I am really nervous about my competition this weekend!
Well, for Danielle & I this is the week we’ve been kind of dreading for some time. This weekend is the first of Emelia’s last two Gymnastics competitions ever. Nine months of training this season has come down to this month and two competitions, three weeks apart. This one this weekend in Whitby and then, in two weeks her final competition, at home, here in London at Forest City Gymnastics. As much as we’re excited for her to move on to another sport that reignites the passion she had with Gymnastics, but also gives her something new and fresh, we’re also a little sad to wave goodbye to Gymnastics and all that she got from that sport.
This week I got to take Emelia to dance class and see her in both Acro and Ballet. I have seen bits and pieces of her Ballet class this year, but haven’t really had the chance to see her Acro class at all this year so that was nice. Because of her skill and confidence from Gymnastics she’s probably a level below where her skills are, but this was the class that would work with our schedule. And her teacher Lisa, adores her which is so great to see. But also nice to see the two girls that she’s made friends with that so obviously are impressed by Emelia’s ability. Unfortunately only one of those two girls is in her Ballet class which has a large, noticeable clique of girls that make Emelia and a few other girls feel like outsiders.
She hasn’t enjoyed Ballet this year because of that and it often ends with her coming home upset. It’s tough for us to watch because she is the one insistent on going every week, but all she seems to focus on his this clique and not the actual Ballet dancing which she was so excited to take further this year. I am amazed at how much she has picked up this year and how the form she’s gained from Gymnastics naturally folds into this. At the start of the year it was obvious she hadn’t done as much Ballet as the other girls, but now it looks like she’s been doing it just as long as any of the other girls. She’s got grace, poise and intense focus—sometimes to the detriment of looking like she is having any fun at all. It will be interesting when Dance London moves to their new studio that will be a lot further from us, if she still wants to do dance next year. I guess we’ll see.
With our week locked up at Arrowhead Provincial Park in July, the focus has turned to our week in August. We’ve all but got the week locked down that we’re going, now it’s just down to whether we can actually get a site at Bon Echo. Last summer we got shut out and it was a huge dent in out summer as we all missed getting back to a place that is so much a part of our camping identity. This August has been the toughest we’ve ever had to plan. Emelia has a week at sleep-away camp with her friends again, as well as a mandatory Cheer Camp which basically takes away the first two and a half weeks of the month. We were really painted into a corner of only one week that would be possible to get to Bon Echo. It is a week later than we normally look for so we are hoping that it might be easier to lock down. If you do anything for us this year fellow followers of TeeterPod3, please cross your fingers for us, if you can.
This week things have shifted full gear into competition prep mode. What does this mean? It means that Emelia who is a perfectionist starts stressing about all that she needs to be just right leading into competition. Add in back and knee pain it has been an emotional roller coaster around here. We have done everything we can to build her confidence and rest and recoup her body to prepare for next weekend. It has been challenging at times helping her balance the drive to achieve her goal when her brain keeps going to the worst case scenario. Yesterday she was a ball of emotions as she had convinced herself that everything next weekend was going to go horribly wrong. Her coach has been a real grounding force for her but with inconsistent coaching and different coaches each and every practice it has been very hard on Emelia and her teammates.
To help with the nerves and healthy prep for competition we spent part of this week getting her into her physiotherapist to help with this knee and back pain she has been battling this season. The pain is already hard to see but the struggles we see Emelia face because of the pain is almost as hard as knowing she is in physical pain. Injuries have had in impact mentally on her as well, her confidence has been rattled because skills she has had easily and clean are hard to do perfectly. And with gymnastics a sport of deductions on form this is area for struggle. Emelia has been assured by us and her coaches she is ready, her form is strong and she will do well next weekend but Emelia has convinced her brain otherwise. Oh the struggle for a perfectionist athlete who battles anxiety.
This week we are focusing on resting Emelia as much as possible, modifying her practices as needed, limiting activity to rest her knees as much as possible. Hoping this is enough to help her achieve her goals, something she and her teammates have worked hard for over the last 9 months of the season and 4 years since she made the competitive team. All we want for Emelia is that she ends her gymnastics career proud of all she has accomplished. She set a goal off making level 6 and did that. Now to go out with some great competition results so she has some bling for all the dedicated training this year.
Only time will tell!