As I am sure most of you are aware, Gymnastics has been in the news a lot lately. Some days it seems all consuming, and it's scary to see how widespread the issue is.
Since coming to Paris, I have been looking for a club to train at. When I was a kid, I went to the same school from K to 9 and it became extremely comfortable. I remember the last day of Grade 9 being crazy because I truly couldn't wrap my head around going to a different school. I had only ever started school once - where my sister and cousins were and I had been a million times with them, and that was 10 years prior. I couldn't even picture what that experience would look or feel like.
And I feel like I am in that exact spot again.
I started in Grande Prairie when I was 3 - again, where my sister and cousin had gone and I had been a million times, and I started at Phoenix when I was 9. I have been to clubs, training camps, lots - but I have never started at a new club since I was 9. I am 28.
I think part of the process in accepting that my Gymnastics experience hasn't been unanimously GREAT is realizing how often the poor experience influence current experiences.
My biggest fear, like I'm sure most people going into a new space, is that I am not good enough - whether that's my fitness, my weight, my Gymnastics, my attitude, my cardio - or any combination of those.
I have never had a bad experience in a gym that I have trained in - GP or Phoenix - yet, from experience at camps or seeing how others are treated in other gyms, I have spent months preparing myself to get absolutely berated. Frankly, I am ok with that.
I do not love where I am with any of that list above - I have a lot of work to do and I am good to do it.
People have asked me if I am nervous to go to a new club - and I am and I am not. I know what I can take and I know what I am willing to accept. I am not there to necessarily make friends, but I am also not there to be humiliated. Boundaries, I guess!
I genuinely have a line in my head of what level of "mean" I am prepared to accept. I know what I can take that doesn't affect me, and what line cannot be crossed that my mental health couldn't take.
I think it's crazy that for me, someone who has had success and am very comfortable in this sport as a whole, has had to prepare myself for this. The culture of this sport - in Canada at least - is so flawed that I have already come up with a level of abuse and humiliation I am ready to accept in exchange for the success I want.
I hope I am wrong. I think I am wrong, and things will be great. But how flawed is a sport - something we all do for fun - that based on my own experiences, have to prepare myself for this?
I will keep everyone posted!