This past President’s Day weekend we took a little family getaway down to Florida. However, the trip was not all pleasure because Mikayla was to be competing on Saturday morning for gymnastics. The sunshine and warmer weather was glorious for those 4 days but it is good to be home :)
Wednesday evening before we were to leave we had a snow storm that blanketed our area and the I-95 South. Thankfully by Thursday morning the snow had pretty much melted in our area because it rained that night and we just had to deal with the residual scattered snow and ice along the I-95. On Thursday we drove as far as Savannah, Georgia and stayed overnight at the Spring Hill Suites. I was thankful that we did not have to rise super early on Friday morning and could take our time having breakfast and getting to Orlando.
We arrived in Orlando about mid-day Friday and were able to check right into our room at the Hilton Homewood Suites. Can I just tell you that I LOVED this hotel room? We had a mini apartment suite with a full kitchen (minus oven), living room and bedroom suite with 2 double beds. Plenty of room for our family of 7 to move about and be comfortable. When going to Disney World I prefer to stay on resort but this hotel was really sweet :) !
First up on the agenda Friday was to find a shoe store since we realized that Mikayla had only brought her Bear Paw boots and nothing else with her. Not quite going to cut in when temperatures were in the mid to high 60’s. Oops, my bad! I should have double checked the shoe situation for everyone :) After taking her to Famous Footwear and getting a pair of new shoes for her and Montana we were set to explore the north side of International Drive. When we came to Orlando last September we stayed on resort so the territory was new. We enjoyed a nice quite dinner that evening in a local sit down restaurant and turned in for the night right after watching Luge finals on TV.
Saturday morning was game time, bright and early. Mikayla’s session started at 830 for registration. While she is not a super fan of the first session times we make due. I could tell she was nervous that morning. She only ate a little bit and immediately started complaining of stomach pains. Which I recognized as anxiety. After seriously walking a country mile in the 2nd largest convention center in the US we were able to catch a taxi from the indoor shuttle man. All the signs pointed for us to come in on the West side for parking, the only thing was the gym area was on the complete other side. If I wasn’t nearly 6 months pregnant it would not be a problem.
Once we made it inside the gym, Mikayla was still nervous. When she found out the rotation schedule I could see it on her face the anxiety creep back in. Floor first, then vault which has been giving her fits. She was to go last on the floor and I think that was a blessing and it hurt a bit. Midway through her teammates performances she came over to the Lt and I crying. We quickly calmed her down and spoke words of encouragement and praise to her. I whispered a prayer to her and told her to pray while she waited to be saluted. A couple of my gym moms always say,
“Let go and let God”
Things settled down a bit as she waited for her last teammate to perform. Once she stepped on the floor into position I thought she was good to go. Muscle memory had taken over and she danced and flipped like she has done so many times before. Then she started thinking and took some missteps and missed a tumbling connection as well as did a few “fake it until you make it” to get back on track moves.
As they moved onto Vault the grimacing and anxiety returned as she waited to warm up vault. The Lt and I stood at the end of the vault area cheering on each girl as they warmed up and competed. It’s not an easy vault the Yurchencko flip, but you know what? My girl got over the vault and her feet hit the mat first. She did take a step on the first run and touched the mat with her fingers for the second run. But I really did not care. The only thing that mattered to me was that she flipped over the vault and hit with her feet. The score on vault to me was just a score.
She has been struggling with this flip since she jammed her fingers on two separate occasions and hurt her ankle in the beginning of the season. However, she will not tape her fingers for vault. I originally told her that I was not traveling to FL for her to do a timer or not vault at all. As I write this, it probably sounds harsh, but you see she works on this vault specifically during practice and can do it, we have it on video!
After vault was bars, Mikayla’s favorite. Things were going fantastic in my eyes. Yes, there were bent arms and leg separation in a couple of spots but it looked beautiful in my eyes :) She hit the pirouette on the first attempt and transferred to the high bar with a kip cast handstand. That’s where things got a little sticky. When she casted up to handstand she literally got a little stuck in the handstand position. I had to turn away after a few seconds because I knew it was either going to go two ways. Thankfully she was able to complete the next skill, a free hip to handstand and go into vertical. After that was just giants and dismount. The giants where great, the dismount however, was out instead of up and she flew to the end of the mat, just barely getting her feet to touch the mat first before landing on her back. Ouch! Beam was the final rotation and looked good with a few wobbles. Mikayla kept herself on the beam which is always good and connected her series dismount.
Magical Classic ~ Orlando, FL Feb.15, 2014
Floor ~ 8.425
Vault ~ 8.300
Bars ~ 8.100
Beam ~ 8.775
AA ~ 33.600
Overall, I think this meet was just the confidence boost that Mikayla needed to get over this anxiety hurdle. Our next meet is in a few short days in Maryland and then it is on to the State meet mid-March. This season has definitely been a learning and re-building season. While it is painful to watch my child struggle this season I look forward to having the old Mikayla back and seeing her perform to her hearts content.
Tomorrow I will share with you about our trip to Legoland. For now here is a sneak peek collage at some of the fun we had.