One recent Saturday we went to our seven-year-old granddaughter’s gymnastics competition. Sometimes they are hours away, but this one was right here at her own gym so we could go. The place was packed with parents, and here and there a few grandparents like us. Waiting for her turn was, for us, almost like watching grass grow, but there was lively conversation going on with other folks waiting for their own girl to go, and all the Moms who knew all ‘our’ team members were actively attentive, so it wasn’t too bad.
Two things I noticed: one, all the girls had longer hair done up in pony tails, none had short hair like the sassy Mary Lou Retton (This dates me, I know, but then, depending on the subject, I am dated to the max.) and two, none of them had bandages on their wrists or ankles or feet – yet!
It’s a mighty long day for these little ones. Their section of the meet started after 4 p.m., but I’m sure the girls were up and about and eager to go since the early morning. We got there at 4 and left after 7. She hadn’t yet done her floor routine, but we hadn’t realized how long it would all be and hadn’t eaten since before noon. Poor Frank was thinking he’d never get home alive.
It was all quite an experience. I’ll tell you, I looked at those agile little things, jumping, vaulting, swinging, doing their routines – they all have to do the exact same routine or they get penalized – and I was just amazed. I did take ballet and tap dancing when I was little – gymnastics were unheard of where I lived back in the 40’s – and I attribute any grace I now have to those years. Ha! I took modern dance when I was in college. I loved that course. At one time I could lift myself off the floor gracefully, without using my arms – just go from a sitting position to standing in one movement. Not today – and not tomorrow! After so many years of being fairly agile I now groan inwardly when I see people doing things I can no longer do, like kneel for any reason, run up and down stairs, get into a canoe (which I’d love to do again), even sit on the floor – because I’d have one hell of a time getting up.