What LSU Gymnastics has Taught Me

I feel like I need to post an unpopular opinion, LSU Football is NOT the best sport at LSU. There I said it. Sorry, not sorry.

Before you get all up in arms, I love the feel of Tiger Stadium on a Saturday night. It’s magical, but there’s more magic happening on campus, and if you are not going, you are missing out. Here are the lessons I have learned from LSU Gymnastics as a mom.

Photo Credit : Hilary Scheinuk staff photographer for The Advocate

Stick Crown

The “Stick Crown” story can be found here, but to watch the team celebrate the wins of each girl that lands a vault, a bar routine, or beam dismount is amazing. This crown is exactly what, as parents, we try to instill in our children, day in and day out. Every single win is worth celebrating.

As a mom, I stare into the abyss of my home and see my mess sprinkled with the blocks, clothes, stuffed animals, books, and everything else. I beg my toddler to just pick up one thing. ONE. She tells me she can’t, it’s too much. After much discussion with my three year old, she picks up one thing. We celebrate the victory. We celebrate BIG. Then she picks up another. Another BIG celebration. The cycle continues. All those little stick crowns I give my toddler add up. We celebrate her wins, every one of them.

HOLD ON and get back up

I remember the first time I saw a gymnast fall at the Olympics. I thought for sure she would stay on the ground and crawl away like no one saw her. Of course, she threw her hands up and finished her routine. She dismounted and stood tall. The camera would alway catch her disappointed look to her coach. It was a simple lesson: stand back up. What I saw at the last LSU Gymnastics meet was like nothing I had seen.

I watched a girl fall and the beam hit her in a place where no beam should go. My entire body hurt watching her. I thought for sure she would hit the ground and roll into a fetal position. I would. I was about to in my seat. NOPE. She held onto that beam, upside down with her legs wrapped around. She used her arms to propel her around and mount that beam once again without one single sliver of skin hitting that mat. I looked at my mom with my mouth on the ground, but I guess that’s the thing, hold on, stand back up, and finish the dang thing. As moms, we get knocked down everyday. It’s not enough to stand back up. We are required to hold on and finish the dang thing.

Photo courtesy of the LSU twitter feed.

In a world of Kardashians, be a D-D

I am always hesitant to get excited about a human I have never met. But every single time I watch D-D walk through the Tiger in her sparkly gold or tiger print top, I feel my heart skip a beat. D-D is legit. We watch these athletes, celebrities, and championship coaches get built up to do no wrong, and then we read the headlines to find out that they were indeed fallible.

D-D on the other hand has managed to coach for 40 years plus, coach 150 Scholastic All-Americans, lead the Tigers 3 SEC Championships, and countless other accolades, she has done it humbly and without headlines. When I heard her speak at an event two years ago I fully expected her to be a disappointment, because I am weary of heroes, but alas, she stood at the front of a room and instilled a bit of hope. It is possible to lead my girls away from the Kardashians and towards the D-Ds of the world.

All of this to say…

Get your tickets to a gymnastics meet. It’s indoors. My twelve and three year old alike love them. The fact that they get free pom poms that they slap me in the face with for two hours is easily overlooked, because I can’t think of a better group of role models for my girls to have than the LSU Gymnastics team. They define #squadgoals for us girls everywhere.

Who runs the world?

LSU football may be king, but LSU Gymnastics is queen.

Whitney
Whitney is a born and raised Louisianian. Her passions lie in playground sports, keeping a messy home (much to the dismay of the husband), drinking lots of caffeine, dancing in the kitchen, getting (well trying to get) her booty in shape, and making people smile. She devotes her time to three things that fall very close to her heart: her little family, her weenie pup, and the urge to never stop creating. She married to a gentlemen that is her opposite. He though a pilot, is firmly grounded while she spends most of her time with her head in the clouds. She is a step-mom and mom of two girls, and finds motherhood is a bizarre dichotomy of grace and chaos. As a family they make life work with amazingly creative grilled cheese sandwiches, streamers, Steen's Syrup, and maybe a bubble bath. Each day she chases paper rainbows and lives the southern narrative.

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