Maggie the gymnast

Two years ago, when Maggie was 4 (FOUR!), we signed her up for a summer gymnastics program. Eight weeks, just to get her introduced and see if she liked it. My main goal was to see if she could get over her fear of New Things, and maybe get a little more confident, a little braver, a little less “I can’t do that!” She really liked it. She STILL likes it.

Last Friday night, she had her gymnastics show. It was very low-key (especially at this age) but it was still great to watch her get out it front of a roomful of strangers and dance and flip and jump and climb without hesitation. And she even stopped in the middle to show off her first loose tooth to her teacher (because of course! It’s important!)

excited for her show!


way too flexible




she's stronger than me

upside down

strong arms!

But even with all of her bravery in front of a crowd, she’s still Maggie. She LOVES gymnastics, but she is a perfect mix of cautious and stubborn so HELL if she’ll even try to do a pullover on the bars. I watched all year, every week, as her teacher encouraged and explained and BEGGED her to try it. The teacher will guide her! He won’t let her fall! I thought for sure by the end of this year, she would do it. It’s one of the very few skills holding her back from moving to the next level. But until she knows she can do something perfectly, she won’t attempt it. And if she feels like she doesn’t have control of her body, she’s afraid. (She miiiight get this from her mother. Age 34. Still can’t roller skate.) She’s like this with learning to ride her bike without training wheels (first attempt was Tuesday night. It ended in tears!)

She’s incredibly strong for being a tiny 40 pounder. Her form in almost everything else is EXCELLENT. Every teacher she’s had has commented on her beautifully pointed toes, her nice straight legs and arms, her perfectly executed backward roll. But get her on those bars? She’ll do strong arms! She’ll hang upside down! But she will not flip. Nope. Forget it. Not until SHE wants to do it. No amount of watching the other gymnasts do something will convince her that she’s ready to do that flippy-thing. “It’s too FAST, Mommy!”

Honestly, I love this about her. I can only hope as she enters her tween and (GULP) teen years, that she keeps this confidence in knowing what she wants and not letting anyone- not even the promise of ICE CREAM FROM HER MOTHER!- change her mind.

moving up

Now that she’s headed to first grade, she’s completed the preschool-level classes at her gym and now she’s moving up to the skill-based classes. They did an evaluation in May and she completed all the skills to move to Level 2 this summer. Her Level 1 ribbon came in the mail this week and she was very proud. But again- cautious. Her first concern? “I don’t want to do my pullover!”

You know what, kid? You don’t have to. We can even still get ice cream after.

her medal!


  1. bessie.viola

    June 13, 2013 11:25 am

    She is so adorable! Way to go Maggie!

  2. Jesabes

    June 13, 2013 11:58 am

    She looks like a natural! Go Maggie!

  3. Anne

    June 13, 2013 2:32 pm

    She looks so PROUD! I love it.

  4. Dee Wilcox

    June 14, 2013 3:03 pm

    Yay, Maggie!! Woot woot! :) And she has beautiful form. So graceful. :)

  5. K

    June 19, 2013 8:28 pm

    Oh my goodness with that last photo of her with her medal. What a sense of accomplishment. Way to go, Maggie!

  6. Pris

    June 28, 2013 6:52 am

    I know I’ve told you this a few times but Jada is our cautious child. She refuses to do anything that she doesn’t think she can do. Jen, she is 13 and just was able to ride a bike for the first time on Sunday!! That blows my mind. Chuck and I were on the side yelling, “see what you’ve missed out on all these years?! Keep pedaling, keep pedaling!!” LOL.
    She said to me before all that, “there has been some things that I didn’t think I could do and then when I finally try to do them, I am good at it, then I think why didn’t I try that a long time ago?!”
    I still love that about Jada, she has that stubborn, on her own time thinking nature about her as well. It’s not a bad thing at all!
    Congrats to Maggie!!

    • Jen

      June 28, 2013 8:52 am

      That’s what I’m afraid of for Maggie, that she’ll miss out on fun stuff and regret it later! But I guess that’s just how she is, I try not to push her too much (then she’ll for sure hate whatever we force her to try!) I should tell Dan about Jada and her bike- he’s nagging Maggie lately about learning and hey! She’s only six ;) ha

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