Today we trekked out to Long Island for the USAG State Championships. For anyone who doesn't speak gymnastics, this meet was the creme de la creme. The best of the best. The cream of the crop.
The qualifying gymnasts from all surrounding gyms (we drove over two hours) compete to take home any State Title they can get their chalk covered hands on.
Our Gymnastics Queen scores well. She has her stronger events (uneven bars and beam) and her events that could use some tweaking (vault and floor). But she trains hard in every event. She doesn't miss practices, and she sacrifices playdates and birthday parties to be in the gym.
To compete in any sport, you have to love it. Gymnasts need to love it more than anything else, because there is no time for much else once you are competitive.
And so far, our little girl loves it.
After the first few scores were posted this afternoon, we knew this meet was no walk in the park. If you weren't scoring above 9.25 (out of 10) on any event you weren't going anywhere near that podium.
A 9.25 anywhere else might get you first. Today you were lucky if it got you 5th.
The last two events for our gymnast were her strongest, the bars and the beam. When I watch my daughter on beam, my stomach ties in knots and my palms sweat like I'm in the tropics. I think I hold my breath for the full 50 seconds she is on that beam.
This afternoon, her beam was close to flawless. She was steady, poised and strong. Her legs were straight and her scale was lovely. But just as she went to dismount, and I started to breathe again, something happened.
She missed it. Our girl blew the dismount.
She has never missed her dismount. Her side handstand dismount was one of her biggest accomplishments this season. And today at States, she missed it.
And I'm pretty sure, courtesy of me, there's an expletive on our home video.
What could have been a first or second place routine, at the biggest meet of the season, was just a routine. And I am grateful beyond words that our daughter wasn't crushed. Maybe because we don't stress about it, she doesn't stress about it.
We process the disappointment and move on. But I tell you, today it was a lot to process.
Being "the best" will always be temporary. There will always be someone to take your place. And even if she won a gold or silver medal today, the next meet is always right around the corner.
We're more focused on our Gymnastics Queen being successful. Success is measured by what you've earned over time.
Not what you've earned in one day.
Years of hard work is often measured in moments. And there will be times that hard work earns you moments of greatness.
And there will be times you're gonna miss that dismount.
But nothing will take away the fact that you did the work. Nothing.