17 Signs You Were A Gymnast as a Kid

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As we head into the Olympic year, those who did gymnastics in their childhood get especially giddy and sentimental of their youth spent in a leotard, elbow deep in chalk while dreaming of being the next Olga, Nadia, Mary Lou, Shannon, Carly, Nastia or Shawn. In addition to the discipline and host of wonderful life lessons that gymnastics gave you, here are 17 signs you were a gymnast as a kid:

  1. You learned how to get dressed, eat and do homework in the car.In fact, you found it odd to not dress, eat and do homework in the car.  And maybe you still eat in the car…whatever.

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  1. You’ve always placed first in the presidential fitness test.Flexed arm hang? Puh—leeez.  As if you couldn’t do more chin ups than every boy in your school.

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  1. You may have been a little competitive.  And heaven forbid if someone challenged you to something.

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  1. Your childhood closet contains more leotards and bike shorts than imaginable. And scrunchies. So many scrunchies.

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  1. You probably understand basic coaching phrases in Russian.
    Davai! Stoi! Molodets!  (or at least pretend to).

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  1. Whenever you listen to a new song, you think about whether or not it would make good floor music. You know you’d kill it with a Lady Gaga mix. Or Adele’s Hello…

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  1. You become irrationally excited when gymnastics is on T.V. And since everyone loves gymnastics, why isn’t it on T.V. more often?

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  1. But watching it with non-gymnasts is so annoying. Why do they think their opinion is equal to yours?

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  1. And secretly you are relieved that you are not trying to do gymnastics in this day and age. When did it get so ridiculously hard?

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  1. Being late to something still makes you nervous. Sure, you are pretty certain that your boss won’t give you rope climbs, but you cannot help but to consider the possibility.

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  1. The word “series” also gives you are start. While others get excited about the prospect of a binging on a television series on Netflix, you cannot help but to think of many painful hours agonizing over being scared of yours on beam.

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  1. You loved Stick It and Make It or Break It. Even though you are far too old to watch them both, you not only watched but probably have Stick It on DVD and had a season pass to Make It or Break It.

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  1. While other kids hung teen idol posters and read classic series like Little House on the Prairie, you plastered your walls with posters of gymnasts and motivational quotes. What time you had to read was devoted to any book about gymnastics you could get your hands on, the classic being Jill Krementz’s A Very Young Gymnast or any of the books in the Junior Gymnasts series.  Concerts?  Who had time for that–you had to get to the gym!

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  1. Your hands were one giant callous, unless of course they were ripped to shreds with blisters. In fact, your palms still have signs of your many rips.

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  1. You can still do your “good side” splits. Sure, you might struggle with walking for the next few days, but you’re used to that too.

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  1. The highlight of your childhood was the moment you were given your first competition leotard and warm up. Bonus points if it has crystals.

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  1. You still dream of representing your country at the Olympics. And a little piece of you will always tear up a bit when you hear the Olympic march –in music or the National Anthem.

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