She skips, turns, and does forward rolls. Caitlin sings, "I do gymnastics. Watch me flip." When we watch the Olympic gymnastics on the TV, Caitlin feel compelled to participate.
I'm not sure if I want Caitlin to take gymnastics lessons. I took lessons and competed from the age of 5 till I was 15. I coached for 4 more years after that. I loved being upside down. I loved flipping. I loved working hard to get a new skill. So why do I feel conflicted about Caitlin wanting to do gymnastics. I think gymnastics is one of the reasons I had such a bad body image. I am not a petite person (not even as a kid). I was always the biggest girl on the team. Even though I wasn't fat I thought I was because I had a bigger frame. At 5 feet 6 inches I am a giant in the gymnastics world. Would I have had body image issues even if I wasn't a gymnast? It is hard to say but walking around in a leotard 4 days a week and comparing figures didn't help. I never developed an eating disorder but I had some unhealthy habits. I even brought diet pills once but thankfully chickened out before I took them.
Gymnastics definitely had some positive effects on me too. Physically it helped to make me really strong. I was in the best shape of my life. It also taught me that hard work pays off. You have to practice a lot and do conditioning in order to gain new skills. There are no ways to cheat in order do that layout with the full twist.
So if Caitlin asks to take gymnastics lessons will I let her take them? Probably. Right now she is only 3 years old, I am going to expose her to lots of sports and activities. When she gets older I will let her decide what she wants to do. I hope that she choses soccer or basketball, sports I think she has a good chance of excelling at. Sports I wish I tried sooner.