Once upon a time, you were a highly competitive gymnast. It was your life. You might not have even been that good in gymnast terms, but in other people terms, you were amazing (because you said yes when they asked “can you do a flip?”). You worked out more days a week than you went to school. Now you feel really lame when people talk about what they did in high school because your answer is always the same: “well, I spent time at the gym…” If you are a no-longer-competing, still-identifying-as-one-even-though-you-definitely-aren’t gymnast, you can probably relate to the following statements:
1. When you tell people you used to do gymnastics, they immediately ask you if you can do a flip and you start asking them if they mean a back tuck or a back walkover or a back handspring and they look at you like you’re crazy because they just want to know if you can do a “flip.”
2. You tell people you had to stop because you got hurt, and they get all concerned about your injury, and you remember that in the real world having really serious injuries isn’t a normal thing.
3. You sit on the floor in really weird positions that most people can’t even do. And you don’t even realize it.
4. If you stretch at a normal gym, people think you’re trying to show off.
5. When you tell people how your coaches treated you, they usually say something like, “isn’t that child abuse?” and you say, “no, that’s gymnastics.”
6. People always ask you if you’ve seen Stick It.
7. You still have most of your leotards. Just in case.
8. If someone tries to compare gymnastics to the sport they did, you know that they really just don’t understand.
9. Despite how much you hated it sometimes, if you have a daughter, she will definitely do gymnastics. At least for a little bit.
10. You think about how fit you used to be and get nostalgic for the good old days. And then you continue sitting on the couch.
11. You watch gymnastics on TV religiously.
12. When someone tells you cheerleading is like gymnastics, you question why you’re talking to this person at all.
13. You still shave your legs in the winter because you’ve never not done that…
14. You often find yourself pointing your toes without realizing it.
15. You keep up on the careers of your teammates who made it big and talk about them at any appropriate (or inappropriate) occasion.
16. Sometimes a song will come on the radio and you will immediately start doing the floor routine of a friend.
17. When you try to explain a skill to a non-gymnast friend, they stare blankly at you until you end up pulling out your computer to find it on YouTube, because it’s just too impossible to describe.
18. When you watch gymnastics with other people, they gasp at all the wrong moments of routines, and you get ridiculously frustrated.
19. Once in a while, a new song will come out and all you can think is how you wish you still did gymnastics because you would definitely want that as your floor music.
20. You’re still Facebook friends with your coaches. And you think it’s super weird that they have lives outside of coaching.
21. When you watched Make It or Break It on ABC Family, you got so pissed at how easy all their routines were (I’m sorry, those were level 8 routines, not elite. Get your shit together ABC Family).
22. If you go into a gym (the gymnastics kind, obviously), you feel like you just have to touch EVERYTHING.
23. When people say they don’t like chalk, you just cannot comprehend what they’re saying.
24. You remember exactly what your gym smelled like. Other people thought it smelled gross, but you thought it smelled like home.
25. You feel very confused about crushed velvet being used in normal clothes.
26. There are always those guys who say something completely unacceptable when you say you were a gymnast (they ask if you’ll do a split and when you do, they make it weird by muttering something under their breath, like “boner”).
27. You can’t imagine ever buying a blue blazer.
28. You really miss your calluses. Now any time you meet someone with calluses (perhaps someone who does crew or a construction worker or something), you feel very inclined to touch their hands.
29. You still feel an emotional attachment to your grips