Over the course of the last week, we've had 2 gymnastic tournaments. For some reason, Kay's age/level always pulls the night slot. Sunday it was a 6:30pm slot (yep, awards were at 10pm and we got home at 11pm - burger king drive through never tasted so good!) and Friday as a 5:30pm start (home at 10:30pm but the competition was right across the street from our favorite Korean restaurant, Mirror of Korea, so we loaded up on kim bop (sushi) and mondu (potstickers)- YUM!! plus we gave Mrs Choi a hug and she hung up the kids new school pictures on her board. Its an annual ritual.)
Peppermint Twist - Sundays night tournament was HUGE! In the convention center and they gave each of the girls a new leotard, it was the 25th annual meet and so very special. Kay started out the night with her floor routine (her best event) and did well with a 8.95. She was behind on the music (an ongoing challenge as she's doesn't have any rhythm - as Jimmy always points out) and didn't quite stick her back tuck landing. Its a bummer since she can stick her back tuck landing in every practice. Vault was next, remember, last year this was a big challenge for her, she didn't have much control and was so strong and fast and light that she'd just go flying over the vault. This year is the year of mastery and she got a 9, woo hoo! Beam is a bit intimidating this year and she gets so wound up that she rushes and makes tiny mistakes that add up. she got a 8.2 due to a major wobble and we learned that the dismount they were all doing was costing them points. They worked all week to fix it for the next meet. Finally, bars - this year requires a TON of upper body strength as they have to transition from the low bar to the high bar. All the girls are struggling with it. She got a 8.6 due to a slight hop on the dismount. Frankly I don't know how any of the girls do it, the bars are so high and they get swinging so fast, I'd be totally freaked out. Overall - 34.75 with 2nd overall and 1st on vault and floor! Amazing!! Jimmy said she should be named team captain. Not only did she do the best in her club (a reoccurring theme) but she hugged every girl after their event and even was trying to cheer up one of her friends that was crying and upset about how she had done. Kay had both hands on her shoulders, a real serious look on her face and was saying "did you do your best? are you having fun? by the way, its a yes/yes answer" too cute.
State - Friday was the state tournament at Hamline, so it was a smaller meet (you had to qualify) but the pressure the girls were putting on themselves was intense. They had their eye on the competition and it was strong. Turns out, we've only had 2 meets before state and the other teams have all competed in 5-6 meets - uh oh... Tammy (their coach) was talking to the parents afterwards and she's going to lobby for more meets, earlier in the season next year. vault was 1st and from where we sat it looked like a killer performance, no hops, straight body, but it only netted her a 8.225 - I guess she didn't push off on her hands the way she needed to...hmmm.. we have a lot to learn about gymnastics scoring...Next was bars. All I'll say is, its really hard to watch your child falter on a routine that you've seen them do a million times flawlessly. 1/2 way through the lower bar she either was distracted or got nervous and her arms buckled. That threw her off the rest of the routine. She only got a 7.325 - her lowest score ever and you could tell that she was not happy with herself. Beam was next and she didn't wobble, had the new dismount and got a 8.8. She seemed back on track. Floor was her final event and she delivered with a 9. She's so damn amazing but had a slight hop on her back tuck (again, I've seen her do a million times without a hop) - 33.35 in total and not enough to place overall. She did get 10th in floor and a medal and we think she got 11th overall but they only announce to 10th place. Once again, she had the highest score on her team and was the only one to medal. Jimmy was doing a nice job of congratulating her "way to go Kay, you got a medal, this is a big meet, you were the best in your club" etc etc. But... On the walk to the car, she burst into tears. She was so disappointed in herself "I know I can do better, I do better in practice, the 7 was my lowest score EVER!!!" I felt so bad for her. Big long hugs is all you can do. Part of me is so proud that she is so determined, talented and takes this all so seriously but the other part of me just wants to make it all better. We just held hands and slowly walked back to the car.
Kay is resilient though and was fine by the time we got home. She's ready to get back to practice on Monday and is looking forward to redeeming herself in the meet in January.
She has the heart of a champion no matter how she places:) We love you Kay!!