Friday, August 19, 2016

Irish Dance, Gymnastics, and being the Team "Mom"

I don't know about you, but I've been enjoying the Olympics so much! I'm so sad that they are almost over. I was more sad on Tuesday when gymnastics ended but I've been watching other events with my husband (Volleyball! He was the captain of his team back in the day. Heehee!) This post is going to focus on the comparison between gymnastics and Irish dance.

I've always loved gymnastics. I love the way they gymnasts make their tumbling passes and release moves from the bars look effortless. Some gymnasts are crazy powerful, others have the poise that rivals a prima ballerina. I had the poise part down, but I was a terrible tumbler. I tried three times in my life to be a gymnast and the first time I was too scared to do anything without a teacher (I was 5), the second time I broke my ankle from doing too many backhand springs (I was like 15 and had been back at it for 2 years) and then I tried an open gym for people 15 and over. It was so fun and I actually learned how to do a lot. I got back almost everything I lost, plus I could do some basic things on bars, I could do a back tuck in a harness, front tuck into a foam pit. But then I signed up for Irish dance so...we all know how that turned out. :)

Where I'm going with this is, I can truly see the comparison between the sports (Yes, dance is a sport.) You have to dedicated, disciplined, and there's so much more to it than showing up at a competition in a sparkly dress or leotard. They spend countless hours everyday not only running routines and polishing things. They are cross training, they are drilling thing countless times to make sure they are perfect. I do the same thing. I took a drop in class yesterday (and by drop in it was me and a beginner so that way nice.) and I did my jogging warm up. I did a conditioning circuit, drilled pieces of my dance, and went one step at a time, before I finally danced a full. I was sweaty, I was sore, but I keep on thinking back to my gymnastic inspirations and if they can do it so can I.

There are two gymnasts in particular that I love and am inspired by. The first is Aliya Mustafina. She is that beautiful, dancer type gymnast. A lot of people (NBC *cough*) paint her to be this "ice queen" when in fact she has so much focus that 9 times out of 10 she hits a routine. She's been unbelievable since at least 2010 and I think what is even more amazing is that she has had some serious injuries and recovered and came back better than ever. She tore something in her knee before the 2012 Olympics and she came back to be the most decorated gymnast at the games. (a gold, a silver, and two bronze) She didn't go to worlds in 2015 because she had surgery and had serious back pain. She worked through all of that and once again, not the most decorated (Simone and Aly got her there.) But most decorated Russian (Gold, silver, and bronze!) If she can work through all of that, be 21, and still be an amazing gymnast. I can get out of the grades.

Going to start being that focused waiting in line. It was working in class last night.
Another gymnast that I absolutely love is Aly Raisman. She seems so nice and bubbly, and she's a New England girl like me! She's 22 and a lot of people didn't think it was possible for her to make the team a second time, let alone qualify for the All Around and she came in 2nd. She had come in 4th the year before so it was seriously a dream come true. I think one of the things I love about Aly is that she is humble and she also had the exact reaction I would have had to winning an Olympic medal. She cried a lot. I admire her for showing so much emotion and being proud of her journey. She's also an insanely powerful tumbler...She'd probably be good at hard shoe, just saying.


I literally make this gesture all the time when stuff like this happens at dance.

Another thing that I love about both these girls is that they are the captains for their teams. They are the "team moms" and I can also relate to that. I'm SRL's oldest competitive student and I feel like I have 50 little sisters. One of the moms has jokingly called me Irish Dance's hot step mom, which I guess I can take a compliment. I really should post a picture of all the nice things that the littlest babies all the way to the champ dancers wrote about me. It made me really feel loved. One of the girls that was in my class last year finally got into prelim and I hadn't seen her in a while. When I came to visit her week of summer camp she ran up to me and told me the news and I felt like a proud mama. I hugged, I told her I wanted to cry. She wants me to watch her dance next weekend and I feel honored. I've also been there for another one of my team mates when she gets upset (she's young, gets anxious). I feel happy that I can praise their accomplishments and be there for them if anyone needs to vent. I really do feel like SRL is my second family so I can related to my gymnast idols in sense of team spirit as well.




It think she might have hit her limit by the UB final haha


I hope I can continue to be their "Team Mom" or "Big Sister" or whatever it is that they consider me. <3
Can you tell who my little Prelim Love is? That and my two college age grade dancers are featured!
Kay

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