From as far back as I can remember I have always excelled at sports and academics. By the time I was two years old I could already do a pull-up on the rusty old playground bars. By my appearance, a scrawny little tooth pick of a girl, you would never guess by my cover that inside I was a determined, dedicated and motivated little 'jock'.
My gymnastics career started when I was seven years old, going one day a week to the gym. After the first few months, my coaches noticed my potential to be a star, and asked my mother and I if I could start training to become a competitive gymnast. I agreed! Of course, I had a love for the sport from the very beginning but little did I know that my commitment to this sport would play such a key role in shaping who I am.
Dedication plays a big part in regards to my success. Few people understand what commitment to be a competitive gymnast entails. For a long time now I have suffered from a disease called 'lack of time'. Nevertheless, my drive to be the best keeps me going strong. Routinely my days go like this"ÃÂ¦I wake up at six o'clock to go to school, where I participate in clubs and school activities. I then leave school to start studying for my honors classes and go for a two mile run on the beach. I drive forty minutes to gymnastics where I work out non-stop for the next four hours. I arrive home at eight o'clock to eat dinner, study for exams, and socialize with my family. Yet, I still find time to sneak in a social life. Thinking about my ten-page paper on John Locke's, Second Treatise of Government that I have to finish after practice does not discourage me, it intrigues me.
Through the years gymnastics has taught me discipline as well as dedication. Being a level 9 competitive gymnast, while trying to be a normal teenager has been no simple task. I've worked through injuries, and rejections to get where I am and these setbacks have only made me stronger. I have learned that I can not let anything get in the way of my dreams.
In life, there are two types of people, those that choose mediocrity and those who chose to lead. I have chosen the latter path, to strive for the best and succeed. I choose this path knowing it will not be an easy one, knowing there will be many hurdles and challenges, and accepting that other people could try to dissuade me from my course. In my social life, at school, and on my team I am a natural leader. Gymnastics has allowed me to achieve the knowledge needed to be a leader in every aspect. I may not always choose the way that the majority picks, but I am confident in my decisions. If I make a mistake, I learn from my mistakes and continue to strive for success. When I was 14 years old a doctor said I would not be able to continue with gymnastics due to an elbow injury. I had to show him and most importantly myself that I could overcome this setback and excel in my chosen path. Two years later, I was state champion in my age group and won 6th place at the National Championships in Pennsylvania. To lead is not always picking the right path or not making mistakes. To be a leader you must be confident and win the trust and admiration of those you will lead by being honest with them as much as with yourself.
I feel so lucky to have been given the chance to excel in a sport I love, to be supported by my family who has given me so much, and to have been able to push my mind in a school system that has provided me with so many opportunities. But luck is only that, an opportunity. An opportunity that one must grasp, understand the value of, and push the limits of ones own capabilities and boundaries to really achieve its true promise. I give my best and accept no less in return.