Tag: gymnastics

Choices: A Little Girl’s Dilemma

For those who have been following our little blog for some time now will know that little T has been doing gymnastics since she was about four.  She only stopped for a few months when her gym club closed and moved away.  After going for about two years, we thought that her time with gymnastics has come to an end.  In fact, she even announced her “retirement” from the sport.

That was when we decided that it was perhaps time to try something else.  We found her a ballet class run by a lovely teacher.  T tried it and loved it.  Apparently, according to T’s teacher, she has a natural ability.  Of course, we were pleased.

And then lo and behold, a satellite gymnastics class opened in a nearby town near us.  We took T along and that’s when she changed her mind and announced she was out of retirement.

It’s been about a year now of doing both gymnastics and ballet and I’m proud to say she’s doing well in both.  Her gym club has even invited her to join in the development squad group, which means two hours of gymnastics.  She’s still doing her ballet and is about to do her first ballet “exam” next month.

This term, she has also joined girls-football club and sports club every Thursday after school.  Not to mention she also does cello and swimming on Wednesdays.  Yes, my seven-year-old is doing way too much.

And recently, her gymnastics coach has invited little T to join an additional gymnastics class, this time focusing on rhythmic gymnastics on a Thursday.  But this means driving to the main gym club which is about a 45-minute drive from where we live.  This will also mean, she’ll have to give up sports-club which she loves, because she does it with her friends.  And it will be another late night. At the moment, Monday’s are her busiest since she does gymnastics from 5-7.  Did I mention that my seven-year-old is doing way too much?

And here lies the dilemma, something has got to give.  The problem is, she loves both her gymnastics and ballet.  She also loves playing football with her friends at school.  While she does the girl’s football with her friends on Wednesdays during school hours, she also wants to join the football club which happens on Monday afternoons after school.  Her teacher plans to form a football team and she wants to be included in that team.  Her teacher used to be an ex-professional football player.  When he retired he went into teaching and he said to my husband “Your daughter is naturally sporty.  She has good strength and a natural balance” which of course pleased my husband no end.

But she can’t.  Not if she continues to do 2 hours-of gymnastics, plus the additional 1 hour on Thursday (if she decides to do this).  It’s just way too much.

My poor seven-year-old doesn’t know what to do.  What to give up.  She asks us for advice but we remind her that at the end of the day, it is her choice.  She has to follow her heart and decide on what she wants to do.

At the moment, she’s thinking of giving up gymnastics.  I’m a bit saddened by this.  She’s worked so hard for her badges and clearly, her coaches does see potential in her.  They say that she has the perfect built and stamina to be a really good gymnast.  Some kids in her development class do gymnastics three times a week, some even more.

My husband and I are thinking, do we want this for our child?  While it’s good that she’s really into sports, we also want her to have a life.  We want her to have fun with her friends. As parents, isn’t that what we all want?  At the same, I think we also have to remind ourselves that our kids, are just kids.  Let them be kids.

As mentioned, at the moment, she’s thinking of giving up gymnastics.  We told her to think about it over half-term break before deciding on anything.  She wants to keep doing ballet, she says.  I’m thinking maybe she could keep doing the two-hour gym session on a Monday?  But my husband reminded me that she’s in the development squad for a reason.  She can’t stay there forever.  Besides, this little girl wants to join the football club.  Such a dilemma, for one so young!  At her age, I think the only dilemma I had was which stationary could I afford with my pocket-money, nothing major at all.

What would you advice?

Out of Retirement: A Little Gymnast Inspired by the 2016 Rio Olympics

If you’ve been following my blog, you might have read in past posts about Little T’s retirement from gymnastics after her old club decided to close and move further away from where we live.  I’m glad we didn’t listen to her and in spite that announcement (just in case she changes her mind), my husband still went on and searched for a club that’s nearer to us, luckily we’ve found one.

So why the sudden change of heart?  It’s the 2016 Rio Olympics of course!  I’m sure little T isn’t the only one who is being inspired by the courageous and admirable athletes in the probably (correct me if I’m wrong) most prestigious sporting event every four years.  While we haven’t been glued to the TV like some and have only seen a few games, like you guess it – gymnastics, it was enough to inspire the once retired little gymnast.

She’s also ticked pink that the American gymnast Simone Biles is little like her (standing at 4’8) and yet has won four gold medals and one bronze.  She loves that 16-year-old British gymnast Amy Tinkler won the bronze and has become the youngest Olympic medallist in 32 years.

Little T was also inspired by British trampolinist Bryony Page who won silver and is the first ever British trampolinist to win an Olympic medal and there’s also Matt Whitlock who won two golds in the current Olympics.

And because of all these fabulous gymnasts, little T has now come out of retirement and is looking forward to her new club come September and who knows, she might just win in the Olympics too 😉

Has your little one been inspired by the Olympics too?  Or perhaps you have?

Do share.

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.


After School Activities: Too much, too soon?

I’ve mentioned in a past post that Little T is doing two after-school activities since she began going to school in September.  Three, if you count swimming, which she actually stopped going to, but will start again when school resumes after the summer.  At the moment she’s doing:


which she absolutely enjoys and is doing really well.  In fact, a couple of weeks ago, one of the senior coaches approached us and said that they’ve actually singled her out from her group and thinks she has potential.  They actually mentioned that they would like to train her for competitions, but that would mean another extra hour of training and would like to do this after the summer.  It was certainly a proud moment for me and my husband.  We were really pleased, especially since she enjoys going to gymnastics so much.

Little T was also happy when we told her.  She also said “That means I get to wear a different kind of leotard!”  You see, girls who do competitions wear a different kind from the other girls.  We explained though that this will mean an extra-hour, not to mention hard-work.  At the moment though, I don’t think she understands that it is “hard-work”.  To her, gymnastics is all about fun, being with her friends, doing jumps, balancing and other gymnastic moves.

Too young?  Too soon?

Later though, I turned to my husband and said “But she’s only four for goodness sake!”  He reminded me, by then she’ll be older.  “Yes, but isn’t five also too young?”   She goes to gymnastics on Fridays after class, from 4-5.  If she starts training, that will be from 4-6.  Won’t she be exhausted?  Then again, badge sessions are almost 3 hours and she seems all hyper and not tired after each session.

While I’m really proud that they think she has potential, I’m worried that the training will be too much and just want her to have fun at gymnastics.  Of course I won’t hold her back.  If she’s really into it, we will support her all the way.  Even if it means camping out in the waiting room with the other parents who actually bring their work with them, laptops and all.  Once I saw a woman bring her portable sewing machine!  Now I know why.


Almost all the kids in little T’s school all go to Starmakers.  It’s a drama/singing/dancing type of class which little T also loves.  At first, she refused to go.  But then she noticed all her friends were going.  She tried it out and really enjoys every minute of it.  Again, I guess it’s because to her, it’s all play.  She gets to sing and dance with the rest of her friends from school.  And not only that, it’s held at the village hall which is not far from their school and their home.  At least we don’t drive to get her to that, we just walk her which is always good isn’t it?  Starkers happens every Monday after school.

Here she is with her friends and their version of the Lion King.

Cello Lessons?!

Little T’s village school offers violin or cello lessons to students who are interested in it.  Now that she’s turning five, she can actually join them if she wants to, which of course, she does!  I’m happy about cello lessons, especially since it’s just at their school, no driving to be done.  But with gymnastics (plus training), swimming (which she will start again by September), Starmakers, and then now cello lessons?  Surely that’s too much for a five-year old?  Something has to give right?  If I had my way, I’d want her to give up Starmakers, but she loves it though.  I can’t stop her from going, especially since she really enjoys it.  Should I?

I was chatting with another mum, her twin daughters who are close to little T and also goes to gymnastics mentioned that her twins also want to go to ballet and street dancing class.  They also go to the same Starmakers as T.  She didn’t seem to think that it was all too much.  Maybe it’s just me then?  Maybe I’m the only one who is finding this too much, too soon?  And I actually forgot to mention that little T also wants to go to trampolining class in her gym club!  But I think I’m going to put my foot down on that one, especially since that’s on a different day.

The question is, why do we need to cram so much activities after school?  How important is it?  With little T, all these are her choices.  We didn’t prompt her for it.  What’s wrong with spending time at home after school instead?  Admittedly, I don’t always have the time to sit with her, especially when there’s dinner to be made, and chores to do.  I do make it a point though to have a little chat and for some cuddles on the couch before I get up and do my chores.  During the weekends, she’s happy to potter around, do some painting (which she loves) and play on her own.  Sometimes, she has friends over, most times it’s just her, me and her dad.  Surely that’s enough?

What do you think?

Is it too much, too early to have so many after school activities for a four (turning five) year old?

Little T's first Gymnastics Badges

As some of you may know, little T started gymnastics class last year and I’m proud to say that she’s still loving it and has actually earned her first two badges.

For awhile my husband and I were worried that she’d lose interest, especially since it is a bit of a drive form where we live.  But so far, she is still looking forward to Fridays when she gets to don her lovely sparkly gym leotards and now club hoodie.  I’ve just recently sewn her badges on, ready for her to wear tomorrow.

After sewing the second one, my fingers were really hurting!

It’s so interesting and lovely to see how confident she is now after starting school this year, joining her gym class and also star-makers another after school activity.  She’s no longer the scared, shy little girl who used to burst into tears just as the school bell would ring.  Interestingly, some kids who were so confident at the start of the year are now the ones who have been tearful in the mornings, while T after a goodbye wave, would happily cue along with her other friends.

And it was actually also her idea to join star-makers (a drama, singing and dancing class), which one of the mum’s of her friends facilitate after school.  All her friends went at the beginning, and she held back.  We didn’t push her, for us it was enough that she had her gymnastics class and didn’t want (still don’t) to pile too much activities after school.  Most days she’s too tired and grumpy to do anything anyway.

But one day, she surprised us all, by announcing that she wanted to go to star-makers too, which was fine, especially since it’s being held at our village hall, not far from her school.

Little T has definitely gone more than a mile from the kind of little girl she was before she started school.  To think that at the beginning, I was so worried that we had made the wrong decision of starting her too early.  After all, she had just turned four, in less than a couple of weeks before starting school.

What about you?

How are your little ones doing?

My Little Gymnast

Starting school:

Little T just turned 4 when she started school.  I knew it was going to be a bit of a struggle with her, although she was definitely ready for it, we knew that the first couple of weeks would be a bit difficult. But she survived, or more like, we all survived!  In less than two weeks, she was totally fine.  We still do get our odd days of course, but hey, even as grown-ups we have those days too right?  But she’s doing really great now and absolutely loves school and her teacher and friends.  What a relief!

After-school activities: 

And then there’s the after-school activities, which I wasn’t so keen at first, because at this age, isn’t school enough?  And she’s always had her swimming lessons every Wednesday even before she started school.  I thought that was enough.  When she’s a bit older, then she can have whatever after school activities she wants like music lessons or sports.

The thing with T is that she’s always been interested in gymnastics.  I guess in a way all little children are, you know they all like bouncy castles, jumping and hanging upside down like little monkeys at the playground.  So when most of her school mates started going to after school activities, I thought why not look for a gymnastics class for her, because she’s really into it?  I didn’t want to send T to an after-school activity she wasn’t interested in, just because everyone else was doing it.  It had to be something she really liked.

Thankfully, we did find one for her age-group, although it is about a 30-45 minute drive from where we live.  It’s so much worth it!

She loved the first class.  I was half expecting her to hesitate when she first tried out, but she didn’t.  She just went along with the other girls, all older and taller than her.  As usual, she’s the youngest and smallest in the whole gymnastics club!  And it’s also a proper one, you know the kind that’s a member of the British gymnastics association, that sort.  A “proper job” as the Cornish would say 🙂

After the first lesson, we wanted to buy her the club’s leopard right away.  But they told us to wait for at least two weeks before buying it, just to make sure that she won’t change her mind.  When we found out how much it cost, we agreed.  Let’s just say it wasn’t cheap.

Now it’s been more than two weeks since her first try and here she is, still loving it:

She loves what she calls her gymnastics-outfit!  When we first bought it, she refused to take it off and actually wanted to sleep in it.  Later on, she agreed to just sleep WITH it, tucked in her bed with her.  Not only that, she brought it on holiday with us.  It was a bit of a struggle to convince her not to wear it during our holiday.

And as you know, with little T, she always has to have a funny-face whenever the camera is pointed at her.

This is definitely one of our proudest moments.  Since starting school and gym class, our little girl has been more confident as ever.  Still a little bit shy at first, but once she’s comfortable enough, she’ll even go up to you and introduce herself.  What’s not there to be proud of?  I’m sure all parents are the same 😉

Does your child go to an after-school activity?
Do they love it too?