And as I was about to turn 15, I suddenly, one day totally out of the blue, found a video on youtube on rhythmic gymnastics and I was hooked! In a second I was already searching for places close to my home that I could attend gymnastics classes. The truth is it didn't really start very well, since the first place I tried I was rejected for being too old - yup...I was 15 and someone called me old! -, and I'll tell you this: best thing that ever happened to me! If they hadn't reject me, I wouldn't have ended up where I did, the place where I spent 7 years of my life - and the best ones so far - and I wouldn't have met the girls who are now my bestfriends and who I'll love forever because I know I can always count on them
This was the moment I actually, for the first time, committed to something and I loved it. I would get home everyday after school or practice and I would do more and more gymnastics all over the place. And after a small disappointment of not getting into group competition, I worked my butt off during the summer and was called to enter it after the first practice in September. So, first thing gymnastics taught t me was preserverence, not giving up on what you really want just because you didn't get it the first time or because it is going to be a little harder than you first thought. And boy, was that summer of hard work worth it, because after all, I got to where I wanted to be all along, and here was where I met my crazy second family,one I got to grow up with them for years, and one that has always, always been by my side.
Here I've learned about fighting for your dreams, I've learned about conquer and failure and dealing with it, about not giving up ever, I've learned about committing to something, about working as a team and helping others, I've learned that my actions affect others besides me, I've learned that sometimes no matter how hard you work life will kick you in the butt and it's not fair - but that's the way things go. I've learned about love and how you should never let anyone tell you what you should or can do - because you're the only one that can get there, it's your life and not theirs, and you should always, always follow your heart and do what you love and what makes you happy, even if others don't understand and don't support you -,and I've learned about real friendship and how it's the most precious thing there is and now I can say I have the ability to see who are the real ones and the ones that will be in my life for just a short period of time.
I've also learned to deal with pain, physical pain, and to not be a crying baby all the time for the smallest things, because from gymnastics I felt the pain of pushing your body's boundaries, of real pain of feeling like you just can't take it anymore when your body seems to have given up, and the act of getting up again and again, even feeling like I couldn't, made me stronger. I don't think I'd know so much about pain and how strong I can be if I hadn't found gymnastics.
I've learned how to be independent from having to catch very late public transports in order to go to and from practice or competitions and fighting back fear of things like being alone.
Working with the same group of people almost everyday for 7 years brought me confidence to be myself, to not be scared of being a little weirdo and feel loved for just being me. It made me feel special, it made me feel different because at school I've always felt like and outsider and I never really connected with my colleagues, because their priorities were boys and clothes and mine was practice and winning first place at the competition. The fact that I met people who were weird like me, crazy really, made me feel at home, and I didn't care if I had nothing to talk about with the girls from my high school or if I said no all the time to their nightouts, I knew I was happy with my goals and I could care less about their dinners and parties.
I've learned to respecting schedules, to waking up really early because I had to, and I learned respect to others, I've learned how to listen instead of just talking, and I've learned that you're never too old to follow your dream and do what you love (honestly, I saw 70 year-old women at these gymnastics events, who loved it so much they never stopped doing it! Talk about inspiration) and mostly, I've learned what being happy looks like. You know that thing everybody likes to say that school years are the best years of our life and one day we'll miss school? Well, I'd say that but about gymnastics, because now, after 2 years, I can see that I really had it all, I was happy like never before and those were the best years of my life (so far at least).
Last, but not least, I've learned about comfort and the lack of it and being ok with this. Sleeping on the floor hurts your back, getting up early makes you cranky, practicing for 3 hours makes your knees hurt like hell, having to eat what's in front of you or starve sucks and can make you cry for good food, carrying a heavy bag will annoy you, loosing stuff on the way is just part of life, wearing stupid outfits also sucks but you'll get over it eventually (but there'll always be pictures to hunt you!!), spending hours on public transports is just something you'll have to get used to and growing up and being responsible will eventually have to happen and you'll be the one calling the shots from then on!
And here it is, how one simple sport and a sudden decision totally changed my life and got me where I am today.
Do you have anything in your life than changed your path or who you are today? Tell me all about it!