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Claire was determined to do the splits if it killed her…

If Claire is anything, it’s athletic. And competitive. Ever since she was little, I knew that gymnastics would be a draw for her. She’s always swinging on the monkey bars, spinning cartwheels, and more than once, I’ve caught her trying to do backflips, even though I’ve told her that’s a no-no. Solution? Sign her up for lessons.

Practicing back somersaults.
I took her to a trial class, where she got to test the waters. Er, balance beams.
Her first balance beam handstand!

To say the place was crowded was the understatement of the century. Apparently, gymnastics is an incredibly popular sport. So, after we figured out where Claire was supposed to be, I found a quieter spot in the loft and watched with great amusement as Claire participated.


After stretches (where Claire was DETERMINED to be as flexible as everyone else who’s already been taking the class for months) and warming up, they rotated stations from balance beams to floor exercises to bars.


While she struggled to do basic movements, there were older girls who’d been taking lessons for years effortlessly flipping and handspringing and cartwheeling all over the place. It’s amazing that people are able to do what they’re doing with their bodies and to think, they go from wobbly cartwheels to perfectly executed triple twist back springs in a matter of years is incredible.

Balancing on the beam.

After class, I asked Claire what she thought and she eagerly told me she gave gymnastics all the thumbs up (because two was not enough) and asked when she could start competing. Seeing as that’s about as high of a compliment as she can pay, she is officially signed up.

She can already see a shelf full of trophies now…


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True stories of raising children, remodeling, braving the elements and plotting out life, all while living on a humble acreage in central Indiana.

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