In the world of Gymnastics, there are two major organizations: The USAG and the USAIGC.
The USAG are the folks who train, mold, shape, and form the next group of girls for the Olympics. The elite of the elite.
The USAIGC is more family friendly. Winning isn’t the only thing. Yes, excellence is the goal, but there are other things in life. Like school. And ice cream. Plus, it’s cheaper.
The USAG requires their girls to practice 20-30 hours per week. Before and after school. And, also requires a “family commitment.” I read that as dollar signs.
The USAIGC, especially through our YMCA, is actually a great deal. And, it is a wonderful program if you are testing the waters.
We’re poor, so the USAIGC is our path. (The “Family Commitment” is only a few hours per week.)
Turns out, my lovely daughter Isabella (she’s 8) is actually very, very good at the flipping and the flopping. The old post-Soviet Armenian coach told me this when she first started (imagine the accent): Your daughter is verrry verry good.)
I thought he was just being nice. But, turns out, he wasn’t just being nice. He was telling the truth.
She actually is very, very good
So, here we are. In Indian Wells, California for the World Championships. Isabella qualified on the basis that she performed well at the Regional Championship. She is an odds-on favorite for a medal.
In the end, Isabella takes the All-Around Silver Medal. And, we can’t be more proud of her. She finished higher than any other girl from the Glendale Y in history. (And she stuck around to encourage her other teammates who competed later. She’s a classy kid.)
But, it’s not about the medals. Because on the trip home (the girls): I want sushi! I hate sushi! I want chicken! I want ice cream! Blah blah Blah.
World Silver Medal!