A tough first competition

I had my first competion this season and I was really disappointed with the results. But, I know I can do better.

He said

This week started particularly unfavourably with the ice storm last weekend which carried cold weather and winter into the week. For a family who has been chomping at the bit for warmer weather and spring, it sure was downer. It sure made the prospect of camping and the planning we want to do feel like it was light years away. But, by Friday though, the warm weather returned and so did our optimism.

This week was wholly focused on Emelia’s first competition of the season here in London this weekend. There was three, high-intensity practices this week leading up to make sure the girls were as ready as they could be and Emelia was definitely getting progressively more nervous and the weekend approached. To add to that she still had her jazz and acro dance classes this week that we’re getting the girls prepared for their year-end recital. By the end of the week there was a lot of nervous energy in the house.

To put my Gymnastics Dad mind at ease this week, I turned my focus back to the YouTube channel we want to make to document our summer camping travels. One thing we hadn’t yet sorted out was what we would name it. Danielle – rightly so – didn’t want our name to be in it so there went Teeter Trails. We knew we wanted something that encapsulated what we love about camping but that also tied in that we we’re Canadian. Out of the blue Thursday during the day the name Bonne Fires struck me. I asked Danielle and she was on board so I immediately started work on a logo. By the time Emelia was home from school I had her approval too. While it’s not grammatically correct—Bonne is French for “good”—it is a tongue in cheek nod to what we love most about camping: camp fires.

With that distraction out of the way, a domain name registered, the focus very quickly shifted back to gymnastics and the competition. I had booked the weekend off long ago so that I was able to see her compete no matter the schedule. With that in place Emelia wanted to make every bit of the weekend all about the competition. She wanted to cheer on all her teammates for as much of the weekend as possible. So, around her jazz dance practice and Dad’s 78th birthday, we spent as much time as we could at the competition cheering on her teammates.

Today was the competition… It was so great to have so many friends and family show up to cheer her on. We could tell she was a bit nervous though she wouldn’t let on to us. In the end she had 20 friends and family there to watch her. The competition was tough and so was the judging – Emelia’s group of 4 was at least 2 provincial level girls with at least 3 competitions already under their belts before Emelia’s first. She didn’t have the best performances we know she’s capable of and the scores reflected that. While she was a lot more consistent in her scores – only 2 one hundredths separated her lowest score to her highest – she ended up finishing 4th in each element and ended up with 4th overall.

It was not the result she was looking for and for certain there were tears and upset after the awards ceremony wrapped up, but now that she’s had time to take stock of the day she has a much better and more determined outlook. We had ordered a photo/video package from a professional photographer there, and it has provided already invaluable insight on her performances that we can now analyze and work on. It was certainly hard as her parent to see her go through this disappointment, but how she kept herself composed and how she battled through what she knew were not her greatest technical moments made me so proud. And that is all you can hope for in these moments of difficulty – is to walk away with some valuable learns.

In a month’s time we’re at her second competion in Mississauga on the May long weekend which will be the perfect opportunity for her to showcase what she has learned from this weekend. But even better is we will be camping that weekend too and it will be our first week out in Wolfie Too where we can start working on making some Bonne Fires video!

She said

This entire week for Emelia was about her weekend competition. She was intensely focused and determined. As the competition got closer the nerves were really kicking in for Emelia. She was so determined to do well and make everyone proud, especially herself. And the nerves were also there for her Mummy and her Daddy too!

Today she was in incredibly tough competition. This competition was a provincial qualifier and what that means is the girls that were competing today were already 3 competitions in, so they not only have more experience but they have those first competition gitters were long out. The judges were tough and with some minor mistakes that lead to bigger dedication the judges were being really tough and every deduction was marked. Emelia who certainly didn’t have her strongest bar or beam routine understands her marks but she is shocked and crushed at her vault score. The vault seemed clean but the scores didn’t reflect it. So we have a sad little girl who we hope takes these lessons and pushes to work on her routines so she can really advance in her next competition.

As a parent today was tough, all the work of the last 9 comes down to 90 minutes. One shot at showing the world and judges what she has worked so hard for. Today was not her day, as her mom and dad we wanted to just cuddle her until the hurt went away. I am hoping she takes today as a learning experience and becomes more determined to focus on her next challenge. The next competion is only a month away and tryouts for the team is in a week.

No matter the scores today we are beyond proud of her, our once shy girl stood on a floor on her own in front of judges, a huge crowd and gave it her all, that is all we can ever hope for her.

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