A Journey to a Dream: The Power of Perseverance

Hey everyone! It sure has been awhile since I’ve been here, I’m so sorry for that! Training has been going well though. I have been getting more intense and I’m training at least 5 days per week now, sometimes six. In addition to getting my glide kip I also just got my flyaway! My beam basics (leaps, jumps, turns) have gotten a lot stronger. I have also been working on side somersaults on a line on the floor and also trying to put walkovers on beam as well. I’ve been having some trouble with my wrist so it tends to hold me back at times. I’m finally vaulting well and doing yurchenko timers up onto a resi pit! I hate going forwards so I’m ready to get into that backward motion! 😉 I’ve been tumbling more and working on gaining technique back in my twisting. Overall, things are going pretty well and I finally feel like I’m progressing a bit on bars. All I know is that I wake up every day and give it my all until I can’t go anymore. I never feel like I’ve let myself down when I push myself hard. It gets difficult at times in the gym. This summer has been one of the hottest and with no AC in there, it can be brutal when the humidity is up. Its easy to get fatigued quick but I do my best to fight through.

Aside from training, I just wanted to talk a bit about perseverance. Being (now) 25 years old and only doing gymnastics for about 9 months, I hear it all. Some people believe in me and support my dreams, while others are discouraging. I have sought out several gyms around me for some more focused training, even something as simple as a long four event session once per month just so that I can get more focused coaching and maybe a different point of view. You see, at my gym now, the coach who helps me also coaches the competitive cheer teams and I am mostly on the back burner. I spend a lot of hours teaching myself and learning drills, skills and conditioning from YouTube videos from various coaches. I just want real coaching, I feel like if I had that then I could progress further and really learn how to do things and take my training to the next level.

In reaching out to gyms, I’ve tried different approaches. The first time I went in to talk to the owner and head coach and they LAUGHED in my face. Seriously. Needless to say I walked right back out of there and never looked back. After that incident I decided I would email a coach at a different gym. That one didn’t even respond. A new gym went up nearby that was strictly gymnastics (not cheerleading for once) so I thought I would drop in. They asked me if I was stupid because all of their forms clearly read they only take those aged 7-17. So again, I tried to explain what I was doing and that I was hoping they would be willing to help. After more laughter from not only the owner but also a coach, I left there too. While these people do give me motivation to prove them wrong, it can also be discouraging. It almost feels as though you are back in school and dealing with bullies. I tried to ignore all of these bad experiences and keep training, but I still knew that I needed a serious coach to help me. So I figured I would take another leap of faith, this time with a somewhat well known coach. I wrote an email that just spilled everything I was trying to accomplish and I was honest and shared my dreams with this person. Unfortunately, they are only training elites but were at least nice enough to invite me to their gym and wished me the best of luck on chasing my dream. Finally, someone who was at least kind when letting me down! It was difficult to swallow that one because I was very hopeful, but I can’t help but feel like every thing happens for a reason. At least they listened to my story and didn’t just brush me off like the rest.

Even though many people have laughed at my ambitions and denied helping me reach my goals, I keep fighting. Every single day. Because at the end of the day this isn’t their dream to deny. I am the only person that can say, “I’m done” if I want to be. And I’m not ready to give up. If learning from YouTube videos is what I have to do then so be it. I get up every day and I get in that gym and do whatever it takes to improve and be better than the day before. So please, don’t ever give up your dreams or something you are passionate about because of what other people say. They only want to bring you down simply because you are above them. 🙂

Keep fighting and keep the dream alive. Thank you for always believing in me!

Until next time… Maegan xo

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A Journey to a Dream. Never Give Up Hope

It’s been awhile since I’ve wrote about my training, I had to take a week off because my body truly needed it. Ever since that week I have been back in action and stronger than ever! I’ve been working hard and trying to put in more time and last weekend, it truly paid off for me!

Since the first day I started training back in October I have been working on a glide kip. Of course at first, it was completely with a spot since I had no concept of swinging bars with any technique at all. For months I have worked this skill during every practice (except when I was nursing huge rips of course!) and lately it has been one of my biggest causes of frustration. Every time I would go everyone in the gym would say, “you are RIGHT there!” or, “that was SO close if you would just do (insert any advice on kips) you would make it!” And even with all of that advice and encouragement, I still hadn’t made one. It was aggravating, and eventually Bobby (man that helps me), stepped in to start spotting me again. It made me feel like I was regressing, I just wanted to keep trying by myself because everyone kept telling me how close I was! My bar training that day was not a good one, so I left the gym feeling a bit down and thinking that I would never get my kip.

I came in the next day to train and my body was so sore and tired that nothing was happening, so I listened and decided to take the evening off. Saturday morning I walked into the gym refreshed and determined and there was no place better for me to start my workout than on bars. I put my grips on, chalked up, and took my place in front of the low bar to do as I did every day, go for my glide kip and hope it would be a great day for them. I missed my first one, but I felt like I was closer than ever. My chest got up to the bar and I fought my hardest to get myself over that bar but only ended up hitting my chest against it and coming back to the mat. I thought in my mind, today is the day, I’m making this no matter what. I let my friend Zoe who has been working out with me take a turn so I could think about it. Before I knew it, it was my turn again. I step up to the bar, get focused, and go. I jump up, grab the bar, straddle through to extend, snap my feet to the bar, kip and I MADE IT!!! I FINALLY got myself up and over the bar and boy did I celebrate!! I felt so accomplished and felt so amazing! I was on top of the bar, and the world! Everyone in the gym stopped and stared at me and I did not mind one bit. I jumped down and danced around with Zoe like I had just won the lottery! To me, it felt like I had! After that, everyone wanted to see it, I made some more, missed a few, and finally ended bars on an exceptionally great note!

I wish that I could truly describe the feeling of finally making that kip. I worked tirelessly for months to get this skill. I watched videos of drills, and I tried everything I could every single time I was in that gym. People kept telling me that it was going to be one of the toughest skills I would face at this point but some days that didn’t make a difference to me. In the end, all of the work, determination and dedication paid off because I had finally made a huge step in my early gymnastics journey.

In the few practices since then, my glide kip has gotten stronger and I even made a few that I was able to cast into a back hip circle! Working so hard for that one skill for so long made me realize even more that the hard work will pay off in time. Just when you start to feel like you are getting nowhere you realize how wrong you are. So my advice to you this time is to never give up no matter how long the struggle has been or how hard it may seem. You will be rewarded for your effort!

Here is a video of one of my kips. It’s not the first one unfortunately (you would have loved THAT celebration!), but it is one of the first ones that I thought about casting out of! I hope to have some more videos of my training for you soon. Thank you always for your support!

I hope everyone enjoys watching VISAs this weekend. I am very sad that one of my biggest inspirations has retired, but I am so thankful I was able to witness Shawn’s great career! Chase your dreams and never let the struggles get you down. 🙂

Until next time….

Want to see Maegan’s kip? check it out here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kv5lUkgP2NE&feature=g-upl

A Not So Usual to a Dream: The Adventures of Training at 24

Hello there dreamers  First of all, I can’t even begin to describe the emotions I felt when I saw everyone’s support from the first post. It was absolutely overwhelming and more motivating than I can explain!  Thank you so much for not only being interested in my journey, but also for believing in me. You all have inspired me to push harder than before.

This time, I thought I would tell you a little bit about how my training has been going and what it is like to be back in the gym and training gymnastics for the first time at age 24.

The first day was the major emotional rollercoaster. I was so excited to start but had no idea what to expect. I was really excited, but oh how quickly I learned just how tough this would prove to be. I had my first breakdown on my beam, my hands were burnt up from bars, and the next few days were the worst soreness I have ever experienced. I started with two days per week working events as I could and now I am at four days and I train anywhere between 2.5-4 hours at a time. It is always brutal for me and there is never a set schedule for what events I work when because it all depends on what my body is saying to me. I try my best to listen when I’m hurting and to take it easy when necessary. I haven’t had any major setbacks so far thankfully. I had some hamstring issues that have finally healed up mostly, other than that I am holding up well! I spend a lot of time icing and stretching and I have also made sure to start seeing a massage therapist regularly. It has been an incredible help!

My rips have been pretty crazy. It is always funny to see the reaction I get from the people that I work with when I come in with a new one that is bigger than before. People don’t get it and they always ask “why are you doing this, is it worth it?” I usually cannot believe that they are asking me if it is worth it. Heck yes it is worth it!  Every single ounce of this it worth it! Every drip of sweat, every tear I’ve cried, every ounce of blood from my hands, every bruise, every muscle that aches and every single second I put in is worth it. Some days I feel like this is the most worthwhile thing I have ever done. It is so rewarding to know that you are doing everything in your power to try and make your dreams come true.

As far as skills go, I feel like I am mostly still at beginner level on most things, which is perfectly fine and normal for someone just starting. I have actually been jumping in one of the 2-hour gymnastics classes that the owner coaches at my gym. If I have learned anything, it is to put my ego aside! I jump right in there next to 8-10 year olds in order to get down to the basics. They think its funny how old I am but I am smaller than most of them! I have been working glide kips, back hip circles, cast squat on, sole circles, and cast handstands on bars. Vault has been front handsprings only. On beam I have been working switch leaps, all sorts of jumps, full turns, front tuck dismounts, round offs, back handsprings, back tucks and walkovers. I feel like beam is where I have the most things to work on but I am still working through my discomfort that I have there. I have been able to tumble, leap, and turn my entire life, just not on four inches. It is all an adjustment for me!

I know to most serious gymnasts this doesn’t sound like much, but to me I feel like I have come such a long way in just a few months. I am very proud of my progress and with each new skill that I get, the excitement is like a child on Christmas morning. I don’t take for granted anything that happens to me along this journey. Each day is another step closer for me and I will get there! It is a long road ahead but I am ready and willing to do whatever it takes. With the continued support and the dream in my heart, I will take this as far as I possibly can.

Until next time! XOXO Maegan