Wednesday, 26 October 2011


I am still very proud of my beautiful little gymnast. I am not very sure yet how do I feel about it, but I am proud. She is so small, and lean and so strong. She smiles so bright when she gets a trick right!

Trick... From my understanding, a trick is a combination of moves on either apparatus. I could be wrong, but that's what it seem to mean. Leyla seems to get her tricks right fast, which I presume is a good sign. Yesterday, her very tough coach told me that in a class where all her girls are very good at vault, Leyla is a star. In two weeks she perfected a trick that normally takes one year. I think that is great. Isn't it?

Where to my doubts start? It might have something to do with the fact that my already small and skinny now daughter needs to be on a low carb diet. Or it could be the fact that being sick is not a good idea and being tired is totally unacceptable. Or maybe the fact that half the girls are terrified of the coach.

It could be the insane competition and at times meanness of the parents. Parents which are not allowed to even take a tiny look at their daughters' training.

From where I stand, being the parent of an Elite gymnast is a status of its own. Ok, I get the sacrifices that are being made by families to ensure that their daughters have proper training and proper leotards. I make those sacrifices myself, not only in time, but also from a financial point of view. And I understand the pride. Because I feel it myself. It is hard not to feel it when your child was one of the very few invited into the very tiny group of Elite gymnastics.

But mothers that last school term would not even glance my way as we entered the change rooms, and totally ignored my daughter as well, now are smiling and chatting to us because we have the same status. Mothers that were chatting and smiling before, don't bother anymore because there is too much anger at the fact that my daughter was invited and theirs were not. And parents talk down to the parents of the non Elite girls.

And that is without even looking at the girls themselves who in one short month became all of a sudden arrogant and learned to look down onto the other girls that were not so fortunate.

As for Leyla... She is equally as arrogant as all the other girls are. Same attitude of I am better then you that was not there before. I will give her what she deserves, she is good. She is amazing. But I notice the change, and it makes me wonder.

And I think that this is my problem. I wonder. Is it the beast thing that my daughter will have to push her body past its limits? That she will miss out on having a childhood? And, even if she is happy and she loves it, I wonder...

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