I love the Olympics… specifically the Women’s Gymnastics. I remember my parents enrolling me in gymnastics back in grade school, and I was hooked. I flew threw the apparatuses, and different levels faster than I thought I would. I remember pushing myself, trying out new routines on my mother’s clothesline holder outside… nearly scaring her to death. Everything was a tumbling mat, vault, balance beam or bar… I was obsessed. The Olympics came around, and I was glued to the screen. I cheered for Dominique Dawes, Shannon Miller and Kerry Strugg… jumped up and down and screamed when Shannon took Silver in the all around… and then it came time for my own meet. I think I was more excited than nervous at that time… now I’m scared to death every time I get up in front of anyone to do anything (hence why I stay behind the camera!). I remember the competition, wanting to be perfect… and beating myself up for the 5 (yes, 5) times I fell off the balance beam during my routine. I lost all-around by .10 of a point… .10. That’s 1 deduction. If I had just gripped my toes harder, not moved my arms so much… not let my nerves get the best of me on that beam… I could have had it. I could have made show team.
I cried for Jordyn on Sunday… She’s my favorite in this Olympics. I watched her at Worlds… and my mouth just kept falling open at how amazing she is. Missing out on the all around competition by .233. My heart broke. I remember those tears, I remember being in disbelief and so shocked in the moment that all you can do is cry. Now, my stage wasn’t nearly as important or iconic as hers, nor did I have every photographer craning their necks for a shot of my heart-brokenness. I can’t imagine the poise or dignity that it took to compose herself for that interview… or what it took in character for her to overhear Gabby and Aly’s interview’s and not go ballistic.
I found that a lot of what this life is about is not the decisions you make when you’re happy… it’s what you do when you’re devastated, when your dreams have been crushed and you’re not where you thought you should be at this point in your life. What comes out of your mouth? How do you treat the people around you? Do you make the choice to still be the same person despite the circumstances? We can all point out the injustice in our circumstances, how we are the victim and it’s not fair… but it doesn’t change anything. What needs to change is our perspective and our heart. Choosing to press through, accept the difficulty and learn from it.
I loved Jordyn’s interview afterwards, “”It was hard watching Aly on floor because of course I wanted that spot, but I also wanted Aly to do her best for the team.” At 17 years old I can’t say that I would have said those words, or have had the composure to stay long enough for an interview without storming off. Or blaming the Olympic Committee because they decided to change the rules, and it’s “not fair.” But as the reigning world champion she understands what teamwork is all about, and despite not making all-around… I’d say she still has all-around character. And, at least in my book, that is better than any gold medal.
Make sure you watch and cheer on the Women during the Finals tonight (or at 11:30am live online)… I know I will be!