Coming out with my story a few months ago has been a wild ride. Support, backlash, threats, a lot that I expected, some that I did not. The biggest part of that process was to accept where I was, and figure out what I needed to do moving forward. For me, it was telling my story.
The weight of that situation initially was tough, and every other aspect of my life was not a priority. I have been back to consistent training for just over a month now. A few weeks ago, I really came to the conclusion that I wasn't happy with my training, my career, or where I was going.
I came out with my story to find peace and acceptance, and that didn't translate to gymnastics. I went to training every day anxious, and this nagging feeling of needing to catch up.
The last 18 months has been tough on most. I found it very difficult to be on and off training so much. I never felt like I got back to the form or training I needed, and felt immense pressure to catch up quickly every time.
So a few weeks ago, I made some changes. I started over with the intention of filling in the blanks that I had avoided for so long. I don't want to show up anxious every day, I don't want to compete feeling unworthy, and I don't want my career to be a heading nowhere fast, which I felt it has for a long time.
Starting over was scary, and initially embarrassing. My intention was always to compete as soon as it was possible. Now almost a whole year (of virtual competitions) has come and gone, and I didn't participate. I don't plan on competing for the remainder of the year either.
Accepting this was extremely hard. Like I've said before, playing the long game in a sport that values youth is tough.
In the last few weeks though, I found freedom and confidence in accepting exactly where I am, and consciously filling in those blanks. Every issue I've ever had in training and performance are being worked on.
For the first time since I've started gymnastics, I feel like I am in the drivers seat of my career, and more importantly, my perspective. I'll take any bad, boring, or "embarrassing" day than my best day before, when my life was in the hands of other people's perspectives.