You are counting down the hours.
- In one hour your daughter who just finished her sophomore year in college will be off work for the week.
- In two hours she will be at the airport ready to board the plane home for a long five day weekend.
- In seven hours you will be picking her up at the airport!
You never would have imagined that nearly 17 years ago when your oldest daughter started her first Mommy and Me gymnastics class that this sport would lead her to a college education and sport more than 12 hours from home. And while you miss her terribly, you can honestly say that the gymnastics classes and all of the gymnastics events have been fun. Exhausting, but fun. As a Division III athlete competing and working out hours from her first small recreational gym, it is easy to say that gymnastics has defined your daughter’s life. You are also, however, quick to point out that it led her to an excellent small liberal arts college that she loves, as well as an academic scholarship that covers her tuition, room, and board. And, unlike any college years that you or your husband had, your daughter has had the opportunity to travel to both coasts, as well as the state of Alaska for college gymnastics competitions.
In fact, if you had to do it over again, both you and your husband admit that in spite of the costs and time commitment, you would wish for this all over again. It is difficult to imagine, in fact, that the once three-year-old gymnast is now entering her last two years of formal gymnastics training and competing.
Although not all young gymnasts stick with the sport all of the way through college, the majority of them learn life lessons and gain strength and skills that make them successful in many other sports and activities. Consider some of these facts and figures about the numbers of athletes who participate in gymnastics across the country:
- Gymnastics as a sport has been around for 2,000 years.
- 4.97 million was the number of participants, ages six years and up, in gymnastics during the year 2013.
- Children between the ages of two and five should practice motor skills such as tumbling, running, catching, and throwing, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.