New Theme for Dreams Higher than the Big Top

Since it’s been more than a month since Cody and I got back from our Europe trip-of-a-lifetime, I haven’t had much to write about on the blog but I’ve come to realize that I kind of like sharing my memories and stories. So I want to continue writing about my adventures as I galavant on as a newly college graduate and my next plans for life…which I can tell you right now are not traditional or conventional…

So to tell about those next steps, I need to take you back to where this crazy dream originated…

It started when I was 2 years old and my mother could not control me, not because I was a terrible child but because I just had so much energy all of the time. I would be pulling cushions off couches to make trampolines, jumping on beds, climbing up doorways and swinging from pretty much anything and everything I could find. Finally she decided to put me in Gymboree classes to exert my energy in something productive instead of tearing up the house. Well, after the first class guess who wouldn’t come down from the monkey bars 🙂 I wanted to go faster and higher on everything, I had no fear.

Since I was cleeearly too advanced for Gymboree classes, my mom took me to Mommy and Me classes at a gym very close to my house, Docksiders. My instructor saw the potential talent and told my mom she needed to enroll me in the club team as a pre-team (I blame her for every rip on my hands, sore muscle in my body, and my love for the sport, Thanks Mrs. Lisa). As a club team member, you start from Level 4 (which was pre-team at that time) and move all the way up to Level 10 as you conquer new skills and routines. Level 5 you start competing compulsory routines which were the same for eeeveryone on each event…they made for very boring meets but my parents attended every single one of them. They even sat through and listened to the same floor music for 4 hours…God Bless them, I don’t know how they did it because if I hear that music now I want to go running from the gym. It’s one of those classical songs that gets stuck in you head for dayyyyyyyzzzzzz at a time and you just want to strangle the person who turned it on in the first place.

Anyways, you compete compulsory routines until you move up to Level 8 and then as the tricks start to differentiate, everyone starts putting the skills they have mastered into different routines. You even get your own floor music (which didn’t have to be that classical nonsense) with choreography all your own! That was the exciting stuff going on in my life when I was in eleven…

From Level 8 on up it was just about learning new skills every summer to get to the next level. That was the best part about every year, learning new skills. Every summer we would go to Camp Woodward in Woodward, PA which is a huge extreme sports camp with gyms, pits, tumbling strips, beams, and all the chalk a little gym rat could ask for :). When we went as a team it would be the best week of the summer but don’t get me wrong, it was hard work the WHOLE week. We had three practices a day and sometimes we would even go on hikes or do extra conditioning workouts the days they were offered just because we wanted to, we were crazy little people. This is where we usually started learning our new skills that would launch us up to the next level when we conquered them.

So I went from being a level 8 in 6th grade, level 9 for 7th and 8th grade, and level 10 from freshman-senior year of high school. And you know what was great about practices at level 10 in high school…I would wake up at 6:30, go to school and finish at 2:15, go home, grab my things, head right to the gym, practice from 3:30-7:30, come back to do my homework and go to bed and repeat that everyday of the week, plus 4-8pm practices on Sundays…how did I have friends in high school?! haha But you know what my teammates weren’t just my friends, as cliche as this is, we were family. Sometimes, and by sometimes I mean most of the time, we were a pretty weird bunch but we kept ourselves entertained even on days where we would get in trouble…which was neeeever me because I was an angel all the time… :\

Then I had the amazing opportunity to represent the George Washington Colonials on a full scholarship for the next 4 years by competing in the sport that I am still so passionate about. I could go on and on about my college experience as I’m sure many people could and tell you about how it’s life changing and all that with a bag of chips. And not only was my college experience the whole bowl of chips and more but from the very first day I stepped foot on campus I had a family, my team and coaches. Not many people can say they’ve had experiences like that. It was a full time job being at your best 24/7 but it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.

Long story short, when it came time to start figuring out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life when gymnastics was over, I was lost. What do you mean gymnastics was over? My entire life, that’s always been part of my identity, I don’t know how to be anything other then the gymnast that has no time because she’s always at practice. But my trip to Europe really taught me a lot in that sense, it was the first time I was meeting people and making friends who didn’t know about my gymnastics background. So the great thing that I’ve learned is that I get to decide who I want to be from now on.

So after spending 4 years at one of the most expensive schools in the country and getting a bachelors degree in business I’m suppose to be looking for a career right?? Somewhere where I can use my degree and be super success and make all the money in the world…nope not me. What do I want to do? I want to run off and join the circus 🙂 Cirque Du Soleil to be exact. This ladies and gentlemen of the audience, is my next set of adventures.

Now that you have a jist of what my schedule has been like my whole life with gymnastics and spending 25+ hours in the gym practicing, imagine how taxing that can be on one’s body. It’s not surprising that most girls are ready to be done their gymnastics careers when they graduate college. So when I say I’m one of the few girls who came out of the sport “unscathed”, meaning no major injuries (KNOCK ON WOOD), that’s a pretty impressive accomplishment in itself. Therefore, since it’s taken me a lifetime to perfect my skills, might as well use them while their still fresh in my muscle memory.

People might call me crazy but my family, friends and the people who really know me say this will be a perfect fit. So here I go, on another journey of a lifetime, working my ass off to see where it takes me.


2 thoughts on “New Theme for Dreams Higher than the Big Top

  1. Follow your dreams Betsy, you’re only young once….your passion is an inspiration!!!! Good luck in everything you do and please keep blogging!!!!!

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