Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Leah's First Gymnastics Meet

Leah was invited to join the team in October, and has been a dedicated gymnast ever since then. Over the last month she's had up to three practices a week, and not little kid, easy kind of practice, I mean hard, sweating, blisters & bruises kind of practice. She has made quite the progression over the last 4 1/2 months, amazing me with her strength and talent.

Over the weekend, Leah competed in her first meet. All of us made the short trek over to the competition, and while Leah was full of excitement, I think I cornered the market on nerves. Here she is all suited up and ready to go!
One proud family ready to cheer on Leah!
We got to the facility early enough to get front row seats.

All the girls waiting to warm up with their Coaches.
Leah liked to spot us in the audience and shoot us a quick smile.
They all got on the floor to start the warm-up period, running laps to get those muscles moving.

Running through all of the movements from the floor routine.

Coach Kathy looking on.

Leah leaping, and getting some air.

In line for the vault.
Perfect...even toes pointed straight!
LOVE this expression on her face. It's looks like she's saying, "Oh My Gosh...can you believe what I am doing?!"
Picture Frame! That's what she calls the salute she does at the end of each routine.

Next up...the beam. Now, to be completely honest, on each difficult maneuver during her practice time she tumbled right off the beam. Tumble, fall...Arabesque, fall...Tuck jump, fall. I was not sure how this event would go, but she must have gotten all the falls out of the way, because her real routine was flawless.

After a good warm-up period, the teams cleared off the floor and prepared for the parade of athletes. They all came in with a spotlight as the announcer called out each team. I know this picture is extremely blurry, but I just love it, I think it looks like she is saying a little prayer.

First Apparatus was the beam, and I stood opposite of her up on a chair to get some good pictures. I was so excited, I almost forgot to take them. She mounted the beam, straight leg, pointed toe, and went through the routine perfectly.

When she finished her routine and did her tuck jump dismount, she smiled and started to run back to her chair. Kathy had to remind her to salute the judges before she darted off, I thought it was so cute, and it definitely told the judges that she was new to the whole world of gymnastics.
The floor routine came next, and she also did a great job in this one.

She starts off with a straddle roll to a hand stand. She had a little too much energy and excitement going into the hand stand and went all the way over, but she recovered beautifully and went right on with the routine.

Watching her other team mates and waiting on scores with Coach Kathy.

Her third event was vault. Leah has worked really hard on this one, even practicing it at home on our homemade mats, stacked couch cushions. She took off down the runway very determined, swung her arms just as she was supposed to did her handstand right into the landing. She scored very well on this and was ecstatic!
Leah's last event was the bars. The pullover that she mounts the beam with has been her nemesis the entire time. She has strained, struggled and tried for the entire 4 1/2 months to pull herself up to the bar, only accomplishing this without the Coach's assistance a couple times. Well, she did her salute to the judges, walked right up to the bar, and pulled herself up over that bar like she had done it a million times. I almost couldn't contain my amazement at her achievment.

After the pullover, she did a cast into a backward hip roll, and having a little too much oomph behind it, she had to power her way into the right position. And she did it too, that little girl of mine is so strong!

All done, warm-up suits back on, and ready to go to the awards presentation.
Leah giving a kiss to Laura. I was standing at least 10 feet away from them, and Leah just reached over and pulled Laura up to her for a kiss. The sweetest thing ever!
Leah was called up to the stage for three medals, placing on the Beam, Bars & in the All Around. She was thrilled and I was once again beaming with pride in her accomplishments.

The meet happened to be on Valentine's Day, so after it was over, my parents had presents waiting for them. They couldn't wait to open them

Our first experience at a Gymnastic's Meet was an awesome one, and I can imagine there will be many more in our future.

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