when gymnastics tells you, "no" 01/13/2013
(If the kids are watching this video, there is a swear just after 1:45, so stop the video :)
The first 1:45 of the above clip is perhaps one of my favorite monologues of all time. I am a huge fan of Stick It (2006) and its relevance to gymnasts and the sport as a whole (warning: some language involved in the above clip, use discretion!).
Gymnastics tells you, "NO". The sport itself challenges the laws of physics and the depths of human endurance. Gymnastics is a sport that not only requires the entire human body to work in perfect unison, but it is unique in that it also requires an enormous amount of mental toughness. Few sports can compare in the amount of fear conquering that gymnastics requires. As my athletic trainer at college used to say to me, "You have to be just a little bit crazy to be a gymnast."
Often, gymnastics tells gymnasts "NO" in the form of fears and mental blocks, which can psychologically cripple a gymnast and in the most severe of circumstances, be career ending. An in-depth analysis of mental blocks deserves a blog post of its own on a different day, however, it is important to always remind yourself that when gymnastics tells you "no," you have to tell it "YES."
As Hayley states in the clip, gymnastics is all about falling. A gymnast will fall countless times, even in one practice. These falls are part of the learning process, and are often harmless, sometimes even funny. There are those rare occasions where a fall can result in an injury, or worse, can scare the gymnast and result in a fear of attempting the skill again. Broken bones and sprains can heal much more easily than a bruised ego and a complete shattering of confidence. One of the most important things I have learned from gymnastics is that when you fall (which happens often), you must always, always get back up.
I will leave you with a quote from one of the greatest gymnasts of all time:
“I don't run away from a challenge because I am afraid. Instead, I run towards it because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your feet.”
- Nadia Comaneci
Peace, love, and gymnastics,
Spectrum Gymnastics Academy
26 Buttrick Rd
About the Author
Coach 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!