Balance it Out

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For the varsity gymnastics team, bumps, bruises, and breaks are only a small portion of what this district winning team experiences. The sport not only involves physical and mental toughness, but sportsmanship and teamwork.

Gymnastics, an intensely competitive and physical sport, has helped students achieve their goals in the field of athletics. It has not been an easy task because the events require athletes to prepare not only their body but their mind.

Toughness is needed to achieve greatness in this sport, although it seems simple, it’s almost impossible to accomplish set goals without having injury at one point.  

“It is hard work and takes a lot of time, effort, and energy. Literal blood, sweat, and tears,” Senior Co-Captain Kayleigh Bryan said.

Being able to have a safe space to release tension and focus on what is important is a big deal for the gymnastics team. By having the only in-school gymnastics gym in Loudoun County, it creates a home like environment for the gymnasts to practice their skills and bond as a team. While the performance is what gets scored, the support and effort that the gymnasts and coaches get from one another is what helps them achieve their high scores and medals.

“Even though gymnastics is mostly an individual sport, we support and respect one another as we are all one big happy bunch,” freshman gymnast Jillian Thornburgh said.

After the workouts are set and the routines are put together, the steps for getting ready for competitions are roughly the same for each gymnast. Once it comes to the actual day of competition, warming up and getting prepared for upcoming events is important for each athlete. The gymnasts work together to prepare for their routines and they comment on one another’s moves during their practices. Before the events officially start, the team gathers together one last time to perform their uplifting cheers to start off the meet.

“After each event is warmed up, the kids get changed for competition and get ready to march out,” gymnastics coach Jennifer Barlow said.

Clapping hands and stomping feet, these gymnasts stop at nothing to cheer one another on. Even through the most difficult events, the support and effort that goes into this sport has no bounds. Continuing to cheer for their teammates, the athletes congratulate others on their achievements as well as their own. Once the meet is over and the day is done, the gymnasts once again clap their hands and march off the mat finishing their season with a victory.

“I love these girls so much and we truly are one big gymnastics family,” Bryan said.  

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