This past week has been gymnastics galore for the little lady. To start the school holidays off she joined gymnastics camp at the gymnastics club which she attends each Saturday morning. This in itself was a pretty huge step for her; while she seems to beam confidence with that smile, she often doubts herself. When I suggested camp (which involved morning sessions with lunch over two days), I was apprehensive and thought I’d probably have to do some coaxing but she responded immediately with ‘yes’ followed shortly after by ‘what will I eat?’. Upon reflection, I think it was in fact the lure of a packed lunch more than any amazing moves on the beam or horse that she would learn that grabbed her attention, ironically. But, I wasn’t going to grumble! I signed her up and made my own hop, skip and jump to the nearest lunch-bag shop to grab one to her taste – just to aid the process of getting her there. I shouldn’t have worried. With an Elsa and Ana sandwich bag in hand, her favourite gym kit on and the promise of chocolate for lunch she would have gone every day.
I was more apprehensive about leaving her come Tuesday, but as she walked in to be greeted by the ever super team of coaches, my worry lifted as she beamed her usual smile. The five hours that followed were tentative for me but she had a fantastic time making friends, chatting, learning new moves and most importantly building her confidence in her own abilities.
The whole of the afternoon that followed was punctuated by the BBC’s coverage of the inspirational Common Wealth Games gymnast athletes and the little lady bounding over the furniture imagining she will be the next Alice Kinsella our own medallist from Burginton (Birmingham to you and I).
Come Tuesday morning, she was again full of enthusiasm save for the aches of using her muscles so intensely but reassured that it was the muscles building and working she was happy to get going again.
What began as an exercise for me in attempting to boost her confidence quickly turned into a great success. When it came to Saturday and her usual class, she skipped in and took chances that she would usually approach with trepidation. So, I’ve learned a lesson this week: if I show apprehension, she will too. I’m going to encourage her jump in even if it means being scared but I’ll make sure she has a packed lunch because that makes everything ok!
Well done my little one – you are a champ and you’d have my gold, silver and bronze every single day if I had even one!!