Chalky Air. Squishy Mat. Springy Floors.
What do all of those have in common? My childhood. I grew up in the gym; I called it home even when I didn’t have a home. I would clean the mats, take out garbage, coach preschool classes just to be able to afford to be in classes. I honestly believe I wouldn’t be who I am today without the sport of gymnastics. Last October I made the hardest decision in my life, I gave up coaching. I’ve been in the gym since I was 8 and started coaching when I was 16 full time. I’ve spent 20 years in a chalky air, squishy mat, and springy floor atmosphere. Gymnastics is deep in my soul, something I can’t seem to let go. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about it. So even though I had a son, I knew I needed to start him in a Gymnastics class when he was able to walk. I’ve had quite a few emails from moms with sons asking me why I chose to put Logan in Gymnastics since it’s mostly a female sport.
Here is why.
Balance & Strength – The obstacle courses that they put together make babies use their cute little muscle. They have to climb stairs, walk on squishy mat, hold on to the bar, jump, etc. They start to develop a strong sense of balance and strength.
Patience – We can all agree that babies and toddlers do not have any patience. However, Logan has to have the patience to stand there and wait his turn.
Determination – We go over the same trick on average five times before the class ends and each time he is determined to do it by himself. This also translates into his learning activities at home. He used to not be interested at all but now he keeps trying.
Bravery – Of course, I help him with all of the tricks but he has to be the one brave enough to roll, climb, jump, etc.
Responsibility – Logan has two jobs during class. First he has to get him mat for stretching and put it away and second he has to help his coach pick up the bouncy balls when she brings them out. This is his job, and he takes it very serious, even at an age where he isn’t talking.
Passion – While he may not be Olympic bound he loves going to gymnastics class. Gymnastics is teaching him passion. It’s teaching him that no matter how hard something is, eventually, you will learn it and be amazing.
So now I challenge you to find a gym, enroll your toddler/child and try two months worth of gymnastics. You will see such a change, and whether or not they want to continue is up to them but the skills they will gain outside of the “cool” stuff is far more important in my eyes.
oh… and remember the strength I was talking about… Here you go: