Today my Gymnastics Queen competed in the New York State Championships. It was rather exciting.
It was also rather far. And expensive.
The ride to the meet was three and a half hours, of which I rode in the third row of a small SUV. I had to hitch a ride with teammates who were kind enough to drive me and my daughter. We met Hubby there, since he was driving to the meet from work.
I will admit I was like a kid on Christmas morning on the drive home. The front seat was heavenly.
Along with the expense of the entrance fee, we were forced to stay in a hotel because my daughter's start time was 8am. Thank heavens for help from friends and family, because planning an overnight with one child meant three other children needed supervision.
I had to figure out bus stops, school dances and sleepovers. I even tossed in a W-2 drop off from a coworker for sh*ts and giggles. Thank you to the small village that helps raise my munchkins.
While at the Hilton in the middle of nowhere, my daughter and one of her gymnastics buddies lived it up. They ate at the Olive Garden (holy breadsticks!), did crafts in the hotel room and practiced gymnastics in the hallway.
It was a mini-vacation with gymnastics splashed in. Hubby drank beer in the room and I treated myself to the free cookies in the lobby.
The night was grand and the Hilton pillows were delightful.
This morning at the meet, there was very tough competition. We saw scores we've never seen, and we were prepared for a shutout. We even bought a small pillow pet in the lobby of the host gym to take the edge off in case our girl didn't place.
Gymnastics is no easy sport, and the parents are serious business. Everyone puts in crazy amounts of time in the car and at the gym; spending money on fees, training and leather gymnastics shoes. The girls train hard and the mental aspect is grueling.
One pointed toe can cost you the gold. And it burns every time.
Today, our girl put up her best uneven bar routine ever. She couldn't have picked a better place to perform it. I couldn't believe my eyeballs when they flashed her score. I did the whoop whoop dance right there in my chair. There was only one rotation left, and she had the highest uneven bars score of the meet thus far.
But like all things, stardom doesn't last. We just finished celebrating her 9.425 when a girl in the last bars rotation put up a 9.45.
Gymnastics teaches us more about life every year we compete. Striving to be the best can be a slippery slope. There will always be someone who will come up behind you and do better.
Striving to do your best is where it's at. Because no one can take that hard work away from you. No one.
Congrats to my girl, it was an amazing routine. Best ever. And now you have a silver medal, the label of State Champion, and a new pillow pet to rest your head on every night.
Not too shabby, not too shabby at all.