not know? That landing was too perfect—the whole vault was too good for it to be your alternate. If you want to succeed, you have to try harder elements. Take a risk, trust your body, drop the fear.
“Now get over there and do it with the two and a half so I can see where you need work. I do not have time for games. I need to know what you are capable of right now, today, not next month. What good will that do if I am training you for a two and a half and you have already been working on it?”
I wanted to correct his stiff pronunciation, but I refrained. He sounded like a robot talking at times. So instead I nodded vehemently, and took a stand behind the line. Reagan wore a smirk that deserved to be slapped off her face.
A low groan escaped my throat, irritated by both Kova and Reagan’s faces. But more importantly, I was angry with myself for not giving my all in the one moment I truly needed to.
I didn’t waste any time before I got behind the line and started running toward the stationary object. Gymnasts had to be a little crazy in the head to come up with the idea of doing back flips over objects such as this one.
Once I hit the vault, I blocked hard, taking flight, and pulled a double twist—adding a half turn. I cranked as hard as I could on my rotation but I knew it wasn’t enough. It was risky and I was sloppy in the air. Gymnasts instinctively knew their bodies, but I took the chance and threw it anyway.
Landing, I stumbled to the side, but I caught myself before my knees went down, which was huge. Knees were never to touch the floor on a landing.
Standing, I finished and looked at Kova.
“Same thing with the floor and beam. Do not hold back,” he stated before he turned his back to me and carried on.
It was going to be a long day.
I T WAS NEARLY nightfall and I was exhausted. Without looking in the mirror, I knew I was a hot mess. Chalk coated my body and leotard, strands of hair fell from my ponytail and surrounded my face, and my eyes were puffy and swollen, heavy with fatigue. I sat with my legs spread in my little shorts in the middle of the gymnastics’ lobby while scrolling on my phone. It was unladylike and my mom would’ve killed me for it, but I didn’t give a shit. I got my ass handed to me today and I was damn tired.
All I wanted to do was go home, take a shower, pop some Motrin, and go to bed. Motrin, the real breakfast, lunch, and dinner of champions. Screw eating a fresh cooked meal.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t do that just yet. I had to wait for Coach to finish up before I could leave. Judging by the first real training session I had today, I could tell the next couple of weeks were going to be rough in more ways than one.
After I did the other two events earlier like Coach had asked, I’d gone and met with my private tutors. They went over my syllabus for each class and what would be expected of me, along with my gym hours. Mr. Landry would teach Chemistry and American History, and Mrs. Taylor would teach Pre-Cal and English. I tried to focus on everything they both said, but my mind kept reverting back to the routines I performed and wondering how I did. If my wobbly turn on beam impacted my ability, if the step out of bounds on the floor hurt me, or the fact I held back on vault in the beginning made a difference.
I sighed loudly. I didn’t know who I was kidding.
After school, Alfred took me home for lunch, which ended up being small and short since my stomach was in knots. I couldn’t eat, my nerves were shot. Plus, I hated training on a full stomach. Once I returned to the gym, Kova had me repeat the same things as this morning so other coaches could judge my routines, which I was sure were shit by that point.
Maybe I was just being hard on myself.
The door slammed shut, taking my attention away from my friends’ fun updates on social media. Kova snapped his fingers as he brusquely walked past me. “Let us go.”
Following him into
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