GYMNASTICS By: Janelle Soroka
About The Author • My name is Janelle Soroka and I am an 18 year old freshman in college. • I am engaged and have a one year old daughter. • From about the age of two until I was 13 years old I did gymnastics. • To this day I still love watching and even trying to do gymnastics. • I plan on graduating from college and becoming a radiology technician.
<http://www.womanlinks.com>. “Beam Queen” • As the chalky mats grip the bottoms of my cold feet I stand in the middle of the gymnasium thinking about how exactly I am going to perform this beam routine. The warm November sun shines through the slim windows lining the ceiling warms my face and gives me a slight feeling of comfort. The gym is so large and I feel as though I am just sitting in the spotlight of it all. Surrounding me I can hear the large crowd cheering for their daughters and friends on the other events and even my own team mates cheering for me to perform well. The crowd is now drowned out by the loud music of a floor routine starting. My stomach starts to go into knots as my coach puts her hand on my shoulder and wishes me “good luck.” I watch her walk away slowly, and I realize that it is my turn to shine. • With the bright lights shining in my eyes, I can barely see the judges giving me the okay to begin my routine. My arms rise gracefully with an enormous smile on my face as I salute them in return. My feet begin to shake and my palms start to sweat as I prepare to mount the beam. I take a step then another and I start to run. Leaping with all my strength my feet hit the spring board and instantly my body turns in a complete 360° in the air. Not able to see my landing, I can only hope that my feet will be able to land on the 6 inch wide beam. My feet hit softly and my body is lined up perfectly so that my landing is flawless. My arms rise again to show that I completed my trick and I move on to my next trick.
I take two steps and place my self in position. My arms are lined up perfectly. One is straight in line with the beam and the other at a 90° degree angle with a slight curve to it. I look straight ahead and see the clock on the wall at the end of the room. I balance myself on the tip of my left toes and spin my body around without taking my eyes off the clock. After two rotations I am able to stop myself and place my other foot back on the beam. I do a few poses and smile for the judges as I make my way down to the opposite end of the beam. • There I stand straight as a board looking down at my toes curled up at the edge of the beam. I make sure my feet are together and I get my concentration. I bend my knees and throw my body backwards two times. I see my feet lined up perfectly with the beam and I salute to the judges again that I have completed my trick. • I can feel the vibrations coming from underneath the beam from the girl running to do her vault. Quickly I try to regain concentration so I do not fall. I look at the wall on the opposite side of the gym and I prepare to do my next trick. I take a few steps and jump into the air. My right leg goes straight in front of my body and my left leg goes behind me. I straighten my legs and point my toes as hard as I can make them. As softly as I can, I come back down one foot after the other. I go up on my toes and do a quick half turn to prepare to dismount. My eyes are locked in on the mat where I am to land. Full concentration is needed for me to land this dismount perfectly. I take a few steps and place my hands 3’ feet away from the edge. • Then I whip my feet around and bounce off the edge of the beam. Throwing my body I do two complete 360° degree flips in the air. I see my landing and I stick my feet into the ground without having to take a step. I throw my arms in the air with a huge smile and I look at the judges smiling back at me.
<http://www.gymtide.com/images/00PhotoAlbums/bigpage72/10.jpg >. • My coach runs up and gives me a huge hug before I could even move. The smile on her face gleaming with excitement tells me just how well I did. I walk off the mat and sit with my team mates. They all give me a hug and congratulate me with smiles on their faces. My stomach ties back into knots while I sit there and await my score. I watch the faces of the judges trying to get some kind of reading off of them. They are talking back and fourth comparing what they have. I sit there anxiously waiting what they are about to give me. Suddenly, I see them giving a card to the boy standing underneath the score sign. He flips the numbers and it’s a perfect 10. • I woke up suddenly and realized that it all had been a dream. I was upset because it was all over and I was back in reality. Gymnastics has always been apart of my life and it is something I miss doing. I think the reason I had this dream was to bring me back to when I was a child and relive my fondest memory of being a great gymnast. Although getting a perfect 10 would be an extremely hard thing to do it was something I would have loved to happen to me. Gymnastics is something I am passionate about and my dream took be back to one of my happiest memories of my life.
Bibliography • WL Post Cards. Womanlinks.com. 31 Oct 2006. <http://www.womanlinks.com> • Gymtide. Summer 2005 Tidebits. Alabama Medalist Club. 31 Oct 2006. <http://www.gymtide.com>