My family and I moved to the Columbus area from Southeast Ohio in the summer of 2017. After taking some time to get settled, we allowed our 11-year-old daughter Madilyn to start gymnastics classes at Vitality gym. This was a huge deal for Madi. We lived in Florida during her upper toddler years and she had the opportunity to participate in gymnastics classes at that time. When we moved back to Ohio, a variety of life circumstances prevented her from being able to continue. Madi’s desire to continue gymnastics was not dampened. She was absolutely beside herself when she learned she would be able to pick back up on her dream. We were relatively new to the area, so I just did some internet searches and found that Vitality Gymnastics was close to our home. We decided to give it a try in January 2018.
Madi started out in the beginner class, and upon completing each session she was promoted to the next level. By early summer, she was invited to team. Madi was thrilled to be participating at the team level. She’s currently participating on the GCGC (Greater Columbus Gymnastics Conference) team and is working hard to be ready for her first competition in November.
We have seen such growth in Madi since her start at the gym. Not only in her athletic ability, but also in maturity, responsibility and commitment. Being on the GCGC team requires 6 hours of practice a week. Madi has never shied away from her time at the gym, despite being very intimidated by the commitment in the beginning. We’ve watched her go from an 11-year old “little girl” to a girl who is determined to succeed, even when it means tears on her hands, a hamstring injury caused by a medical issue, and designing and memorizing routines that she can’t yet physically practice because she must allow her body to heal. Madi’s growth and progress have been amazing to witness. I am so thankful for all that she’s learning and the way she has grown during this experience.
The sense of community we’ve experienced since being involved at Vitality is another aspect I wasn’t necessarily expecting. The coaches strike a great balance of discipline and encouragement. They push the gymnasts to try new things while emphasizing safety. They build a security within the kids to push themselves and ignore the fear they may be feeling. I’ve been able to be a small part of that community by spending a few hours working at the gym when I have the time. I was able to help organize and then participate in walking in a local parade. It was so much fun. The kids are very proud of their gym. It was so fun to see their enthusiasm as they passed out flyers to kids and parents in the crowd. I really loved having the opportunity to get to know the kids a little more through the experience. I do have to say, they are really a great group of kids and make us very proud.
I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Madi at Vitality. I have every confidence that with the support of her family and coaches, she’s going to do great things.
Shae (Vitality Parent)
Madi (Vitality Gymnast: Silver Team)
I would like to share my parent experiences with having a daughter in gymnastics. My daughter joined this gym about 16 months ago. Before this time, she was a "self-taught" gymnast. She "hounded" me for quite some time before I finally caved and signed her up. Although she had some great skills prior to joining, she has really fine tuned those skills she knew, and gained and developed so many more. I find these accomplishments so amazing given her short time here at the gym.
Her first competition season was of course stressful and nerve wracking, and I am sure the upcoming meets will be as well; however, that did not stop her at all. She told us she was going to make it to states, and she did! She told us she was going to make it to Regional's, and she did! We of course encouraged that mindset, but also tried to prepare her for disappointment just in case she did not make it those meets. She would state her understanding of our conversations and would follow that with "but I am going". She always looks forward to practice and is always determined to learn more skills on each event.
I am so glad that I finally signed her up and that all of the coaches have really worked with and encouraged her to always strive for success. She may not always reach her goals in the time frame she wants, but she does not give up. That just makes her that much more determined to work harder the next practice! My daughter was truly meant to be a gymnast. She is constantly doing gymnastics at home (even in her sleep! LOL), and she loves talking about it with friends and family. She has also developed some great friendships with other gymnasts. The support and encouragement I see them give each other makes me speechless!
Even though she has only been at the gym for 16 months, she has grown tremendously. Not only in skill, but in mind set as well. Yes, team gymnastics is a commitment by both the gymnast and the parents, it is absolutely worth it to see them grow and develop in such an amazing way! I am looking forward to reading more blogs about parent or gymnast experiences.
Writer: Kim Samson (Daughter, Xcel Platinum Gymnast)
Season is right around the corner and we are starting to prep for the time where we get to show-off all of the hard work that we have put in! These kids have worked so hard to get where they are. Some taking classes since they were toddlers.
We practice year-around. Building strength, gaining flexibility, all so that they are able to do the skills their body is not naturally supposed to do! This sport is really unique in the sense that a gymnast will seek out failure, work on something they cannot do, in order to accomplish and succeed at that skill. Once they find that success, they turn right around and start finding the next skill, they will fail at only to find success one more time. The amount of bravery and resilience that these athletes have to have is unimaginable.
Once they start to find success on a regular basis on skills that they are comfortable doing, we start putting them into routines for them to compete at competitions. They will work hard and push themselves to perform skills that are still hard for them to do, but we like them to have a continued drive through-out the season at doing and perfecting their craft.
We will be posting the competition schedules, so that our family, friends, followers and fans can come cheer on Vitality this season! We hope to have a great one and we would love for you to be a part of it!
Here's to a great upcoming season!