Many members of our Junior Olympic and Xcel teams kicked off another competitive season at the annual New Hampshire Judges Cup last weekend. This meet is the only fundraiser for the NH Judges Association, the proceeds of which help with education and expenses for the judges! The meet was hosted by Noha's Gymnastics Academy, and this year's theme was "Walk Like An Egyptian"! NGA did an amazing job with the decor, and each gymnast, regardless of club, wore an Egyptian-themed leotard for this competition. Many of our gymnasts were competing at a new level for the first time, and we are so proud of some of the monumental individual and team accomplishments in the face of stiff competition!
Here are the full results:
Olivia- 2nd vault, 2nd bars, 3rd beam, 2nd floor, 2nd AA
Seana- 3rd vault, 3rd bars, 3rd floor, 3rd AA
LEVEL 7 - 2ND PLACE TEAM
Ava R.- 3rd vault
Lilly H.- 3rd floor
Vanessa- 2nd bars, 2nd AA
Liz- 3rd floor
Emelyn- 3rd floor
Lola- 3rd vault, 2nd floor
Evelyn- bars champion
Alex- 2nd vault, 2nd beam, 2nd floor, 2nd AA
Gwen- 3rd floor
Xcel Diamond - 1st place team
Aisling- 2nd vault, bars champion, 3rd AA
Ashley- vault champion, 3rd bars, 3rd beam, floor champion, 2nd AA
Marissa- 2nd beam
Sophie- 2nd floor
Xcel PLatinum - 1st place team
Ali- 3rd vault, bars champion, floor champion, all-around champion
Ava H. - 3rd beam
Ava S. - 3rd floor
Chloe- bars champion, beam champion, 3rd AA
Ella H. - 2nd bars, 2nd beam, floor champion, all-around champion
Hailey M. - bars champion, 3rd floor
Nikki- 3rd beam
Alyssa- 3rd beam
Anna- 2nd floor
Ella M.- 3rd vault, beam champion
Abby - 9.0 floor
Aisling - 9.125 vault, 9.0 bars
Ali - 9.4 vault, 9.55 bars, 9.35 floor
Amanda - 9.325 vault, 9.1 floor
Anna - 9.45 floor
Ashley - 9.35 vault, 9.325 floor
Ava H. - 9.275 vault, 9.0 beam, 9.05 floor
Ava S. - 9.3 floor
Chloe - 9.35 bars, 9.15 beam, 9.05 floor
Ella H. - 9.325 vault, 9.0 bars, 9.125 beam, 9.35 floor
Ella M. - 9.2 vault, 9.15 beam, 9.15 floor
Evelyn - 9.475 bars
Gwen - 9.125 bars, 9.025 floor
Hailey M. 9.0 vault, 9.1 bars, 9.05 floor
Kyra - 9.1 vault
Lili M. - 9.0 beam
Lilly H. - 9.2 floor
Lilly M. - 9.125 floor
Liz - 9.15 floor
Lola - 9.35 floor
Marlie - 9.3 vault, 9.0 floor
Nikki - 9.05 vault, 9.1 beam, 9.05 floor
Sam - 9.0 vault
Sophie - 9.3 floor
Vanessa - 9.6 bars, 9.0 floor
36.0 All-Around club
Ali - 36.95
Ava H. - 36.075
Chloe - 36.475
Ella H. - 36.8
Ella M. - 36.075
Way to go, Spectrum team! We are so proud of you!
USA Gymnastics, the largest governing body of gymnastics (to which Spectrum is a member club) has had, for quite some time, a traditional Junior Olympic level system in which gymnasts compete. Once a gymnast is proficient at her level and earns a qualifying score, she has the option to move up to the next level. Competitive levels are levels 3-10, and above level 10, the gymnast has the option to go "elite" (those are the gymnasts you see at the Olympics).
However, there was a flaw in this JO level system. In JO, there is a very specific mold that the gymnast is required to fit into. For gymnasts who did not fit that mold, whether due to age, financial situation, ability, or commitment level, there was no other real option for them. That's when USAG made, in my opinion, the best decision they've ever made and created the Xcel program.
The difference between JO and Xcel can be difficult to explain, but USAG defines it as "a broad-based, affordable competitive experience outside the traditional Jr. Olympic Program to attract and retain a diverse group of athletes." Xcel, like JO, has different levels (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond) that the gymnast can progress to as she learns more skills. Gymnasts who participate in Xcel also get the same competitive experience of being on a team and competing in front of a judge. The biggest difference between JO and Xcel is that where JO has very strict requirements, Xcel's are more relaxed and allow the gymnast more of a range of skills, as well as more room to train and progress at her own pace. Gymnasts who are maybe too old to go the traditional JO path blossom in Xcel, where they can still train skills, compete, grow, and progress. Often, gymnasts in the Xcel program do fewer competitions than their JO counterparts, and it is less of a financial and time commitment than JO.
I truly believe creating the Xcel program is the best thing USAG ever did. The JO program creates a very small box for its gymnasts, and before Xcel, there was nothing for gymnasts who didn't fit into that box, but who still loved gymnastics. Xcel has created the opportunity for girls to compete in gymnastics that wouldn't have otherwise been encouraged to. It has really opened the door to a new way of enjoying the sport and has encouraged more girls to participate. Girls who maybe would have quit without it are now staying with gymnastics and competing in Xcel.
Here at Spectrum Gymnastics, we are proud to offer both a JO team and Xcel team and have experienced great success with both. Mobility between the programs is not only possible, but encouraged if either is a better fit than the other. We have had many gymnasts switch from JO to Xcel, and gymnasts come from Xcel to JO. Many of the skills we train at Spectrum can overlap between the programs, making a smooth transition from any gymnast that may make the switch.
Approximate Comparison of Skill Level:
Xcel Bronze = JO 3 and under
Xcel Silver = JO 3/4
Xcel Gold = JO 4/5
Xcel Platinum = JO 6/7
Xcel Diamond = JO 7/8+
The JO athlete must demonstrate high standard of physical ability (including skill acquisition, strength, and flexibility) on all four events, strong work ethic, and coachability. The JO athlete spends more hours in the gym, competes in more competitions that may require travel, and may incur more of an expense for uniforms. As a result, JO is more of a family commitment as far as time and finances. This program is perfect for the athlete who only wants to do gymnastics!
The Xcel athlete must also demonstrate the physical ability, work ethic, and coachability required to be a part of a competitive team, but without the expectations and standards of JO. The Xcel athlete trains fewer hours in the gym, competes in fewer competitions that are, particularly at lower levels, more local, and in general have less expensive uniforms. The Xcel program is perfect for the athlete who demonstrates talent in gymnastics, but who also wants to pursue other sports/activities, or for the family that is unable to commit financially to JO.
Not sure which competitive program is right for you? Our coaches can help determine where each gymnast will be the most successful!
What a busy few months it has been! Our team has been hard at work wrapping up their competitive season. As our team continues to grow and achieve individual and group success, they are a testament to our philosophy on gymnastics. But most importantly, the true measure of success is not in medals, trophies, and titles (but those are fun to earn too!), but the experiences our athletes gain, the lessons they learn, the relationships they form, and the lifelong love of the sport that is fostered here in the gym. We are so proud of what we do here at Spectrum!
Here are some highlights and photos from the last few competitions!
Amelia- 9.0 vault, 9.05 bars, 3rd beam
Caelynn- 9.1 beam
Charlotte- 9.0 beam
Kaelin G- 9.0 bars
Kiley- 9.0 vault
Lauren C- 9.05 bars, 9.15 beam
Madeline- 9.05 beam
Taylor- 9.0 vault and bars
Anna- vault champion (9.3), 2nd bars (9.4), 2nd floor (9.4), AA champion (36.7)
Ava A.- 3rd vault, 9.1 bars, 2nd beam (9.1)
Ava R.- 3rd beam
Cami- 3rd floor
Haley- 2nd vault (9.0), bars champion (9.2), 2nd floor, AA champion
Heidi- 9.0 bars
Isabella- 3rd vault, 9.1 floor
Jill- 3rd bars
Keira- 3rd vault, 2nd beam, 3rd floor, 3rd AA
Leah B- 2nd vault (9.1), 9.0 bars, beam champion (9.3), 3rd floor (9.2), 2nd AA (36.6)
Myah- bars champion (9.2), beam champion (9.0), floor champion (9.1) , AA champion
Olivia- vault champion (9.15), 2nd bars (9.0), 2nd AA
Amelia- 2nd bars (9.1), 3rd floor
Anastasia- 3rd floor
Caelynn- 2nd beam (9.1), 2nd floor, 3rd AA
Gwen- 3rd vault, 2nd beam
Kailey- vault champion, 2nd bars (9.2), beam champion (9.2), floor champion (9.0), AA champion (36.1)
Lauren C.- vault champion (9.15), beam champion (9.25) 2nd floor (9.1), AA champion (36.0)
Lauren W.- 3rd vault, 3rd bars, beam champion, 3rd AA
Madeline- 3rd bars, 2nd beam, 3rd floor
Ryhan- 2nd vault, 3rd beam, floor champion (9.4), 3rd AA
Taylor- 2nd vault, bars champion (9.5), 3rd beam, 3rd floor, 2nd AA
JO State Championships (level 4-8)
In other news....
We recently found out that the owners New England Gymnastics Training Center have decided to retire. They have sold their building and are closing the business. Spectrum would like to wish them the best and hope they find many new adventures during retirement. If you have friends that attend NEGTC, please pass along that Spectrum would love the opportunity to earn their business!
We believe that we could start by replicating their current Pre-School daytime class schedule. Providing the exact days and times for a seamless transition with just a location change.
In addition, to finish the year, we could open additional School-age classes, as well as, filter students into our current week day class schedule.
Finally, as you know, we offer free trial classes, so they can try our program before they commit.
We would truly appreciate it, if you could pass this information along to any of your NEGTC friends.
Be sure that your friends mention your name when they register, as many of you know, we give a $10 gift certificate for all of your referrals.....with no limit!
If you love what we do, we're offering $20 gift certificates for NEGTC referrals for the months of April and May! Refer away!
Leave us a review!
If you have had a great experience with Spectrum and feel like taking the time to leave us a review, we would really appreciate it! We always love hearing feedback from our families on what you love and what we can improve upon! Feel free to leave us a review on our Facebook Page
Our Xcel Silver-Diamond team just wrapped up their State Championships, highlights to be posted soon! Our level 3 and Xcel Bronze team have their State Championships coming up in a few weeks!
Our annual Expo is scheduled for June 16! Mark your calendars! This is an event you do not want to miss! What is the Expo? This fun show for the kids provides an opportunity for moms, dads, grandparents, relatives and friends to see some of what your child has learned this year at gym.You will have the opportunity to:
▪️Meet and Greet your child's instructor!
▪️Watch your child up close and personal while they participate.
▪️Take video and pictures of your child (in designated photo areas).
▪️Take pictures of your child with their instructor.
▪️Take pictures of your child receiving their medal.
▪️Watch Team demonstrations.
▪️Purchase Special "Goodies"
▪️And there will be plenty of bleachers to sit on!!
Finally, register now for summer! Spectrum has 1/2 or full day camp with AWESOME themes! Plus gymnastics, swimming, crafts, games, and more! Check out our summer schedule! Sign up soon! These camps fill up FAST!
Our JO and Xcel competitive teams recently competed at the Winter Carnival Invitational, hosted by Gymnastics at Brentwood Commons. Winter Carnival is a highlight every year for our team and is well-loved by many our athletes! We are so proud of the many highlights our team accomplished this year.
Ashley - 3rd vault, 9.075 floor
Chloe - 9.0 floor
Lauren - 9.0 floor
Maddie - 9.0 vault, 9.1 floor
Olivia T. - 3rd vault (9.025), 3rd beam, 3rd floor (9.2), 2nd AA
Seana - 3rd bars
Sophie - 3rd floor (9.25)
Abby - 9.15 floor
Ava R. - 9.15 Floor
Lilly - 1st vault (9.125), 9.0 bars, 1st floor (9.675)
Vanessa - 9.0 beam, 9.1 floor
Amanda - 9.025 vault
Ava S. - 9.2 floor
Marlie - 9.0 vault, 9.25 floor
Level 4 - 2nd place team
Alicia - 9.0 beam
Elizabeth - 1st bars (9.3), 2nd beam (9.3), 3rd floor, 1st AA
Emelyn- 2nd vault, 1st bars (9.35), 3rd floor, 1st AA
Lola- 9.15 floor
Amelie - 9.125 vault
Gwen - 9.3 vault
Ella- 9.15 beam, 1st floor (9.625)
Nikki- 9.15 vault, 9.3 floor
Quinn- 9.2 floor
Xcel Gold - 4th place team
Ella M.- 9.05 vault, 9.0 bars, 1st beam (9.45), 3rd floor (9.6), 3rd AA (37.1)
Ellie- 1st bars (9.45), 9.325 floor
Emilia- 9.0 beam, 9.25 floor
Lane- 2nd bars (9.4), 9.075 floor
Lilly M. - 9.1 bars, 9.275 floor
Xcel Silver - 4th place team
Anna- 9.2 vault, 9.05 bars, 1st floor (9.45), 36.525 AA
Ava A. - 9.25 bars, 9.05 floor
Ava R.- 9.0 bars
Haley B. - 9.05 floor
Heidi- 9.075 bars
Isabella- 9.2 bars, 9.1 beam, 2nd floor (9.375), 36.275 AA
Keira- 9.05 vault, 9.175 bars, 9.0 beam, 9.1 floor, 36.325 AA
Leah B- 2nd vault (9.35), 1st bars (9.575) , 9.15 beam, 9.3 floor, 1st AA (37.375)
Leah J- 1st vault (9.25), 9.175 bars, 9.1 beam, 1st floor (9.3), 2nd AA (36.825)
Myah- 9.2 bars
Olivia M.- 1st vault (9.4), 9.25 bars, 9.025 beam, 9.0 floor, 3rd AA (36.675)
Amelia- 9.0 bars, 9.175 beam, 9.0 floor, 36.0 AA
Gwen M.- 9.075 beam
Lauren C. - 2nd vault (9.35), 3rd beam (9.25), 9.325 floor, 36.525 AA
Kaelin- 9.0 vault, 9.05 bars, 9.05 floor
Kailey- 3rd floor (9.45)
Lauren W.- 9.05 vault, 3rd beam (9.2), 9.15 floor, 36.35 AA
Olivia L- 9.25 vault, 9.15 bars, 9.1 beam, 2nd floor (9.325), 3rd AA (36.825)
Taylor- 9.275 vault, 9.25 bars, 2nd beam (9.45), 9.175 floor, 3rd AA (37.15)
you know you love me,
xoxo Spectrum Girl
Earlier this month, Spectrum competed in Rhode Island for the Flips for Freedom Invitational, hosted by the University of Rhode Island's Club Gymnastics Team. Becca Farren, an alumna of the Spectrum Competitive Team, is currently competing at URI and was there to cheer on all her former teammates. Our team earned several individual and team titles throughout the weekend, and even record high scores! Olivia T. of our level 8 team scored a new gym level 8 record on beam with a HUGE 9.625, besting the previous (and her own) record of 9.3, as well as new level 8 all-around record of 35.7. Ella M. from our Xcel Gold team scored a new gym record for that level with a 9.65 on floor. Ella H. from our platinum team earned new gym XP records on beam (9.55) and floor (9.55), and TWO in the all-around (36.85 and 37.075). Ella H. also won every single event she competed in, both in the preliminary competition, and in event finals. That's TEN gold medals! What a rock star!
Level 8 - 1st place team
Ashley - 1st vault, 3rd bars, 3rd beam, 3rd floor, 3rd AA
Chloe - 3rd beam, 2nd floor (9.05)
Maddie - 1st vault, 2nd bars, 1st floor, 2nd AA
Olivia T. - 2nd vault, 3rd bars, 1st beam (9.625), 3rd floor, 1st AA
Seana - 3rd vault, 1st bars (9.075), 2nd beam, 3rd AA
Sophie - 3rd vault
Level 7 - 2nd place team
Abby - 9.25 floor
Lilly - 1st vault (9.4), 3rd bars, 3rd floor (9.275), 1st AA (36.125)
Vanessa - 2nd bars (9.0), 2nd beam, 9.1 floor, 3rd AA
Level 6 - 2nd place team
Amanda - 9.225 vault, 2nd floor
Ava H. - 2nd beam (9.075)
Ava S. - 3rd vault (9.05)
Marlie - 3rd vault (9.05)
Level 4 - 2nd place team
Alicia - 2nd floor (9.075)
Elizabeth - 1st bars (9.3), 2nd beam, 1st floor (9.275), 1st AA
Jordan - 1st floor (9.025)
Aisling - 3rd vault, 1st bars, 1st beam (9.05), 2nd AA
Xcel Platinum - 1st place team
Ella H.- 1st vault (9.125), 1st bars (9.025), 1st beam (9.5), 1st floor (9.2), 1st AA (36.85), event finals qualifier
Nicole - 3rd vault, 2nd beam (9.05), 2nd floor (9.0), 3rd AA, event finals qualifier
Quinn - 2nd floor (9.225), event finals qualifier
Ella M. - 1st vault (9.05), 1st bars (9.5), 9.0 beam, 1st floor (9.65), 1st AA (37.2), event finals qualifier
Jessie - 3rd bars
Lilly - 3rd vault, 2nd bars, 1st beam (9.35), 1st floor (9.45), 1st AA (36.45), event finals qualifier
Event Finals results
Ella H. - 1st vault (9.275), 1st bars, 1st beam (9.55), 1st floor (9.55), 1st AA 37.075
Ella M. - 3rd vault (9.175), 1st bars (9.0). 2nd floor (9.4)
Lilly - 3rd bars
you know you love me,
xoxo Spectrum Girl
Spectrum brought home several more banners to hang in the gym after competing at the Blizzard Bash, hosted by Granite State Gymnastics. Our competitive team features over 60 gymnasts from USAG Junior Olympic levels 3-8 and Xcel bronze-diamond, many of which competed at this meet, some even for the first time ever, others for the first time at a new level. Individually, our athletes earned several top 3 placements!
Top 3 placements and 9.0 club:
Level 8 - 1st place team
Maddie- 2nd vt
Olivia B.- 3rd beam
Olivia T. - 1st vault, 1st beam, 9.075 floor, 1st AA
Seana- 1st bars, 3rd AA
Sophie- 3rd floor (9.225)
Level 7 - 1st place team
Abby- 9.175 floor
Lilly- 1st bars, 1st floor (9.525), 3rd AA
Ava R- 9.175 floor
Vanessa- 2nd vault (9.075), 3rd bars, 2nd beam (9.075), 1st AA, Beam Award
Level 6 - 1st place team
Amanda- 3rd vault, 1st beam (9.1), 1st floor (9.55), 1st AA
Ava H- 3rd bars, 9.1 floor, 3rd AA
Ava S- 2nd beam (9.0), 3rd floor (9.4)
Marlie- 1st vault, 2nd bars, 3rd beam
Level 4 - 3rd place team
Elizabeth- 1st bars (9.15), 1st beam, 2nd floor, 1st AA
Lola- 3rd bars
Gwen - 1st vault (9.3)
Ella- 3rd vault, 3rd bars, 3rd beam (9.0), 2nd floor (9.4), 1st AA
Tyla- 3rd beam
Ella M.- 1st beam (9.45), 2nd floor (9.25), 1st AA (36.00)
Lane- 3rd beam (9.125)
Xcel Silver - 3rd place team
Anna- 9.1 vault, 9.4 bars, 3rd beam (9.425), 2nd floor (9.25) , 2nd AA (37.175!)
Ava A- 9.15 vault, 9.1 beam
Ava R.- 9.0 vault
Isabella- 3rd vault (9.2)
Laina- 9.2 vault
Leah B- 9.0 vault, 9.35 bars, 1st beam (9.7!!!!!), 3rd floor (9.1) , 3rd AA (37.15!)
Leah J- 2nd vault (9.2), 9.0 bars
Myah- 9.0 vault
Olivia M 9.1 vault, 9.2 bars, 9.225 beam, 36.025 AA
Amelia- 9.225 floor
Anastasia- 9.1 bars
Gwen- 9.2 bars
Hailey P.- 9.2 bars
Kaelin G- 9.2 bars
Kailey- 3rd bars (9.3)
Lauren C. - 9.025 floor
Lauren W. - 9.15 floor
Olivia L- 9.0 bars
Taylor- 9.0 vault, 9.0 bars
You know you love me
Congratulations to our Level 4 team, who earned Spectrum's first team award of the 2017-2018 season with a 5th place finish at the New Hampshire Judges Cup!
The Judges Cup is a fundraiser for the judges of New Hampshire, the proceeds of which go directly to judges' education and materials. Gymnastics at Brentwood Commons hosted the event.
It was a great first meet for many of our gymnasts who are competing at new levels this season!
Ava H. (level 6) - beam
Elizabeth (level 4) - bars
Emelyn (level 4) - vault, bars, floor, all-around
Amanda (level 6) - 2nd vault
Elizabeth - 2nd beam, 2nd AA
Emelyn - 2nd beam
Eres (level 4)- 3rd bars
Jordan (level 4) - 2nd vault
Lilly H. (level 7) - 2nd floor
Lola (level 4) - 2nd bars, 3rd AA
Vanessa (level 7) - 3rd vault
Amanda - 9.025 vault
Amelie (Level 3) - 9.1 vault
Ava H. - 9.325 beam
Elizabeth - 9.1 bars
Emelyn - 9.5 bars, 9.1 floor
Lilly H. - 9.125 floor
Sophie (level 8) - 9.1 floor
You know you love me
This will be my final blog entry.
I never thought I would have to write something like this.
This is the first time I will be moving and it’s not my choice. When I graduated from high school, I was excited to leave my hometown and experience life somewhere else. Granted, that life was only 2 hours away in Providence, Rhode Island, but still, I loved experiencing a big, bustling city, rife with colleges and universities and all the culture that accompanies them. When I graduated from college, though I was grateful for my four years in Providence (the city that will always hold a special place in my heart), I was ready to return home to New Hampshire. I was even ready to retire from gymnastics, after 16 years in the sport. Gymnastics had been everything to me. My life had, quite literally, revolved around it (spoiler alert: it still does). But at 22 years old, having achieved everything I wanted in the sport, I knew it was time. And while I can remember getting home late at night from my last ever collegiate meet, sitting on my bed in the darkness, and shedding a few bittersweet tears because it was over, I had chosen to accept that I had reached the end, and I was ready to move on.
This time, I’m not ready. This is not my choice. But it’s something I have to do and a lesson I have to learn.
I tried to pretend like it wasn’t real. I thought if I pushed it down far enough, willed it with all my might, it would go away, and for the past 5 months, I’ve been enabled by a sense of normalcy. When I found out I had to move, life still carried on. I went to the gym every day. I went to meets. My gymnasts had no idea. Life still felt “normal”. On the outside anyway.
Then I told all my kids, and while it broke my heart to break theirs, I felt relieved to get out in the open a secret that had been poisoning me from the inside for two months. I was afraid they would be angry at me. I was afraid they would say, “how could you?” I was afraid they would feel like I was abandoning them. I underestimated their capacity for understanding, because they did none of those things. They were upset, but supportive, and inquisitive. Kids are great like that. I talked about it openly and honestly, but things still felt “normal.”
When my husband had to report for duty in June, and we moved out of our apartment, one pillar of the life I had known for 5 years crumbled. I moved in with my amazing, loving, kind, grandmother and soon settled into the “new normal.” I still went to work every day and despite being without Ryan for the summer and adding 10 minutes onto my daily commute, part of me could still pretend that I wasn’t leaving. The sense of normalcy continued. It was summer at the gym, as usual.
I can’t pretend anymore. I can’t prolong the inevitable. How can I express what the last five years have meant to me? There are not enough words in the English language that could ever do justice to the love and gratitude I have in my heart, but I’m willing to try.
I graduated from college with a degree in English. Most people ask me if I want to be an English teacher. I don’t, really. To be quite honest, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, so I picked a major I was good at and that I enjoyed. After leading the crusade to save my college gymnastics team from elimination (and winning), I had a taste of fighting injustices, righting wrongs, and giving voices to the voiceless, and I thought I might like to be a lawyer, like Elle Woods from Legally Blonde. I took one law class as a senior and decided law school wasn’t worth the price. Alas, I was not meant to be the next Elle Woods. There was one thing I was sure of, and had been sure of most of my life. I loved gymnastics. And so I found myself at Spectrum Gymnastics Academy looking for a job.
If I’m going to be truthful here and bare my soul, I had no idea I would love coaching as much as I do. I knew I wasn’t ready to completely walk away from what I loved, but I didn’t realize that I would find a deeper, different, even more profound appreciation for the sport than what I had as a gymnast.
As a gymnastics coach, I know that my job extended much further than teaching kids how to do flips. I know that coaches play a tremendous role in the lives of kids and help shape them into the people they will grow to be. I have been a psychologist, a nurse, a “big sister” figure, a role model, someone to vent to, a shoulder to cry on, the voice of reason, and even an emotional punching bag. I have tried to be a positive role model. I have tried to teach them lessons that will extend far beyond when they are physically capable of doing back flips (and some lessons are harder than others). I have tried to teach them how to be strong, capable, confident women. I have tried to encourage who they are as human beings. I have tried to apply the lessons and values of gymnastics to real life. I know that I, as a coach in such an emotional sport, have a major effect on their lives. My only goal is that it was a positive one.
I know for sure that they have had a positive effect on me. They have enriched my life more than they could ever know, and I am grateful to have created so many strong bonds.
I think I have many thank yous in order.
First, to the parents. You have trusted your precious babies, heart and mind, body and soul, with me. You have lent your support, love, and gratitude. You have allowed me to be an extended part of your families. Thank you for believing in me and for believing in us.
Second, to the co-workers who are more like family. I am so grateful to work with so many genuine, hardworking people with huge hearts and tremendous passion for gymnastics; people who give their all every day and take pride in what they do; people who would do anything for the gym. We are all very different but somehow our differences collectively make up a well-balanced, well-oiled machine. It is so rare to have a group of people who work so cohesively together, but I truly believe that we have been an amazing team.
I see you more than I see my own family. I see you more than I have seen my own husband. You have loved and accepted me for who I am, neuroses, idiosyncrasies, and all. You have seen me at my best and at some of my worst. I have never met a group of people who have my back the way you do. You truly are like family to me. I am so proud of what we have been able to accomplish together, and proud to be able to call you my friends. Your friendship and companionship has made the last five years of my life joyful, and the memories we made together, both in and out of the gym, are some that I will cherish forever. You are my people. I so hope that our paths will all cross again someday. I love you all more than you could ever believe, and I don’t know what I’m going to do without you. I fear I will never again find friends like you.
Third, to my gymnasts. I want you to know that I’m not a public crier. The only times you saw me cry was because I was laughing so hard at something funny you said or did, until recently. I don’t typically cry in front of people. I prefer to cry in solitude, in the comfort of my own car on my lengthy commutes to and from the gym, or in my own room where no one can see me. Know that I have cried at least once a week, as often as once (or more) a day, since the day I found out I would have to leave you, and I will continue to do so for a long time. There are few moments in the 27 years of my life where I felt such profound heartbreak as that which I feel to leave Spectrum.
Many of you have already reached out to me in your own special way, and described, in your own words, what I have meant to you as a coach, but I believe it is I who is the lucky one. You have given my life purpose and meaning. You have allowed me to be an integral part of your lives when it is most important. You have helped me realize more about myself than I had ever thought. In the five years I have been at the gym, I have had the pleasure and good fortune of watching you grow taller than me, see some of you get your driver’s licenses, even graduate from high school. Most of all, I have watched you find yourselves and seen you grow and mature into smart, poised, confident young ladies. I have seen your struggles, your tears, your fears, and your frustrations, but I have also seen you fight to overcome those struggles, wipe away the tears, conquer your fears, and push through your frustrations to achieve your goals. I’m telling you, there is no more satisfying feeling as a coach than to see an athlete accomplish something they have been working for. I have experienced many of those moments over the years. I am so proud of what we were able to accomplish together.
Know that even though I may not be in the gym physically, you will probably still feel my presence there (and don’t think anything will go on in that gym without me knowing about it!). When you are scared, I will be there. When you are frustrated, I will be there. When you shine, I will be there. Think of me (what would Sarah do?), and I will be there. I will be your #1 fan and your biggest cheerleader. No matter what, I will be there for you. Remember that. You may not be able to conjure me up with a belch and three clicks of red high heels, but good news, I have a cell phone and they have the internet in New Jersey.
If there’s anything I can leave you all with, it’s the following advice:
And now, this is where I leave you. Are you crying yet?
One of the most primal quests of human existence is to feel loved and accepted. I have found that at Spectrum.
Thank you for everything. I love you.
Peace, love, and gymnastics, now, and always,
2017 was the year we resurrected a vintage Spectrum tradition... the Expo! For the past several years, we have been doing All-Star Week, a week of end-of-year gymnastics shows that we did Monday-Saturday in the gym. While All-Star week certainly has its benefits, we decided, given the growth of our programs, to try to bring back the Expo this year.
It started Friday night when staff, husbands, and parent volunteers helped load equipment from Spectrum into a Uhaul, meanwhile, the LHS gymnastics team was setting up their equipment (their vault table, uneven bar set, high beam, and floor mat) at the LHS gym. It took two Uhaul trips (making Sean more determined than ever to fit everything in the Uhaul in ONE trip going back) to get everything we needed from Spectrum brought over to LHS. From there, we took a giant heap of mats and turned it into the set-up for a day of shows. We had everything from the four major events (vault, bars, beam, and floor) to ninja mats to an air track to a bouncy house!
Saturday started bright and early at 8:00am to put the finishing touches on the setup, brief our team volunteers, and to do a dress rehearsal for the team dance. We had members of our competitive team as line/group leaders and event assistants. We even had a few alumni come back and help out too!
We busted out two preschool shows, two recreational shows, and one hot-shot and preteam show, all with totally PACKED bleachers! Each show opened with our team dance/gymnastics demonstration that generated many oohs and aahs, followed by ten 5 minute rotations of gymnastics and bouncy house, as well as a rotation specifically for picture taking with the podium and for a water break!
Around 6:00 when the final show was completed, it was time to break down all the equipment, pack it up, and bring it back. THIS time, Sean fit everything into the Uhaul on ONE try. Our volunteers helped us put it away back at the gym and around 7:30 (11.5 hours after our day began), we were finally done!
It took A LOT of work planning and organizing in the past couple months, and A LOT of physical work put in from Friday night-Saturday night but it was TOTALLY worth it. We got a lot of awesome feedback on the Expo and everyone seemed to really enjoy it. We could not have made any of this possible without the help of: our hard-working, gymnastics-loving staff, our amazing competitive team members who devoted their entire day to performing and helping, our incredible parent volunteers who devoted their time and muscles to help us move, the LHS athletic department for use of the facility, and of course, all the members of our Spectrum family who share their babies with us!
Thank you for another amazing year. Make sure you come see us this summer for our fun and unique summer camps!
Peace, love, and gymnastics,
Spectrum Gymnastics Academy
26 Buttrick Rd
It's official! With the conclusion of the Xcel State Championships this weekend, Spectrum's competitive season is officially over. It was quite a long weekend, with 10 sessions in total! The Xcel program is huge in New Hampshire and in our region (USA Gymnastics Region 6 has more xcel athletes than any other region). To put things in perspective, the bronze and silver levels EACH had over 200 competitors this weekend. Xcel can be quite competitive, but we are so proud of how our Spectrum gymnasts achieved numerous personal successes and improved throughout the season! We had several top 5 finishes, our Xcel Gold team took 5th place in the small team division, and our three amazing graduating seniors competed for the final time in a Spectrum leotard in what was a bittersweet, emotional competition for them. One of our seniors, Lindsey, won the USAG New Hampshire Xcel scholarship to use next year when she attends DARTMOUTH! (senior post coming up in a couple weeks). Finally, one of our bronzes, Alicia, not only won the all-around in her age division, she had the HIGHEST all-around score out of every. single. bronze! Here are the full results:
Heather - 11th AA
Kat - 6th bars, 7th AA
Lindsey - 5th bars, 9th AA
Teghan - 10th AA
Aisling - 2nd vault, 5th bars, 8th AA
Annie - 6th bars, 10th AA
Gold - 5th place team
April - 4th beam, 10th AA
Heather - 4th vault, 9th beam, 4th floor, 5th AA
Nicole - 4th bars, 5th floor, 7th AA
Quinn - 6th vault, 8th bars, 8th floor, 8th AA
Tyla - 6th vault, 7th AA
Abby - 13th AA
Addison - 3rd vault, 8th beam, 3rd floor, 9th AA
Anna - 4th vault, 6th bars, 7th floor, 7th AA
Ava A. - 4th floor, 12th AA
Elise - 7th beam, 5th floor, 9th AA
Jess - 16th AA
Katie - 5th floor, 12th AA
Keira - 14th AA
Kiara - 9th vault, 10th AA
Leah B. - 2nd bars, 7th AA
Leah J. - 11th AA
Lola - 4th vault, 9th beam, 5th floor, 7th AA
Sammie - 14th AA
Alicia - 1st vault, 4th bars, 2nd beam, 2nd floor, 1st AA
Anna - 8th beam, 12th AA
Ava R. - 15th AA
Braelyn - 13th AA
Cassidy - 20th AA
Dani - 10th AA
Ellie - 8th vault, 3rd bars, 8th floor, 6th AA
Gwen - 19th AA
Hailey - 6th vault, 5th bars, 8th AA
Heidi - 6th vault, 4th bars, 7th AA
Isabella - 9th vault, 17th AA
Jill - 14th AA
Laina - 8th vault, 14th AA
Lauren - 10th floor, 13th AA
Lexi - 15th AA
Lily - 13th AA
Makenzie - 20th AA
Myah - 5th beam, 2nd floor, 11th AA
Congratulations on a great season, girls! we're so proud of you!
Peace, love, and gymnastics,
Spectrum Gymnastics Academy
26 Buttrick Rd
Coach Sarah ran this blog from 2012-2017. Sarah is a former Rhode Island College gymnast, NCGA National qualifier, All-American, current gymnastics coach and judge, and contributor for the gymnastics news source, The Gymternet. Find out what's going on at Spectrum and learn more about the incredible sport of gymnastics!
Serving the Local Community for over 35 years
26 Buttrick Rd
Londonderry, NH 03053