I'll state this simply; gymnastics is hard. It's hard enough to be able to do it let alone be good at it. I wasn't the best, but I was pretty good. I’d been doing it for a few years so I was used to the routine; do 6 or 7 meets them go to state meet and then you're done with that season, and then you do it again. I hadn't known any different than that.
It was like any other state meet. To be honest, I was quite ready for the season to be done and I was prepared to have this be my last meet. I was ready to do average and then go home. All throughout this season, I haven’t done the best, and I was just ready to be done. I knew I wouldn’t do good at this one. Many of my coaches often tell me that they are surprised I haven’t quit gymnastics yet, since it is so hard on me. I have more injuries than I can count, but for some reason I’m still proceeding to do the sport.
For some background, in gymnastics you get scored based on how well you do. 0.000 is the worst score, and 10.000 is the best. I was pretty okay with anything above am 8.000. I rarely get anything above an 8.800, so anything above that is good. There are four events in gymnastics, so the highest amount of points you can get is 40.000. If you get a 35.000 or above, you get to go to regionals, which is a big competition that comes after states and before Nationals. Anyways, I was at states expecting to do an average job, then go home.
I was the first to compete vault. Vault was usually one of my good events, so I wasn’t too worried about it. I stepped onto the narrow blue carpet and waited for the judge at the table to signal for me to go. I ran as fast as my short legs could go, trying to ignore the pain in my hips as I ran. I landed and took a small hop since I had so much power. I got off the mat and met with my coach.
“That was awesome! That’ll be at least a 9!” My coach said excitedly.
“Thank you! I’m excited for bars!” I replied as a ran back to my backpack. I was happy with my vault. I anxiously awaited my score. My name popped up on the board; 8.950. That’s almost a 9! I saw my coach give me a thumbs up and a smile. I ran over to prepare for bars. This was my favorite event. I gave it my all, but when I landed I knew I had messed up. I bent my arms on a skill I was usually good at so I wasn’t expecting a good score. Probably an 8, I predicted. I glanced up at the scoreboard. It was a 9!! I jumped up and down happily. I had nearly 2 9’s already, I was doing great. I turned to see my coach jumping up and down too, which made me smile.
Beam was next. Beam is the most nerve wracking of all the events, as you are flipping on a four inch piece of wood four feet off the ground. I have never gotten above an 8.2 on this event all season, so my expectations were low. I got up and did my very best, and when I got finished I was very happy with myself. I had done my best routine all year. The scoreboard read a very high number: 9.050. I jumped for joy, this was amazing! Three 9’s! Together they added up to a 27.000. To make it to regionals, I would need to get an 8.000 on floor. Floor was one of my best events, so I knew this would be no problem. Then I realized, oh my gosh I’m going to regionals. WAIT. I can’t jinx myself. I don’t know for sure yet. My hips hurt really bad and my wrists are giving up on me, so this might not end well. This sport was killing me, slowly. So this floor routine could go either way.
“Alright, you need an 8. Do you think you can do that for me?” My coach asked.
“Yeah, of course. I won’t fall on anything, I promise.” I replied, trying to hide my nervousness. My heart is racing. It’s now or never. Go big or go home. I have to do this. I don’t care how much my hips or feet or whatever hurts, this is going to happen. I WILL go to regionals. I took a deep breath and stepped onto the blue carpet floor. I got into my starting position and listened floor my music to start. I glanced over at my coach. She nodded at me and smiled. She knew I could do it. When I finished my routine, I was exhausted but excited. I had done pretty well, I think. I stuck everything and didn’t forget my routine. 8,8,8, I thought. All I need is an 8 or higher, and I’m going to regionals. I looked up at the scoreboard anxiously awaiting my score, my fate.