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Flips, twists and turns

August 9th, 2016 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Parenting

I was never a sports person. I wish I had been, but I was clumsy and tended to hurt myself. As soon as I was allowed to drop gym I did.

Why I ever thought I’d do well in a degree program where playing sports was part of the curriculum is beyond me, but 19 year old me refused to look at it that way.

Even though I never excelled in sports or the arts, every time I watched the Olympics I wanted to be one of those people. I wished that I had dedicated myself to something. I wished that I had found solutions for my weak ankles or stuck it out in gymnastics, or paid more attention in tennis camp. (My father, a former tennis coach, paid for two years of tennis camp at his club. I don’t remember ever playing an actual game against another person).

When my daughter was born I made the decision that we would put her in all sorts of different activities and see what might stick. I didn’t want her to wonder like I still sometimes do – what if I had joined the rowing team in high school when my friend suggested it?

We started swimming lessons as soon as we could register – partly to get me the hell out of the house during my maternity leave. I took her to gymnastics when she was about eight months old.

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Seriously with the cute

She started skating lessons with Daddy when she was about two.

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She’s done t-ball and ball hockey, cheerleading and ballet, acro dance, she didn’t like hockey, but she loves to run, so we put her in soccer.

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She loves to run, bike, cartwheel, whatever she can do to move as fast as she can. And, of course, she trampolines.

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So now we know some things are her things and some things are decidedly not. And I know that she wants to go to the Olympics in gymnastics and then, once she’s aged out of that sport, as a member of the women’s soccer team.

My daughter, at 6-years-old, is already over four feet tall. The other day I did a search for the tallest ever Olympic gymnast and that was Svetlana Khorkina, who was 5’5″

My daughter is probably going to be taller than Simone Biles – 4’8″ and currently the best gymnast in the world – by the time she’s 8 years old.

I have tried to gently explain this to her. I mentioned than right now she’d be about shoulder-height to the amazing Miss Biles. She said that she’d like to meet her someday to see how much taller she is – because she’ll be standing on the podium above her.

(It was a good burn).

I don’t know if my kid is going to make it to the Olympics. I have a feeling if she does it won’t be in gymnastics. But we’ve explained to her the work and dedication that goes into a goal like that, if that is to be her goal.

But really, I can only be impressed because being an Olympian never felt remotely like a possibility for me, and her is this little girl who declares that she will be one, someday. (And if she does make it, then I have all of these adorable pictures for the montage CBC will put together).

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