We’re nearing the end of our second season of Gymnastics.

Despite a rocky start, she used to love everything about it…

The friends…


The fashion (of course)…


And even swinging on the bar for fascinatingly long periods of time with her freakishly mannish upper body strength.


But something happened one day.

A former coach surprised her into doing a flip over that bar (completely controlled and managed by the coach, of course).  But Ali, being the ridiculously cautious child that she is AND being a pro at avoiding injury at all costs, was already staunchly convinced that bar flips were intensely dangerous and to attempt one would be the scariest thing in the world – scarier even than the horror movie Cinderella – you know, the one where Cinderella’s sisters tear up her dress?


So on a weekly basis, Ali spends her entire fifty minute class worrying about whether her new coach will make her do a flip on the bar.

And asking her coach, over and over, if she’s going to have to do a flip on the bar.

And often ending up in tears before they even make it to the bar – all out of fear of bar flippage.

I’ve tried to reason with her…I’ve tried to bribe her…I’ve tried to help her overcome her fear.  All for naught.

In a last ditch effort to save her career, Chris and I took her to the NCAA Regional Gymnastics finals, in which Alabama was the host and the favorite.

We left Noah with his Godparents, thereby making the special trip the very first thing the three of us had done without him since his birth – surely it’d be a gleeful experience, thereby increasing her passion for her sport.

It was in Tuscaloosa, so we had an hour drive to get there, which gave us the opportunity to spend a lot of quality time with our oldest child.

And also, a lot time with an insane amount of her toots.

(Apparently, broccoli affects her in the same way it affects Noah.)

Right as we were pulling into the parking lot of Coleman Coliseum, we heard from the back seat the King of them all… and it seemed to last an eternity.


Chris slammed on the brakes and he and I gasped simultaneously.

We looked at each other in horror.  I began frantically searching my mind for clothing options to make it through the night.

“Hey baby, was that a toot or was it a … “

“It was just a toot! A really loud one!!”

“Are you SURE?”

“Yes! …but I may need to go to the potty when we get there.”

I took her to the ladies room and was relieved to discover that she was correct, it was apparently just the world’s most suspicious flatulence.

(Yes, I am well aware that she will despise me for documenting that trip tidbit one day.)

Back to “Mission: Gymnastics”.

We got into the arena just in time…

The excitement was palatable…


The night’s potential was thrilling.

After all – when we took her last year, she was absolutely mesmerized and in complete heaven, even as we were leaving:


Surely this year’s trip would have the same effect.

Or not.




Complete and Utter Disinterest.

Begging to go home after the first five minutes.

The best part of her trip according to her? Getting Rainbow Sherbet Dippin’ Dots Ice Cream.

Which, granted, is pretty thrilling.

But the trip did serve one purpose: It solidified in our minds that as soon as this season ends (and the sooner the better for me), her illustrious Gymnastics career will also most definitely cease to exist.

I think she’d prefer a less risky sport.  Like maybe… a coloring club?

18 thoughts on “Her Gymnastics Career Was Like a Candle in the Wind…

  1. This cracks me up! It’s also nice to hear about another cautious child. It sounds like she’s cut from the same cloth as River. He got a bike for his b’day yesterday and although he loves it, you would have thought that we gave him a loaded machine gun by the way he handles it. Helmet on before he touches and do not even SUGGEST that he try to ride down the very tiny hill of our driveway. And he looked at me with total horror when I mentioned that the training wheels are only temporary. Just like Ali and the bar, reasoning does not work to overcome his extreme caution. neither does peer pressure (although that’s a good thing, I guess). I’d love suggestions on how you’re coping with this. And also, how are you coping with the gas!?!

  2. See, I have no idea what it is like to have a cautious child. I thought James was going to be my cautious one, but he turned the tide into a daredevil also.

  3. We had a similar experience with Emma and ballet. She quite after 8 weeks (and won’t even think about going back) because she “doesn’t like marching.” I think the teacher pointed her out to the class for something and she does NOT like to be the center of attention.

  4. Because of her picture on FB, I knew she had been to the meet which my daughter, Emily, was at as well. I asked her what her favorite part was, and she told me the ice cream with lots of colors:) She also said that those big girls were afraid of flipping on the bars, but they did it anyways. AND, they had “boy coaches” who were watching them just in case they fell, but they didn’t.

  5. I had a similar experience with gymnastics as a child. I didn’t jump far enough and ran smack into the vault. It took a long time for me to recover and try again. When I tried again, I smacked again. Clearly not my sport.

  6. you could try putting her in dance. I loved tap and ballet when I was a child…but my career ended very abruptly also. Also, you could try piano. I wasn’t big into getting hurt either. I guess that’s why I never really played sports.

  7. Wow, she really does look bored in that last picture. :) Isn’t it so funny how they react to things sometimes?? I think it’s their mission in life to keep us on our toes. Sorry she doesn’t want to keep gymnastic-ing(?) Although I hear that sport can get REALLY expensive as they get older so maybe it’s a good thing. :)

  8. I agree the piano, guitar or maybe dance would be nice and safe for her. I think she would be good at all of them.Sometimes she may be a little to much like her Daddy.

  9. That is so funny! My 2 year old son has a lot of “toots” too. I usually ask if he has a poo diaper, and he proudly says, “Nope, just toots!”

    I had a similar gymnastics career. I feared getting dirty. My gym shoes would be sparkling white because I refused to run anywhere. At least I don’t have any scars!

  10. color clubbing… LOL – can my girls (at least my oldest) join??? Let’s just say Nadia we are not – we are months into tumbling and still working on a cartwheel… at least it is recognizable at this point

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