Thursday, 13 October 2011

International Gymnastics and Parenting

After 9 weeks of training in Colors and Pre Levels, I have been announced that following a very hard assessment, Leyla was accepted in the International Development Program.

Like every parent, my first feeling was insane pride in my little angel. I mean she is just five years old ad dd gymnastics for the most part of only one school term. So many little girls sat the assessment! Watching them was both an experience and an education. In their little colorful leotards, small, lean, strong girls of barely fave and six years long went on and on doing splits, bridges, walking gracefully up and down the beam with increasing difficulty. And hen off to bars after situps and pushups. Bars meant leg lifts which look quite easy on this little girls but are so hard in reality. And chin ups. I can't even do one, but that being said are so many things that amaze me.

Some children treated the assessment as another class. Some gave 100%, some less and some more. On some of the little faces one could see the determination and the effort it took to go passed their best into the realm of amazing. The concentration and will on their little faces was a lesson. They pushed and when there was no strength left, they continued fueled just by their dreams.

I expected my little angel to be tired after such hard work. But she wasn't. She was just calm and collected and said she did all that she could. Did any of us expected more? Did she think that she will go into the class she worked for? I didn't ask her. Even as I was watching her, I was thinking of that moment when she was doing all she could, not to the result.

But one week later, the head coach pulled me aside and told me that Leyla is strong, flexible, has the right body and the right state of mind. I was nervous. She also told me that Leyla is very young and just started gymnastics. Which I knew better then anyone. And that she shows potential. So she was accepted into the International development Program, or IDP as I will call it from now on.

When happily I went to tell Leyla, she just looked me in the eyes, seriously, and said "I know. i worked hard for it". There was no joy on her face. Just self respect and self knowledge, just determination. It was a feeling of "I deserved it", without the joy of getting what she wanted, just with a serious contemplation of having to say good bye to most of the girls she trained with for two months and determination of going at the same pace.

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