I got my long hang kip this week! I am so close to getting the standard kip.
What a great week! I had a couple of close shifts to start the week that allowed me to be around in the morning to see Emelia off to school with Danielle and then to spend a bit of the morning with Danielle and the daycare kids. As much as it’s a lot of noise and corralling kids, it’s really great to be able to have that time to spend with Danielle too. Then, Wednesday and Thursday I was off work so I got to have even more of that time as well as getting back to the gym. And it was the first back-to-back days off together that I had since having the first weekend of the month off.
With Emelia’s first competition coming up in four weeks, the focus around this house has been mostly on preparing. Last week we talked about the Mock Competition and how well Emelia did. But this week focus shifted to cleaning up with laser focus on the things where deductions come from. And Emelia has really stepped it up and dialed it in. She had her usual practices on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, but also much of the time every other day of the week was really all things gymnastics.
Friday, I was back at work for a closing shift and around the time that Emelia was in her practice a text popped up on my watch from Danielle which said “Emelia got her kip!!!!“. Emelia has been working so hard at this and it is the one thing she has to yet to nail to move on to Level 4. No one on her team has yet to get it, but Friday night Emelia got that much closer doing it in the first way they learn how in what is called a long hang kip. And in typical Emelia fashion, she wasn’t as excited about it as were Danielle and I. But, being the perfectionist she is, she won’t be happy until she gets it consistently.
Saturday I had an open shift at the store which allowed us time to take Emelia over to Mom & Dad’s after work for a sleepover so that Danielle & I could have a grownup evening at a house concert hosted by our friend Tim with a band Woodpigeon who I have loved for a while and seen a few times. Tim has hosted quite a few house concerts and as much as we love any opportunity to see good music, the best part is we get to visit with Tim in his house as well as visiting with friends that we’ve also met because of a shared love of music. Tim has a beautiful house, and the music really made the night more special. But it was also just nice to be out with Danielle, and as Danielle said, having adult conversations. And our one friend Dean brought the most amazing smoked bacon wrapped stuffed jalapeños that I ate way too many of.
Today, being that I was off, and Emelia requested, Danielle & I went and watched all of Emelia’s gymnastics practice. As I said, they’re in competition prep mode so practices have gotten a lot more focused. But, I’d be lying if I said I was prepared to see Emelia as driven as she was at practice. We were a little concerned that she was going to be too tired to have a good practice with a couple of late nights followed by her usual early I can’t sleep in mornings. What we saw however was her focus, drive and dedication to working today. She really worked hard at trying to get the standard kip and was very close to getting it but she never got frustrated and just kept going. And, she was listening to her coach Jenna’s instruction way more openly than we’ve ever seen.
The balance beam has always been her least favourite event and the one she tradtionally scores lower on. Last week in the Mock Competition she certainly has moved forward and fast on beam finishing first against her teammates. But this week, as we watched her work on her routine with repetition and a drive that blew me away—her performance this week was shockingly head and tails better than last week. She is certainly stepping it up, and elevating herself and making us so proud.
We’ve seen her go from thinking after her third week in Level 3 she wasn’t good enough to be on the team, to – all parental bias aside – someone who is performing at the top of her team. And it’s been all her and we’re so proud!
Around here it has been living and breathing gymnastics. The closer Emelia gets to the competition the more driven she is. I have to admit about a month or so ago I was concerned, I had no idea how she and the other girls were going to do come April. They will be in with some really tough competition against girls who get more training hours and more competitions. But the last few weeks the change and the fine tuning are all coming into this perfect storm.
A few weeks ago we had a firm chat with her about what she wanted for her training, what she wanted for next season. Once she really listened she has changed so much. She is driven, taking risks, taking Jenna’s instructions down to the finest details. Last week her mock meet gave her so much focus and drive. Even in a week her changes on the beam alone are incredible. And we were already really impressed how much she had improved. After her bad fall a few weeks ago she has been very tentative about the beam. It has never been her favourite element but today she was so focused, going back over and over and over again doing her routine. She paused and tweaked at every instruction from her coach. And the changes are incredible.
So a few weeks ago I thought it was going to be tough going for her and her team but things are all falling into place for the girls and all their hard work is falling into place. She does anything and everything to train even in her off hours, using even her dance classes to fine tune her gymnastics skills.
This week should prove to be another busy one, she has basketball 2 mornings this week, play practice 2 nights after school, tutoring, acro and gymnastics training. Thank goodness we are coming into an extra long weekend so we can have lots of time with friends and family and hopefully a bit of downtime. But lets be honest I don’t think our girl knows how to have downtime!