This weekend, my daughter competed in a Unite for Her gymnastics meet. The Pink Invitational raises money and awareness for breast cancer research and education. The meet is in Philadelphia, and it is the biggest meets we compete in. Gymnasts come from different states, and there are several sessions. Thousands of gymnasts walk the streets of Philadelphia and its safe to say if you are near where you need to be you'll find the meet.
Follow the hot pink scrunchies and gymnastics bags.
This year, like last year, my daughter is in a tough age group. This is obviously going to follow her until she decides gymnastics isn't her cup of tea. These girls will grow and compete alongside her every season. My daughter's reality is that a score that could win the age group higher than hers probably will only get you 3rd or 4th in her age division. The upside is you learn to train harder and expect more of yourself, the downside is seeing teammates win more often than you see yourself win.
At the Pink Invitational, my daughter didn't have any stand out scores. She performed well on every event. Strong routines but not enough for the big numbers that are guaranteed to hit the podium. We went into awards expecting just about nothing.
And then she caught a 9th place on bars. Many meets will medal the top 50%, which is nice when girls come from all over and perform their little hearts out.
In the All Around, which is the most coveted award, a stand out score won't help if you tank another event. All Around medals are meant to award the girls who perform well on all four events, which is a difficult task. All Around placements are always last, and by now we were ready to hit the food market because we were starving.
We were gathering our bags, getting ready to run, when my daughter's name was called.
I about crapped my pants.
My daughter usually places in the AA at meets, but this was a BIG meet. The scores that won 1st, 2nd and 3rd places on each individual event were high. We were not expecting any type of placement, let alone the AA.
On our three hour trek home I realized that while everyone loves a standout score, a killer routine or an obvious win, there is something to be said for little achievements that add up to something big. I look at my daughter, who has always been a good competitor, and I feel this is her mantra. She very rarely tanks anything. She puts up good routines, and every so often she'll blow it out of the park. We haven't seen that yet this year, so she usually catches a placement in the top third. Which is good. It's solid.
But it isn't anything that screams achievement.
But on Friday, it was apparent that little achievements add up to big things. One person might be incredibly talented at something, so much so that their success is almost blinding.
But on something else, they are weak.
There is something to be said for working hard and looking at the bigger picture. One pound weight loss a week isn't much. But 52 pounds a year is. One clean closet one weekend might not make a big difference. But an organized house a month later feels pretty dang good.
I'm guilty of looking for the big win, the almighty #1. We all are. Especially with our kids.
But let's not overlook how amazing the All Around is. The kid who can perform in school, life and sports. I'm focusing on the whole package these days, because those little wins add to phenomenal things.