#LifeLesson, a Parent’s Perspective

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A couple weeks ago, JAG’s USAG compulsory level gymnasts competed in their State Championship. One of our Level 4 gymnasts, Madi, who placed first in the All-Around at Sectionals, had a very good chance at winning the All-Around at State.

Pretty exciting stuff when you are 10 years old. But also for her family, her coaches and the entire JAG community.

You know how you sometimes have those kids, the ones who are incredibly hard-workers with near perfect attendance, who always go above and beyond what is asked of them, and who don’t complain about what level they are asked to do, which group they are placed in or what the conditioning is for the day?

That is Madi. So, yes, I’ll admit it: I too really wanted to see this kid get rewarded for her hard work and win State.

But she didn’t place first. Not through any error on her part, but rather because of an inexplicably low vault score, she wound up fourth.

The next day, scrolling through my Facebook feed, I came across this post by her mom Laura (which I am using with both Madi’s and Laura’s permission):

From A Parent’s Perspective: Madi won State Bar Champion at the State meet yesterday which earned her a place on the gym wall with a state banner. Very exciting. She placed top five in Beam and Floor events with great scores. But for some reason, the judges scored her really low on vault. 8.975. For Madi, it was very tough to swallow that score. Even on her worst day she wouldn’t score that low.

As a parent who spends countless hours supporting her, I know too, that that would throw her All Around score.

However, this is why I love this sport so.

Part of being a parent, is being able to teach your kids that it isn’t just about winning 1st. It is about teaching them life lessons. With this situation, I was able to explain to her that in life, things don’t always work out the way you wish them to be. That hard work doesn’t always pay off the way you think it might. And I was able to explain to her that life is not always fair.

However, I was also able to tell her that being proud of someone (as we are of her) did not have to do with where she placed. We were proud of her for the efforts she has made all season and her determination and dedication to the sport. For the respect she shows her teammates, the gym and her coaches.

This ‪#‎LifeLesson was more important than any medal she could have ever gotten.

Even so, she placed 4th All-Around and we are super proud of her! Thanks to her coaches Erika, Cari, Rosa Ichkova and ‪#‎JAGgym for getting her here.

Her scores were vault 8.975, bars 9.550, beam 9.300, floor 9.425, All Around 37.250 ‪#‎gomadi ‪#‎gymnastics

Well, clearly the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Kind of easy to understand why the kid is so awesome with a mom like this.

I tell this story not to brag (well, okay, maybe a little!). But I tell it because Laura’s wise words and perspective is for all of us. #LifeLesson for sure.