Mary found out she qualified to go to Regionals at the State meet last month.
I knew sooner, (because her coach contacted me at a previous meet and told me that Mary had pre-qualified for Regionals due to great scores that meet) but I didn't tell Mary, so she would fight for it at the State Meet.
Ever since the State Meet, all of Mary's tumbling focus has been on Regionals. Mary unfortunately landed with her heels out of bounds on floor at the state Meet, and dropped from first place down to 13th. It was a huge bummer, and one that she has been terrified she would repeat at Regionals. She also had a lot of clean up work to do on trampoline and double mini.
Regionals is a very big meet, and Mary has never been before. There are 6 States in our region, and only those who qualify can go. Therefore, we knew the competition would be nothing like she has experienced so far. Her goal was to get in the top 10, on any event. Getting on the podium was a huge leap, but she knew she maybe had a slim chance. She was willing to fight for it though, and work her little tail off.
Mary decided that she wanted to double practices, by going to open gym twice a week, along with her twice a week regular practices. I went to open gym with her the first two weeks, and did the best I could to coach her. Thankfully, the last week of open gym, her coach was there, and gave her some awesome one on one time, which made a big difference.
The big day finally came, and poor Mary was very nervous. We all were, but we were also so excited that she was able to compete in Regionals, what a cool experience she was able to have!
After Ben and I worked out, and we got the boys squared away at soccer games and Birthday parties, Mary, Molly, and I headed off to Farmington for Regionals.
The weather was horrible! It was snowing all the way through Parley's Canyon, and I honestly thought we were going to be late for the march in. Not a good way to start things off.
Luckily, we made it right smack on time, and Mary was able to do the march in. Few! Her first event was right after the march in. Good ol' trampoline.
Mary has struggled with trampoline, and has not liked it much. However, we have noticed that during the competition season, each meet she has looked better and better, and her scores have gotten higher and higher. We were shocked and exited that she qualified for Regionals on tramp.
She basically just wanted to get this one over with, she didn't plan on placing well at all, and then move on to her other two events she is more confident in.
Well, she shocked us all, and did an amazing trampoline routine!!! There were 9 girls in her group, and she was the youngest. She is in the 11/12 year old age group for everything. She is 10, but turns eleven one week before the year is over, so she has to compete in this group.
She hopped of the trampoline and did a big sigh of relief. I was truly so proud of her, and amazed at how great she looked on that event.
She ended up getting 4th place!!! One spot away from the podium! We could not believe it. It was so exciting. I was thrilled for Mary, and so thankful that she had met her goal of getting into the top 10 at Regionals on an event. (even though there were only 9 in this group) :)
|Mary is to the right of the podium.|
We had a good 3 hour break before her next two events, and grandma Sylvia had come down for the event, so we decided to go somewhere yummy to celebrate Mary being able to compete at Regionals, and Mothers Day, which was the following day.
We had a yummy lunch at Olive Garden, where Mary got high on Root beer, and Molly ate an entire breadstick all by herself.
|Grandma Sylvia has sacrificed a lot of weekends, and a lot of driving, to support Mary in her tumbling. It is really special, and means so much to Mary.|
After lunch, we drove our stuffed selves back to Farmington for Mary's final 2 events.
When we got there, the meet was running ahead of schedule and they had been calling Mary's name to get to the warm up area! yikes!
She did double mini first. Her group was huge. 27 girls in her level (7) and age division (age 11/12).
At this meet, one step back on your landing, or slightly bent legs, can knock you back several places. Mary did great, but she took a step on both of her landings. She has had better passes at other meets, but she didn't bomb it either. I was a nervous wreck for this one, because Mary is a level higher in double mini than in the other events, and it has been very up and down for her this season.
She has gone from landing on her bum at one meet, to taking 1st at another. Anything can go with double mini right now. Mary and I were so relieved that she did well, and felt good about it. I seriously about passed out from nerves watching her do her two passes. Geesh!
|Waiting in line for double min. Mary is second in line, behind the black girl with the green and black leotard. There is a lady in a red jacket next to her.|
The girls she competed against were very tough competition, and obviously older as well.
Mary came in 13th out of 27 on double mini, and was smiling away with the fact that she did her best, and hung in there. I was very proud of her, and glad that she felt good about it.
(sorry, no picture) I accidentally had my phone on video instead of photo, and by the time I got it all switched around, the solute and awards were over. Dang!
Right after double mini, Mary was taken over to tumbling. These events were back to back.
I was so stinkin' nervous for her! I knew that this was her best event, and I just wanted so badly for her to do her best and feel good about it. The last meet was rough (with her heels going out of bounds), so I just wanted to her to feel good and confident again.
Right when she started her first pass, an entire family stood up in front of us, and I didn't see her landing! I couldn't believe it! My mom saw it though, and told me that Mary stuck it. I did see most of her pass, and it was beautiful. I was so happy for her. I could tell she felt good about it, because she was smiling as she walked back with her coach.
Right before her second pass, Mary started shaking her hands and bouncing around. She was nervous! I have never seen this before with her on floor. Therefore, I was a wreck. She knew that she had to nail this pass. From watching the others, they were all so dang good, and it would come down to the smallest little thing.
I held my breath as Mary went, and it was awesome! She took one small step back on her landing, but other than that, it was the absolute best she could do, and I was thrilled for her! She, and her coach were all grins. Mary knew she had done her best, and it was very good.
Everyone was so good, we could not figure out how we thought Mary did, or how she would place. I did know that she looked awesome though, and probably did a personal best.
When it came time to announce the placements, they began with 17th place. It wasn't Mary. They continued to call 16th, then 15th...and so on. Once they got to 10th place, my heart was pounding like mad. I just wanted her to be able to meet her goal of getting in the top 10. When I heard them call another name for 10th place, I could see Mary's grin get even bigger! She was excited!
I wondered if her name would be called next, but it wasn't. They continued to call 8th place, then 7th, then 6th. Still not Mary. Mary was literally hopping up and down on her feet, and looking excited and nervous. Could she get on the podium?!?!
They got to the 4th place and I honestly thought I would pass out. PLEASE, just let Mary get on the podium. She looked like a nervous wreck as well. It was like time froze.
They called a name, and it wasn't Mary. She had made it on the podium...top 3! She was absolutely in shock and had her hands up to her face.
They then called 3rd place, and it wasn't Mary! Then time truly froze for a second. I somehow knew that Mary had won, and I can't describe the feelings I had. For a fleeting second, I had so much joy and happiness for my child. Not because she had won, which was absolutely amazing, but because I knew how hard she had worked, and I knew how she was about to feel. The tears came.
They called 2nd place, and it wasn't Mary.
Mary had won.
She realized it a split second before they said, "And your 2015 Regional Champion for Tumbling, with a score of 53.8, from Heber Handspringers...Mary Maynard." She had a look of complete shock, and then she was grinning so hard I thought her face would split, she kept putting her hands to her mouth, and the joy and excitement that came from her was shooting right into my heart. I thought I would burst.
The moment was completely surreal for all of us. We did not expect it at all, which made it even sweeter and more precious. I snapped a couple pictures of my little Mary out there on the podium in the 1st place position, as I wiped tears from my eyes. I just couldn't believe it, and I was so happy for my little girl.
Then my mom said something to me that was extremely wise, and became a very profound thought that Mary and I keep in our hearts now.
She told me that every once in a while, your child will have "their moment." This was Mary's. She said to enjoy it, feel it, let the excitement out, be happy, and soak it all in. Tell Mary to relish in it, be humble, but be proud. Feel it, love it.
But, to have Mary save a little bit of it in her heart. Because, surely there are going to be lots of times ahead, where it will not be her moment, and things will be discouraging and hard. In those times, she can pull out this little bit of this moment, and let that pull her through and remember what she is capable of.
I told Mary this later that day, and again as I was tucking her in bed that night.
As soon as Mary got down off the podium, she ran up to me and gave me a huge hug! She was beaming, and I was so happy for her. She kept saying she just couldn't believe it.
We quickly texted Ben, and let him know. His reaction was also very neat. He was so proud of her, and had tears as well.
Mary was so happy, and just bouncing around and grinning. We let her pick a place to celebrate, and we headed off to Cold Stone.
We ate ourselves silly with ice cream, re-lived that happy moment when her name was called over and over again, then said goodbye to grandma, and made our way home through the pouring rain. We kept on replaying the meet over and over again with eachother on the drive home, and Mary was so happy.
That evening, as I was saying my prayers, I thanked my Heavenly Father for giving Mary her moment. A special moment just for her, where she felt happy, confident, proud and like her hard work was worth it.
I thanked him for giving me a moment too. A moment to be able to watch my child be so happy and feel so good. I didn't thank Him for letting Mary win, or even for what place she took on any event. That is all good stuff, but more than anything, I was just so thankful for the joy of the moment, and for the joy my little girl was able to feel.
Way to fly Mary girl! Never stop reaching for the stars. You are someone special!