succumbing to peer pressure

Monday, August 11, 2003

W00t! I not only have a new address, but a new phone number too! e-mail me if you want 'em.

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Various aspects of today were...surreal. Spent most of the afternoon cleaning out the space under our tv and going through the zillions of vhs tapes Mom and Dad have managed to accumulate. A bunch of them are of my various gymnastics competitions, televised gymnastics, and brief news-spots featuring my old gym. So I was already sort of strolling down a little my-past-life-as-a-gymnast memory lane thing when I sat down to watch the CNN presents show on gymnastics. I've always had this weird love/hate relationship with my sport. I was fortunate enough to come out of it relatively unscathed (both physically and emotionally), but I know lots and lots of girls who weren't. And while I can certainly recognize the positive aspects of the sport, it's a difficult (and fine) line that most coaches and parents walk once girls reach a certain level of competitiveness. And the sad truth, I think, is that very few combinations of gymnast-parent-coach manage to walk this line well. Anyway, that's my little rant about gymnastics. Watching the program was surreal because of my very physical reactions to it. They would show footage of a girl falling, or coming up short on a tumbling pass, and my muscles would contract as if I were trying to pull out the skill. Watching girls mount the beam my feet would break out in a cold sweat. I could feel the combination of damp sweat and dry chalk on my hands while watching girls on bars. Then there was the slightly-too-close-to-home comment: the younger sister of one of the gymnasts was complaining about preferential treatment, said, "last night I asked Dad for one thing and he said no. Then she asked him for *two* things and he said yes." I know this is how my brother felt during much/most of my career. Then, as if on cue, before heading to bed Mom asks if I think Brad ever felt slighted by my gymnastics, or was jealous of how much time Mom and Dad put into the sport and if this was the cause of his trouble in high school. Talk about a loaded question. So we tap-danced around what I actually think and I wondered if it really helps at all to sugar-coat my responses whenever Mom asks me stuff like this. Then again, what could I possibly gain by total honesty about the various emotional baggage I see in our family? And don't say closure, because I can find that on my own thankyouverymuch (though clearly I have not, since I'm writing this post; I remain hopeful).