Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Chloe Lou Retton

A while back, Chloe took gymnastics for a couple of months. She was. . . not exactly a natural, and it was kind of expensive, so we dropped it.

Last fall, she convinced us she was ready to start back. Wings Gymnastics has classes twice a week at Idlewild, and the price seemed more reasonable now that we aren't in daycare, so we signed her up. She has loved it.

I was surprised by how much she enjoyed it, considering she couldn't even really do a cartwheel. She didn't care- she practiced her afflicted-looking cartwheels all the time, and looked forward to each class. Her teacher, Miss Mary Hannah, is really patient with all ages and skill levels. Chloe talked for months about the recital her class would have in May, and couldn't wait to show us what she'd been doing. And we were all surprised to see that she actually held her own out there.

One of the instructors, who isn't her normal teacher, spotted her the first time she went on the beam at the recital. She didn't touch Chloe at all, and Chloe did great. Only later did I realize that her everyday teacher almost never takes her hands off of Chloe on the beam! Yet at this recital, in front of everyone, Chloe just sucked it up and did it with no fear and no complaints. I realized this weeks later, and I just want to hug Chloe for hours whenever I think of how she handled herself at the recital.

About a month after the recital, Chloe was doing her usual nightime routine of practicing cartwheels and handstands in front of the TV while the rest of us tried to watch basketball. And suddenly she just did a cartwheel! All that practice finally paid off, when something clicked inside her and the cartwheel happened like it was supposed to. It has really been fun to watch her growth in gymnastics- especially since some of our kids (hint: not Chloe) tend to give up right away if they aren't perfect at something on the first try.

Chloe is just basically a ball of self-confidence, and it amazes me. She is my idol.

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