What Gymnastics has taught my daughter

Little T started gymnastics last year when she was four.  She didn’t cry the first time she went, but her sleeve was so wet, you see, she likes to chew on her sleeve when she’s nervous.

It’s been over a year now since she started.  Some of her friends from her school joined her last year, but even though they seemed to enjoy it, they found it a little bit too much for them.  Which I found a bit baffling.  I don’t want to sound as if I’m undermining my child, but I know my own daughter.  She is a lot like me – shy and not very forwarding.  At first glance, you’d think she doesn’t have much confidence, unlike her friends.  But it turned out her friends who seemingly are more confident than T, didn’t last at her gymnastics class.  They just couldn’t handle it.  When they quit, I was worried that T would too.  But she persevered.

Before we went on our summer holiday last year, one of the senior coaches approached us and she said that they wanted to start training T for competitions when she turns six, but she’d have to do two hours of training.  We said we’d ask T and see what she thought of it.  To our surprise, T seemed keen to start training.  But we decided that she’d start the two hours after the summer break.

I’ll be honest, six months on after starting with two hours of gymnastics every Friday, I don’t see much change in T.  She still doesn’t have the strength in her legs and arms unlike the other girls who can do multiple, cartwheels, backflips and somersaults.  T still looks a bit clumsy and frail compared to them.  To be fair though, she is the youngest in her group.

I spoke to her coach about this last week and I told her that I think the group is much too advanced for her age and capabilities as a beginner.  Her coach agreed with me, but she said the thing with T is that she is hanging on, doing what she’s told, as much as she can.  I asked her if it would be better for T to go back to just doing one hour.  She said it was up to us.

Again, we talked to T about it and to my surprise she was adamant that she wanted to stay in her group.  I was immensely proud of my little girl but at the same time I wanted to cuddle and protect her and try to convince her to just do the one hour.  But we never go against what our little girl wants, especially when it comes to her own choices of activities to do.

At this point though, I don’t really care if she’s going to be a top gymnast and win medals and do cross-country competitions.  At the moment, what’s important to me is that she’s having fun and most especially she’s learning major life skills at such an early age – discipline and sticking to something in spite whatever fears she has in her little heart.  You don’t just quit and give up because you’re afraid of something, you persevere.  And that to me is more important than winning competitions or doing multiple cartwheels.

What about you?

Did you ever excel at any sport?

I was never good at any sport.  My husband though played football, cricket and fencing at university.



  1. Laura@dearbearandbeany

    What a beautiful daughter you have, she clearly knows what she wants to do and loves it. You should be proud of the decisions she is making for herself. I loved sport at school, but it didn’t continue into adulthood!!! X
    Laura@dearbearandbeany recently posted…Alice’s First Birthday…Looking Back #8My Profile

    • I did ballet when I was younger. But I’m afraid I didn’t have the maturity of my daughter and just gave it up. I wish I pursued it 🙁

  2. Gemma Nuttall

    She is so cute!! Look at that little face.
    A headstrong girl, just fabulous. I hope she never changes. I wish I was more like T!
    I loved sport at shool…but not athletics. I played field hockey and danced, I still play hockey on and off now but it’s hard these days to fit it in around the kids!
    I think T will be just fine at Gym, as long as she is enjoying as you say, let her carry on. Well done for letting her have the freedom of choice Dean.x

    • Same here. Wow field hockey! I’m impressed 🙂 One of my mum friends used to play hockey too at a regional level. Obviously she doesn’t play now especially with three kids age under 5. But I’m glad you’re still playing 🙂

  3. Well done T, you must be so proud of her. They can be determined little ones at times cant they? My eldest loves dancing and goes to dance class she has been asked to enter competitions – I don’t really mind but she really wants to so she can. When she wants to stop dancing she can it is her decision.

    I wasn’t great at anything sporty but my husband is one of those annoyingly all rounders – I think my Meme will be one too.

    • Your daughter sounds just like T. Kids are lovely aren’t they? At the end of the day, it’s their decision isn’t it?

  4. Sarah MumofThree World

    What an amazing girl! I really admire her dedication and hard work. She knows herself if it’s too much for her – and she clearly thinks it isn’t!
    Thanks for linking with Loud ‘n’ Proud.
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…Loud ‘n’ Proud 28.4.16My Profile

    • I honestly think it’s too much… But she disagrees with me. As long as she’s happy, I’m fine with it.

  5. Fi Ni Neachtain

    I think it’s great that your daughter has taken up gymnastics and it persevering with it too. As you say, it doesn’t matter if her skill level isn’t up there yet, she’s learning and having fun right now and that’s dab! 🙂

  6. Kim Carberry

    Aww! She is adorable….
    I never really excelled at sports. I did gymnastics and dancing for a while but never stuck at it like your girl. Well done her x
    Kim Carberry recently posted…A charity shop cabinet…My Profile

  7. Sounds like she loves doing it although wow, 2 hours is tough. I think N would struggle with a full hour of tennis which is the sport he likes.

    He started gymnastics at school this week when all the older classes go swimming. They usually do dance, but it was a mix this week and supposedly were trying backward rolls! He can do a forward roll, but it’s a little wild and dangerous looking, but guess we’ll see how he gets on. He said he enjoyed it though.
    Emma T recently posted…Peter Rabbit and The Great Breakout dvd giveawayMy Profile

    • I think so too. But she she seems to be loving it. Wouldn’t want to stand in her way. How nice that N is also doing gymnastics, especially since there seem to be more girls than boys, especially at T’s club.

  8. Tori Gabriel

    Oh, she is amazing! I love that she already know what she wants to do and she’s sticking with it. I wish I had done a sport as a kid. I will definitely be encouraging my girls.

  9. Alina Ghost

    That’s so sweet. You should be proud. Looks like she’s determined and head strong which would be useful later in life too I’m sure. I used to do gymnastics when younger and then used those skills to compete at Cheerleading around the UK for 6 years. It’s a lot of fun, great exercise and can be key to personality growth.

    Alina | home and lifestyle blogger UK
    Alina Ghost recently posted…NexttonotimeMy Profile

    • Oh wow. I’m not surprised Alina. Yes, she seems to be really loving it.

  10. Helena Feofanov

    Such a lovely post, I used to go to ballet when I was little, taught me so much and thanks to that I still have a great posture. Your daughter sounds amazing, good luck to her with everything, what a strong girl! X
    Helena Feofanov recently posted…My Boyfriend Does the Smokey Eye.My Profile

    • Thank you. I used to do ballet to as a child, but I’m afraid I didn’t stick with it. I guess that’s the reason why I have such bad posture .

  11. laura dove

    This is lovely, it’s so important for children to learn these lessons, whatever that may be in. My eldest has played football since he was very young and now plays for the school team and for our local town under 12’s. My youngest three haven’t shown any interest in sports just yet but I am sure they will find their “thing” as they grow. I hated all sports as a child, still do as an adult. My thing was most definitely more reading and writing, both of which I still stick with as an adult!
    laura dove recently posted…The Liebster AwardMy Profile

    • Same here. Wasn’t ever good at sports, like you I always buried my head in a book or was furiously writing in my journal… Still am 😉 x

  12. Loved it Dean! Sounded quite familiar with my J, she’s 4 as well, and taking swimming lessons. Her perseverance is what I admire the most of her, just like your little one. Such a great examples for all of us! x


  13. Good on her she is determined and it is clearly something she loves. I wanted to do gymnastics as a kid but the waiting list was so long that I was too old by the time I got a place.

  14. She sounds like such a determined little girl. You must be so proud of her. She’s learning such incredible skills, especially perseverance! It’s incredible to have a hobby you love and you try hard for. x
    Chloe recently posted…BOSCASTLE RETREATMy Profile

  15. Jenni - Odd Socks and Lollipops

    I think it’s fab that she is sticking with it and knows what she likes! It’s a great thing to have something like this to look forward too each week – i did a number of things but I never lasted long and wish I had had a bit more sticking power – I hope she carries on having as much fun as she is down now =)
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    • Same here. I did ballet, piano lessons and art lessons as a child… but didn’t stick to any of it 🙁

    • T isn’t excelling in anything yet either, but like you guys, she is definitely a tryer! And to me is more important. x

  16. Anna Fraser

    I was rubbish at most extra curricular stuff (except for sprinting and hurdles) … therefore, with hindsight, I think its kind of crucial to be good at something , whatever it is. Everyone needs a chance to have their ‘thing’ which they can excel at … and then reference when they are 35 like I am doing now!
    Lovely post.
    Anna x
    Anna Fraser recently posted…FridayStylefinder: A Perfect Wedding Guest Dress by OasisMy Profile

    • I wasn’t good at sports either. Writing was always sort of my thing 🙂 x

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