Back Tuck Kayla

Fifteen days, no tuck, fourteen days, no tuck, thirteen days, no tuck, twelve, eleven, ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five days, no back tuck, one balk after another. Five more days until competition season, one private lesson after another. The time blowing away like little slivers of dust in a storm so big it destroyed everything in its path and one of the items in the storm was my back tuck. Lost, hopeless, going, going, gone, never to be found the same again.

It was Saturday five days before competition season started and I was having my usual private lesson. I was on the ocean blue floor with 2, 8 incher mats, the red, yellow, cheese looking mat and with panel mats for a run. This, this was setup to help me find what I have lost, like you could just find it in the lost and found bucket completely ignoring the fact that it was storm lost like that sliver of dust. But still hear hoping I could find it still trying to go for my back tuck, Hoping and hoping. Over and over again I did roundoff, back handspring, stop, balk. Roundoff, back handspring, stop, balk. No back tuck. It sat in my head and felt like a bee sting a very bad bee sting “No back tuck” I whisper to myself.

It was that I just couldn't find the courage to go for it. “Uggh! I can't do it. I don't get it” I groan.

“ Baby steps” my coach Megan says. “ You have been out for a while with your broken foot”.

“It's still not an excuse”, I say.

“Yes but you just have to do it. Lets try another one”, Megan says.


It is now one day until competition. I still don't have my back tuck.

“What am I going to do now”, I say to Emma with frustration.

“I don't know... I won't go for it either. I guess just go for it.

“That’s what I’m trying to do.” I say

“Then try harder. Let's just get back to work. We have to get this to go to the competition” Emma says.

“Ok let's do this.” I say with not so much confidence, rolling my eyes.

Me and Emma are the only ones without our back tucks and we need them to compete. Every time I go I whisper to myself “do it.”

I do my roundoff back handspring stop then do a standing back tuck. It's a good back tuck but I need it conected to compete. Emma does roundoff back handspring stop. I can tell Emma's frustrated by the gleaming look of frustration in her eyes.

As I’m working Megan yells, “5 more minutes”.

“Only 5 more minutes?”, I say getting back to work quickly with a frightening thought of not competing.

All the time the thought was I will do it next time but as Megan yells what she just yelled, I realize that's the only time left I have “only a little time left” this thought echoes in my head.

“So close now I just can't stop”, I say.

That's when it hit me…. just do it. I have all the skills, I just have to put it together. I start to go for it ready, set, one, Two, THREE; round-off backhandspring...

My whole world stops I don't breath for what feels like forever. I'm turning, I'm turning, the sound of the gym taking a big breath just waiting for me to stick it. My feet hit the ground like an earthquake shattering everything in its path. Looking, looking found! “I DID IT”, I scream while the air explodes with cheers of teammates, every one comes to give me a high five and hugs.

I start to do it one tuck after another 10, 20, 25, 30. “I did it, yes”, I whisper to myself.

It has been quite the journey but I did it.

“See you at the competition” I say as I leave the gym.

Works Cited

Cheese Mat. Digital image. Web. 6 Feb. 2017. <>.

Face. Digital image. Web. 2 Feb. 2017. <>.

Floor. Digital image. Web. 6 Feb. 2017. <>.

Frightened. Digital image. Web. 8 Feb. 2017. <>.

Gym. Digital image. Web. 2 Feb. 2017. <>.

"Overcoming Performance Fears and Blocks In Gymnastics." Competitive Advantage: Mental Toughness. 12 Jan. 2017. Web. 08 Feb. 2017. <>.

Panel Mat. Digital image. Web. 6 Feb. 2017. <V>.

Round off. Digital image. Web. 8 Feb. 2017. <>.

Round off. Digital image. Web. 8 Feb. 2017. <>.

Tuck. Digital image. Web. 2 Feb. 2017. <>.

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