Sunday, September 12, 2010

Write about growing up or becoming an adult. A memory of you physically changing.

    I was once fearless on a 4-inch wide balance beam. For six years during my 90 second choreographed routine of leaps, somersaults, turns, flips and dancing on a lightly padded beam, I gracefully rolled off its right-angled sides like there was a Jell-O pit below. But then my legs grew, then my boobs grew and things just didn’t work the same. All in one summer I lost my trained agility, co-ordination, balance, and grace. I had to relearn how to walk on that narrow death trap. One unbalanced spin after another sent me with a thud to the blue mat below.  I could hear the moms’ winces in the balcony seating each time I fell.
    The beam was the first to become unmanageable, then came the harmless wide vaulting horse. My sturdy bulging thighs that once didn’t fit into little girls pants now looked like skinny sticks that might break upon a knee-locked dismount.  One try after another I would sprint down the vault carpeted runway stopping short before I hit the springboard. I would make up some silly excuse about how my footing was wrong or I got tripped up on a string popping out of the carpet.  I would inspect the microscopic shag flaw as the other girls nagged for me to just go over the vault.
    I was terrified and it had been my strongest event. How would I ever make regionals, then nationals, and make it to Can-Am games this year?  I couldn’t even do a round off and get over the vault without thinking about crashing into the horse, let alone land cleanly with no hops or steps, and within a set lined-in zone on the landing mat.

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