Sunday, March 20, 2016

Swan Song

Natalie's gymnastics journey was rocky, with rather extreme highs and lows.  We'll never know why a sudden, inexplicable fear of going backwards appeared, but it put a rather large damper on her progressions.  After a disappointing end to the 2015 season, she took a five month break from the sport.  In five months, toned muscles become squishy and skills that were once effortless become laborious.  Nevertheless, she decided to try to make a comeback.  Her comeback wouldn't be long lived, but she battled well and would end up leaving on a high note.

The 2016 Washington State Meet would be her gymnastics swan song.

She was a little more nervous on beam than usual (which translates to wobbles and rhythm breaks), but she still did a solid routine.

Natalie scored a 9.175 and placed 8th.

Floor was the biggest test to her paralyzing fear.  She competed floor so seldomly because of it.  But her coaches got creative and they were able to come up with some tumbling passes that Natalie could feel comfortable with, while still meeting level 6 requirements.

She scored a 9.15 and was 10th place.

Natalie is a vault super star.  Always has been.  She performed a couple of beautiful handspring vaults at the state meet.

She scored a 9.5 and earned the silver medal.

Bars was the hardest event to regain lost skills, but Natalie was able to deliver a decent routine in her final meet.

She scored an 8.85 and placed 12th.

All of that added up to a 36.675 all-around score for a 7th place finish.

I will greatly miss watching Natalie do gymnastics.  She had a lot of power and potential packed in that little body.  I'm so happy, however, that she came back long enough to end with such success and go out on her terms.