Teresa Overholser - Grade 9, Kettering Fairmont High School
A Beginning and an End
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” - Walt Disney.
Up until this summer, I was a competitive gymnast. Gymnastics gave me a life for five years that can never be replicated. The sport taught me many things: mental toughness, the value of hardwork, and most importantly: the significance of friendship and happiness.
The spring of my 8th grade year, I made the decision to run track. I was successful and it sparked my curiosity to run cross-country. Since I only had 4 years of school left, I decided to pursue the sport. Knowing that balancing gym, school, and running would be difficult, I made up my mind to retire from the sport I loved.
May 30, 2018 was my final practice. I contemplated how I was going to tackle it. I could go into practice that day unmotivated or I could go in and make every turn count. By 4:00 that afternoon, the choice was made. I was going to be the best gymnast I could be.
My parents were bummed about me quitting. My mom asked me when she dropped off at the gym, “Are you sure you want to do this?” I told her “I’m sure” and that it would be worth it. This made her content. At practice that day, I tried new things that I knew could never be done again. My coach, Jeanette, asked me, “ Do you really want to end this?” I responded with “This is just the beginning.” Later that evening she asked me what I meant. I explained to her how the feeling of happiness I get from laughing with teammates and the thrill I get from trying new tricks, sticking a routine, or winning first on the podium, plus all the lessons I’ve learned will never be forgotten. That the legacy of this sport is forever engraved in me. This made Jeanette smile because she’d never looked at it in that way.
At the end of practice, I said goodbye to my teammates. We all promised to say in touch and did our handshake once more. I hugged my head coach, Livy, for the final time and she whispered in my ear, “You are always welcomed back.”
As you can see, my last gymnastics workout was a happy one. I started the day wondering if my parents would be disappointed in me or that my coaches would be angry, but the weren’t. They were happy and proud of me for continuing moving forward. I’ve learned that if you choose to be happy, others will do the same.
Over the summer, I used this positive energy while at cross-country conditioning. Making my teammates laugh is my favorite thing to do because it makes even the toughest of workouts just a little bit better. I hope to continue the wonderful atmosphere within my team for the rest of my highschool running career.