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12 Things Former Gymnasts Do

Gymnastics is an incredible sport (as any former gymnast would probably agree), but it’s hard, both physically and mentally, and nobody can do it forever. Even after finishing that final routine and picking your very last wedgie, most former gymnasts are probably guilty of the following things:

1. Missing your callouses, in a weird way

Sure, nobody ever liked holding your hand while while you were in gymnastics because they were rough and dry in weird places (and sometimes recovering from rips, if you were lucky), but your hands had character and in some unusual way you miss that.

2. Freaking out when you hear floor music

Any time you hear a bit of a song that you or one of your teammates had as floor music, you definitely notice. And you probably tell whoever you’re with about it, too.

3. Pointing your toes at unnecessary times

You were yelled at enough times for having “ugly feet” that now it’s just a habit to point your toes. Sometimes you notice yourself doing it and realize that it isn’t necessary, but you’ll probably never stop.

4. Trying old skills and regretting it

Whether you stop back in the gym or try an old skill elsewhere, you realize that muscle memory only goes so far. Whatever it was you thought you could totally still do, you didn’t stick it and you’ll probably be sore tomorrow.

5.  . . . or not

It’s hard to beat the feeling of satisfaction you get from trying an old skill and actually still being able to do it.

6. Feeling like an expert during the Olympics

You’re not even in gymnastics anymore and you could never do even half of what those athletes do, but every non-gymnast watching goes to you for their questions.

7. Yet getting annoyed by non-gymnasts who watch Olympic gymnastics

Don’t act like gymnastics is your new favorite sport. We both know you won’t watch another gymnastics meet for the next four years.

8. Hanging onto old leotards

Sure, you’ll probably never wear those old practice leos again. Yeah, you probably wouldn’t even fit into them. But you spent blood, sweat, and tears in those things, and they’re a little hard to let go.

9. Still having a gymnastics-themed wardrobe

You still have years worth of meet t-shirts, sweatshirts, and spirit wear to remind you of your years in the gym.

10. Struggling to stay fit

When you were a gymnast, practices kept you in great shape whether you liked it or not. Now it’s up to you to maintain your strength and flexibility–and that’s easier said than done.

11. Being overly brave

You’ve done on a hard, four-inch beam what most people would never attempt on the ground, so you have a right to be confident. Right?

12. Always considering yourself a gymnast

Even though your competitive career is over, the long practices, new skills, sleepovers with teammates, and the feeling of nailing a routine have made you who you are, and you’ll always be a gymnast at heart.


Anne is a junior at UW-La Crosse studying Broadcast and Digital Media Communication and Graphic Design. When she isn't busy studying or writing for Her Campus, Anne loves music, photography, drawing, and painting. Also, naps.
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