Gymnastics & Life Lessons
This was post was totally supposed to just be a silly recap of a gymnastics meet this weekend but then I started feeling all the feels and I just couldn’t dump a bunch of pictures without getting a bit sappy.
Here’s the thing: If I had signed up to compete in a gymnastics meet at age 20, I think my biggest concern would have been wearing a leotard. I probably would have spent the whole time worry about photo angles, if my stomach was sticking out, and if my hair looked right. But at the age of 27, I was mostly just proud that I could still pull off a couple of backhandsprings. It’s not that I’ve gotten better at gymnastics (clearly, I’m no expert) but my focus has shifted as I’ve gotten older. Maybe it’s maturity or maybe it’s just finally appreciating and embracing the support system I have but, I’ve started appreciating fitness for what it is: fitness.
I also think there is tremendous value in having a fitness goal that isn’t “fit into a size…” or “look good in a swimsuit” because that truly doesn’t matter. If you set a goal of being healthier, getting stronger, or learning something new, you’ll get so much more satisfaction in the end. (And hey, you might even fit into that dress you ambitiously bought.)
Sometimes I’m amazed at how insecure I was in my early 20s. I think part of it comes with the territory. Aren’t we all a little awkward when we’re trying to figure out our place in the world? But I’ve learned not to take myself so seriously. If you’re not enjoying chasing your goals, what’s the point? (Hint: If your main goal is a number on the scale, you’ve got some re-prioritizing to do.) So maybe I’m silly about Fitbit goals and beam cartwheels but these are the very same goals that keep me healthy and make me feel better inside and out.
I feel so blessed for the support system I have. I’ve always had an amazing family and wonderful friends, but I think moving away really made me appreciate it even more. Friends that stay in touch despite distance and new friends that jump right into your life and support you like they’ve always known you- that’s not something to take for granted. Friends that will put on a leotard with you or a husband that will sit through a 3 hour gymnastics meet for roughly 10 minutes of actual excitement… that’s hard to come by.
Lastly, I’m grateful for the blog world! The internet is a weird place but I’m thankful that I’ve made some truly wonderful friends through it. Some of you, I’ve never met in person, and some of you ended up being my roommate. (Ok fine, that was just Lindsay.) The point is: if you throw your heart and soul into something, you’ll be amazed at what you get out of it.
Yay I think it is so awesome that you are doing gymnastics at 27! I’m 20 and my body is totally beat up. You look amazing and so strong, keep it up girl!
I love this post, Liz! I’ve never been able to do a cartwheel so all your fancy gymnast moves are super impressive to me!! <3
This. Is. Incredible. In so many ways. Your bravery for just competing (and rocking it, btw), and then to share the videos with us, and speak about your ambition and goals and doing what makes you happy…. you are such an inspiration! Being 26 and back into training for my dream, I am hugely touched. Thank you for sharing this!
YES, LIZ, YES! This is so freaking awesome, and YOU are so freaking awesome for appreciating fitness for how it makes you feel and what it teaches you. It is incredibly easy to fall into the trap of using fitness purely for aesthetics, so it happens often to many of us. So happy that you discovered why you really love fitness!
p.s. I am mega impressed by your gymnastics skills!
How awesome! I always loved watching gymnastics as a kid but could never do it! So impressed:)
You go girl! Honestly, I really want to get back into ballet or gymnastics as a fun form of exercise that is an alternative cross-training for running, but it seems so tough to find a place to do it as an adult. It’s funny, I would also feel so much less self conscious now at 24 in a leotard than I did for all the years I wore one for those things when I was a kid being serious about them. It’s amazing how priorities change and the veil of teenage insecurity lifts from you…
Thank goodness for growing up! I wish I could go back and tell 19 year old me to chill. 😉
LOVE THIS!!!!! You absolutely speak the truth, and what a beautiful way to learn that lesson of perspective. Also, way to rock your gymnastics meet! So fun!! I really wish I could find a place that did adult gymnastics here in Atlanta so that I could get back some of my childhood skills (or should I say skillZ)
I LOVE this!! As someone who grew up doing gymnastics and being on tumbling team, I am super impressed. If I tried to do back handsprings now I would probably injure myself 😉
Hahaha it’s kind of amazing how much your muscles remember!
Those videos are badass! You rock and your self confidence is beautiful 🙂
I feel the same about my post-pregnancy weight loss. I went through my closet yesterday and basically was left with 13 things that fit for work. I oddly felt at peace with it and it motivated me to get back to healthy place so I can feel good about myself and be a good Mom. It’s so not about the vanity aspect, but how I feel which is awesome.
I love this!!! That makes me so happy to hear! 🙂