I found out I am going to Level 3 Provincials for gymnastics. More training! More competitions! And new friends!
As was the case last year, the waiting to find out where Emelia has placed for her next year of Gymnastics training is always a lot longer than we (or Emelia) impatiently want. Forget the fact that their is a Provincial Finals going on that the Provincial girls at Gymworld are competing in or that there is a whole gym full of girls, parents and coaches wanting the exact same information we do.
As Danielle and I have talked at length about we’re torn between wanting her to move up a level to 4 because that’s what she wants and because we’ve seen all the amazing work she has done this year. But, then coming from my background in hockey, I also know the value in putting someone in the right place to be able to really flourish. Emelia spent the first month of Level 3 Prep feeling like it was a mistake to move her up and that she wasn’t capable. She came home in tears a few times and even mentioned want to quit.
Obviously, she eventually found a sweet spot and blew us away with her drive and development. The reality is the more I thought about it, I want her to be in 3 as much as she will see that immediately as a setback, she’ll come to learn the value when she is competing in skills she is comfortable and really able to push the envelope in tightening up her performances and give herself the chance to put hardware around her neck on the podium. She will get more hours of practice, and twice the amount of competitions. And if she does well enough, she will get her chance to compete against the best in the province! And her dose of perspective is that the girl she was up against and swept in London, that knocked her off the podium finished 2nd overall in the province!
Obviously the discussion every single morning when Emelia would wake is, “Did you get the email, Mummy?” and for too many in a row the answer was not to Emelia (or to our liking). The problem was after Emelia’s dance recital weekend last week and seeing how much Emelia just adored dance too, we had decided we might see what we could do to make both work. But, one of the things that we needed for it all work was the early signup bonus for Dance London which expired on May 31st. As we got closer and closer to the date, we worried that we were going to miss the window on making both work.
By the 31st still having not heard Danielle finally had to break the silence with Gymworld and ask when we might find out as we were trying to coordinate between Gymnastics and Dance and waiting to hear about Gymnastics was preventing us from organizing our life. Thankfully that prompted and end to the suspense — Emelia was moving up to Level 3 Provincials! As much as she wasn’t happy immediately she has since a lot more open to it.
I told her it’s okay to be upset that you didn’t get to move onto where you felt you were capable of, but she has a season where she can prove to them that she should have as well as the opportunity to be at the top of the podium like she wished to be this year. And if she does things well enough, maybe even leapfrog a couple levels next year.
And she seems bent and determined on that tract for the next year. And she’s delighted that some of her friends moved along with her, and other new ones will be joining her. I’ve challenged her to really think about being a leader on her team and bring along the younger girls as her friend Mackenzie the eldest on her team did with her this year. I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity she has this year! And that we just might still be able to make dance work for her too!
This week has been a ball off emotions for Emelia. We started Monday with Emelia’s final dance recital of the season. We had said all year that we would only be able to to pull off dance for one season but seeing her develop not only athletically and enhancing her gymnastics training we also saw a huge emotional development in her through dance. She gained even more confidence, moved even further out of her comfort-zone and each year we see more and more the young woman she will become. Confident, determined and hard working.
With dance season done Emelia instantly refocused her daily questions to her gymnastics placement for next season. The tryouts by this time were over 6 weeks ago and the email was to come by the end of May at the latest according to the communication from the gym owner. The end of the month was quickly approaching and this was making Emelia (and her parents) more and more impatient. Add into the fact that we have to now co-ordinate her dance training around gymnastics.
I know how insanely busy a business owner is and I felt guilty asking but I finally had to ask as the month was coming to the end when we would be able to find out so we could co-ordinate dance before the enrolment deadline. Thankfully the email was answered within 12 hours of my request and we had our answer. Level 3 Provincials. Although this is a leap up as she is now in more competitions and will have an opportunity to be ranked provincially this was not the answer she was expecting or hoping for. She was told for a while that she was ready for the next level but in the end the gym owner makes the final decision and with her extensive experience we are trusting the long term process.
We have had a few chats over this week with various coaches and have a fuller idea of the intention for Emelia’s development. The hope is that with the progress she has made this year along with her strength they hope this will be a huge confidence building year that will have Emelia dominating at competitions and being the kid to beat. And if she keeps working at the pace she does and continues to do that there is a good chance she can leap levels in the following season. Emelia at first was so upset but has now really embraced the role she is going to have, she is determined to take a leadership role on the team, take the extra training hours to get even stronger and to learn more advanced skills while cleaning up her form and dedications for her upcoming competitions. We are so proud of how she has handled all of this and the excitement she is taking forward.
Once the emotions of the week were behind us we refocused on how to make the weekend lots of fun in spite of John having to work all weekend. Saturday we were invited to our good friends place near Lake Huron. Our neighbours have an amazing lake house near the lake and we just love going out there. All the stresses of the city drain away as soon as you sit down. Their 4 little ones and Emelia played and had a blast all afternoon and into the evening. The kids made their way from the pool, to the trampoline, back to the pool, back to the trampoline and finally we ended our evening after an amazing dinner with a walk on the beach and play in Lake Huron. All in all it could not have been more perfect, well more perfect would have John but you know – work.
Today was another fun filled and packed day. Today we started out with our normal gymnastics training. Now normally I do not stay the entire 3.5 hours of training but with all the announcements of team changes for next year the parents who have all become good friends are now realizing that not only are the kids changing teams it means that the parents wont see each other once the training season changes for next year. Emelia’s gymnastics bestie aren’t on the same team (they weren’t this year either) but next season they are on opposite days for training. This means the parents will see each other in passing and that is about it.
With that when the invitation came for Emelia and Olivia to spend the afternoon together the moms jumped at the chance to spend the afternoon together as well. We spent the afternoon chatting and planning our upcoming camping trips and just reminiscing over the last three years of friendship that has resulted from the girls being in competitive gymnastics together.
Needless to say this week has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, but as reality sinks in so does excitement for Emelia. She keeps learning each day more people who are on her team next season and she is so excited, although at the same time really sad that this season is coming to a close and having to say good-bye to some of her close friends she has made this year.