Night Sprints


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Night Sprints

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We have a balance beam upstairs. Since quarantine, we’ve added a trampoline and a tumble trak. All the years of vowing to have my daughter only due gymnastics at the gym has ended because she hasn’t set foot in the gym since March 2020. Even a few months ago, we were talking about having her return in the fall, but with the spike that started in October, there was no way. I want to support her the best I can, because she is passionate about her sport. Even though she is never going to be an Olympian or collegiate gymnast, she does well at our local and state meets and continuing to practice everyday (even on the days she complains) gives her that light she needs at the end of the tunnel. The knowledge that when this ends, she can return to the world of competitive gymnastics and all her friends on her team is one of the things that keeps her going. But I’m not a gymnastics coach. Until quarantine, I didn’t know what half the skills were. And we have no bars, and no vault. But there is one thing I can do - run. I figure the practice videos, (thanks Paul Hamm and Amanda Borden), the twice a week live zoom practices (thank you Kazio Acrobatics & Gymnastics, who, though not being my daughter’s gym and being 400 miles away, graciously extended their online classes to anyone in the country when this all began), and the at home training schedule of conditioning and skills her gym sent in March takes care of the floor and the beam. Bars is a lost cause, I hope some muscle memory remains for her. But the vault, which is her highest scoring event, is powered by running. I love running, and her coach used to tell me that gymnasts notoriously hate running, but it is a skill that really helps with vaulting. I figured I may not be able to do a back handspring, but I can teach my kid to run. So three times a week, I make her run. She is NOT a fan of the mile on the treadmill, but she seems to genuinely enjoy sprinting. On Friday, she was bummed because it got dark before she could make it out to sprint. So to make it fun, we figured we’d just sprint in the dark with lights. Was I secretly trying to train her to hold a baton? Maybe. Or maybe I’m just trying to keep hope alive for the kid. She’s 10, and before Covid, the longest stretches she has had from the gym is two weeks, and that is only when we go on vacation. So she basically has lived at that gym since the summer before she was 3. If she wants to continue competing, I will do anything I can to keep those muscles in shape so she can return. And if I end up training a new running partner in the process, what a win.

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This item was submitted on January 25, 2021 by Kathryn Jue using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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