Being a competitive gymnast is no walk in the park. There are many ups and downs. There are skills that you master, skills you struggle with and skills that suddenly disappear. You train hard and often, and you get one opportunity every few weeks to put your best on the floor. There are no do-overs, no halftimes to get your head back in the game and no timeouts.
It's one and done.
Within reason, every gymnast can do all the skills required at every meet. Which means the gymnast who puts the best score up that day wins. That's it. Bad days mean a loss, and you have no teammate to blame but yourself.
It's tough business.
This weekend, my gymnast didn't put up the highest score. But she did put up two of her highest scores all season. One on floor, which was a wonderful surprise. The other was on beam, which we knew she had in her. We waited for that 9.025 all season. In this sport, improving and putting up a stronger routine than the meet before is a win. That's the meet you build on to put up a higher all around score at your next meet. It's a ladder, one that hopefully leads to bigger and better every meet. As a gymnast, that's all you can do, try to climb the ladder.
You climb. You rest. Sometimes you need a breather and sometimes you can keep climbing. You might stumble, and if you do, you get back in the gym and train harder.
The goal is bigger and better, not necessarily to constantly win. If you focus too much on winning, you miss out on celebrating the personal achievements. You also will never be at peace, because there is always someone better.
The big picture gets lost the need to be the best.
My baby girl put up some of HER best this weekend, and we left the meet very proud. We celebrated with breakfast at 10pm, courtesy of a 24 hour diner we scouted on our way to the meet.
Here's to personal achievements. May they never be clouded or overlooked because of a need to always be the best. It's a slippery slope.