Thank you for your encouragement in continuing these sharing posts. Since my goal is to get to know you (my readers) better, I decided to start calling these posts “Getting To Know You”. I’ll share my side of the conversation, then I hope you will share back via comments or links to your posts.
This week I thought we could share childhood dream’s with one another.
Growing up I was fascinated with gymnastics. I LOVED it! Every time it was on T.V. I would beg to watch it and if I got to, I sat mesmerized. I wanted to do that. Specifically, I wanted to be an Olympic gymnast.
My hero’s were Nadia Comenci – the first gymnast to ever earn a perfect 10,
and Kim Zmeskal. She dominated in the late 80’s, early 90’s, including the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.
Oh how I wanted to be just like them. Both were coached by the infamous Bela Karolyi.
However, I grew up in a family of 9. My dad was self-employed and we didn’t have the funds for me to pursue that dream until I was 10.
If you know anything about gymnastics, this is REALLY late to start if you have goals like the Olympics. I started out with a simple tumbling class. In my small town, that was all that was offered. It wasn’t until I was 12 that an actual gymnastics facility opened, and I was able to sign up. I gave it all I had and loved every second of it. This is me at age 14.
I still had dreams, but I knew the Olympics were not a reality. However, I still wanted to go as far as I could. I was training 4 hours every day after school and traveling on weekends for meets. My teammates and coaches were my family and friends.
Then came along the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. I followed everything I could that had to do with the trials and the actual games. I knew every single person on the Magnificent Seven (the women’s gymnastics team).
You can bet I even had that actual poster hanging on my wall in my bedroom.
Do you remember how exciting it was when they won the gold? Because I sure do.
I vividly remember Kerri Strug’s infamous vault that sealed the deal and Bela Karolyi carrying her. He was her coach too. He coached all the greats.
I never made it to the Olympics, but I did fulfill part of my dream. In the summer of 1997 I was able to go to Houston, Texas and workout at Bela Karolyi’s ranch. He had retired, so I didn’t get to actually train with him, but I did get to meet him and see him quite a bit.
It was awesome and an experience I will never forget!
As I got older, the training really got to me. I was in high school and felt like I was missing out on so much. I never saw my family or non-gymnastics friends. As cheesy as this sounds, I was interested in boys and wanted to date. My gymnastics lifestyle didn’t really allow for any of that. It’s a strict regiment.
If you are really serious about going far, you usually are homeschooled so you can train for 8 hours a day. I went to regular public school, but then trained until 9:00 at night. After dinner and homework it was bedtime, then a repeat day after day. As I said before, meets were on the weekends, so I was NEVER home.
I ended up quitting when I was a junior in high school. There are days when I regret this decision. It could have been so fun to go on and do collegiate gymnastics. However, I know that everything I’ve ever done has led me to where I am today and I wouldn’t trade my life right now for ANYTHING!
So what was your childhood dream and did you pursue it? I would love to hear all about it!