Day 169 18 June – prize givings galore

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As our annual rhythmic gymnastics competition comes to an end, I can’t express what an eventful day it has been. The support from our rhythmic gymnastics community was incredible and the event ran as per schedule.

It was an experience I wouldn’t want to take on board again any time soon!

Day 142 22 May – life lessons

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My daughter competed in her first competition as a Junior International athlete. I can’t even begin to explain how nerve wrecking the preparations has been for her. She is surrounded by an immensely talented group of girls this year. They are all determined, focused, flexible and ruthless on the rhythmic floor. She usually gets very flustered and nervous during warm-up but once her first apparatus is done, she manages to calm herself. Now, I need to emphasise that the last time she competed was at Nationals last year and she ended with a disastrous ball routine. I can only imagine the mental battle she had to go through to walk out and perform this weekend. But unfortunately her ball routine was a bit of a train wreck as she lost her ball off the floor, twice. Her score came down to a high 5 and is her lowest score yet while in the pre/international stream. Obviously she was disappointed and very upset with herself. But what made the situation worse was that her coach, the person she relies on in motivating her, ignored her when she walked off the floor. She didn’t give any feedback and told her to get changed for the next routine. My daughter was certainly not the only one who made mistakes during the competition but she was left feeling like a huge failure. When my daughter returned from the change rooms, she joined her team mate and started practicing her next routine. It was here when her coach looked at her and told her that she most likely holds the record for the lowest ever score by a gymnast from their club. This is what broke my daughter’s spirit.

Today’s photo is a quote suited best for the scenario my daughter found herself in. This is relevant to all people in leadership and facilitating positions. Be aware of the ears listening when you speak.

Day 133 13 May – fettuccine

Tonight we have one of my daughter’s oldest and dearest friends over. They met as eager 6 year olds wanting to learn more of a sport they both grew to love, rhythmic gymnastics. They both joined the same club, started out in the recreational group, and moved their way up. We moved away from our small town and gymnastics club at the end of December 2012, where we joined our current club in Auckland. Her friend, who still stays in the same town, made the move to join our club (1 1/2 hours drive away) almost 2 years ago. This is why I encourage sport with both my children. Great memories are created with amazing and often life long friends. You learn to get along during difficult and hard times. You celebrate each other’s successes and provide a shoulder to cry on when injuries hinder your performance.

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My daughter is a keen cook and currently has food technology presented as a subject. Tonight, with the help of her gym buddy, they created this lovely dish! A little bit of everything else, mixed up and served with love.

Mamma mia.

Day 113 23 April – all that sparkles

Rhythmic gymnastics has turned into a stunning sport showcasing flexibility, handling and co-ordination with apparatus in hand. The leotards are sparkling, bright and beautiful and the masteries the gymnasts perform leaves you wondering “How did they do that?” Here is a vibrant and beautiful routine from Russian gymnast Dina Averina.

Today we fetched my daughter’s ball leotard and we are very pleased with the end result. It is simplistic yet elegant. I can’t wait to see her perform her new routine.

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We all need a bit of bling in our lives.

 

Day 78 19 March – city of sails

It is that time of the year again, having to organise leotards for this year’s rhythmic competition season. It is unfortunately a costly affair but I have found that if the leotards are made slightly bigger, it lasts at least 2 years. We have always opted for custom designed leotards, suited for not only my daughter’s shape, but also adding to the equipment used and routine theme. Even though New Zealand doesn’t have many designers and seamstress within the rhythmic world (a total of 3 to be exact) to choose from, we have always kept our business within local grounds.

Today we visited one of the designers for a consultation. She had been making leotards to sell for approximately a year but have gained some attention as she not only has New Zealand customers, but also gymnasts from Australia who are ordering her designs. She lives on the North Shore, and the only way to get to that part of the country is to cross the infamous Harbour Bridge. It is a well designed bridge but a nightmare to cross in peak traffic. Thankfully it is Sunday afternoon so you would think the traffic has eased off, right? No! The bridge lanes are very narrow and my anxiety kicks in half way across. The more I focus on staying within my lane the more it seems as if I am getting closer to the barrier. The speed limit is 80 km/h but once on the bridge it feels as if you are travelling a 100 plus. I really don’t like crossing this bridge.

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The only good thing though about travelling to the North Shore is seeing the beautiful Auckland city from afar. The Sky Tower stands tall and proud above the rest of the buildings, the harbour buzzing from tourists coming in with the ferry, the crystal blue waters shimmering in the glistening autumn sun and the sail boats adoring the shores. It is always a breath-taking view and I can’t help but feel gratitude for living here. Yes it is very expensive to purchase a home in Auckland, traffic is everyone’s Achilles heel and the population is increasing every day. But in saying that, the greater Auckland offers work opportunities, it has bays, beaches, forestry, hills, mountains, dormant volcanoes, waterfalls, walking tracks, indoor sports and activities, zoos, museums, outdoor domains.

There is always something happening in Auckland and I am loving life in this multi-cultural city of sails.

Day 13 13th January – meeting an Olympian

Today I have to include 2 photos to my photo diary:

 

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My daughter and two other international gymnasts from our gymnastics club had the wonderful opportunity to attend a master class facilitated by the Russian Olympian and current coach of the rhythmic gymnastics Olympic champion, Amina Zaripova. She was besides herself from excitement all week, but the realisation that she was about to meet someone so important and inspirational to the rhythmic world was somewhat overwhelming.

With my daughter away for the afternoon, my son and I got to spend some mnp (movie and popcorn) time together, and with a bowl of popcorn shared between us, we snuggled up and watched Back to the Future.

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Great Scott, what a day!