Mary had her first gymnastics meet last night! We call it the unofficial, official meet.
It is called Intersquad. They bring in judges, but there is no competition, medals, etc. They get scores on all of the events, but only the coach knows the score, they don't flash it up on the screen. And only the girls from the competitive teams at Olmpus compete. They do this before the competition season opens, in order for the girls to get some "advice and pointers" from the judges. It was the perfect first meet for Mary to be in. Not too serious, no pressure, a way to see that the judges are friendly and willing to give advice, able to watch the older girls compete, able to see how a meet is run and what you do, etc.
Mary and I had to be there at 4:00 for the warm-ups. I had William with me, but Ben was able to bring Sam later at 5:30 when it actually started. That made things easier for everyone.
Mary has had one month to learn three routines and a vault. One month.
The others on her team have been doing it for a year and they are at least two years older than her. She has had A LOT to catch up on, in a short amount of time. I have had to work with her a lot at home (coaches request) in order to help her memorize the routines. She still has a long way to go in the next month before the big official meet, but she is doing phenomenal, according to her coach.
I am so proud of her. She has worked incredibly hard, on her own. We have chosen not to push her at all and to let her decide what she wants to do. She is a determined little girl, and she has so much fun at gymnastics. Those two things work really well together and help Mary keep up with the others without getting frusterated or down on herself.
She looked absolutely adorable out there!
You aren't able to wear nail polish, but you are able to have a fun hair style, as long as it is off your neck. (this seems to be the most important thing for the girls) ;) Mary chose to wear a ribbon and to have sparkles in her hair. She really wanted a picture of it, so here you go. And yes, that is a door in the background. Someday I will learn to take good pictures. Until then, just look at the people, not the background.
She loved the whole experience. The judges were so nice and Mary got the first meet jitters out. She looked like a baby among so many gymnasts of all ages, but she did not seem at all scared or intimidated. She just had a fun time, in her world, doing her thing. No stress. It was great!
The coach talked to each parent and gymnast after the meet and showed us her scores. She was very positive and continued to praise Mary for even being ready to compete in to the meet. Her scores were great for her, and we were happy with whatever. Mary doesn't even know what the scoring system is, and I am just fine with that. We focused completely on her having fun and doing her best.
She is already talking about the next meet and how she can't wait to do it all again.
I am so grateful that I got to do this with her before her real meet that I can't go to. I was so happy to be a part of her very first experience competing and seeing all of the fun that goes with it. It boosted her confidence and showed her how much fun competing is. It was also the perfect time for me to realize that I need to show Ben how to do her hair, fix her leotard, remove her nail polish, give her the thumbs up, and take pictures of and video EVERYTHING for the meet next month. ;) I think Ben will be more nervous for the meet next month than she is.
It is nice to have the first one over with, and we are all excited to see many more. Way to go little girl!