post about animals before, I do not like them. I don’t like animals of any kind. I never have and probably never will. The woman went on to say, “You are more likely to talk me into getting a dog than you are into getting chickens and even that is a stretch!” Again, I chuckled. As I am sitting here typing with our dog sitting right beside me, I am wondering how long it will be before the family wears the woman down and convinces her to get a dog or some other animal. I really wanted to turn around a high five her to let her know I was with her and encourage her to hold her ground. Will she end up outnumbered like me and have to deal with a crazy animal in her house?
Last night was my oldest daughter’s first high school gymnastics meet. She only competed on bars and pulled out fourth place behind 3 of her teammates. Her team blew the other 4 schools out of the water and swept the competition taking first place. I must say that high school gymnastics is a totally different world than the competitive club world we have been in all these years. I saw so many scores that were lower than I have ever seen before. I saw girls doing gymnastics that looked like they had never done it before in their lives. I will be honest in saying that some of it made me cringe and want to hide my eyes because it was a little scary. Our team really had an unfair advantage with at least 5 girls that I know of being upper level club gymnasts. You could hear a hush over the crowd when our girls would perform and then a bunch of gasps and wows as they finished. It was clear that some of these parents in the stands had never seen that level of gymnastics outside of the Olympics. It was a really neat experience. I love that those other girls that would never get the chance otherwise are able to get out there and try something new. I loved the excitement mixed with nerves in their eyes as they went out and gave it their all knowing that their scores weren’t going to be high up there. I love the awe they had as they watched our girls go and still had the courage to get out there and do their best. It was really inspirational in a way and a good lesson in perseverance and drive. If you really want something and you put your mind to it, you can do it. You may not be the best at it, but the point is that you tried and had fun doing it. You stepped out of your comfort zone and went for something that you dreamed of doing. That’s really what it is all about. It’s the lesson I want to teach my girls. You don’t have to be number one. If you are, that’s great. If you aren’t, that’s great too. None of it matters as long as you put in the work, give it your all, and have fun. Isn’t that what we want for all of our kids…to reach for their dreams, to push themselves, to work hard, to not give up, and to enjoy life? I think so.
The other big take away from last night for me was getting to see my daughter out there laughing, joking around, and having fun with her teammates. It is the reason that we agreed to let her try out for the high school team. As a club gymnast, you often miss out on the school experience because you are always at practice. You can’t do extra curricular things because you just don’t have the time for it. You don’t get to go hang at football games with your school friends because you are at practice. Club gymnastics can also be intense and really serious, and there isn’t as much joking and playing around. There is a lot of hard work, blood, sweat, and tears. Don’t get me wrong, she absolutely loves it, but it’s a lot of work. We wanted her to have the opportunity to really experience high school and get to make friends outside of her club team. My daughter is awkwardly shy and has a hard time making friends outside of the gym. It was really great to see her interacting with other kids and just having a good time. Yes, I know that these new friends are also gymnasts and some are also her club teammates, but it’s just different outside of the club gym. I can’t really explain it. It’s a totally different atmosphere, and I think it is important for her to do this. My husband and I both feel good about letting her have this experience even though it means more money for us, more time spent in the gym, and more time given up for a sport she loves.
I know that this post is kind of random, but it’s my life. My life is full of random events. Chickens? Dogs? Gymnastics? Life lessons? It’s all good, right? Ha ha! I am now off to finish up the first 10 chapters of our book club book for this month, Educated by Tara Westover. I hope you have been reading along with me. It’s not too late to join us if you haven’t. I will post about the first 10 chapters on Facebook and Instagram tomorrow. Check it out and join the discussion. I can’t wait to hear what you think.