Monday, July 14, 2014

My Second Year at International Gymnastics Camp

After having an amazing time at IGC last summer (My Experience at International Gymnastics Camp), I begged my parents all year to let me go back.  They relented almost immediately, probably so I would shut up.  When I told one of my best friends about how amazing it was, she got her parents on board, and we went together.  One day when she was at the gym, IGC came up, and it just so happened that many of the girls on the team and in the gym were joining us!  Add on a last minute straggler, there were 14 of us in total!  I had such an amazing week, an amazing cabin, amazing counselors, and amazing company!  IGC 2014 was amazing and I will miss going there next summer!
*Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions are my own and have not been sponsored or altered*

Day 1- Sunday
When my family dropped me off, I was completely fine; like I'm not homesick at all.  I'm really happy my friend and the minions (my friend and the team member's names have been withheld for privacy) are here because it feels like part of home is with me.  Once you left, I walked my friend's family around and we had our cabin meeting.  The cabin meeting literally didn't change at all from last year, but so far I really like my cabin.  There are two girls from Iceland, one from Mexico, and one from our sister gym on Long Island!  It's crazy how big the world is, but how it can also seem insanely small at the same time.  We were late to screening, we walked in as they announced Cabin 22.  Awkward.  I did my double back handspring (yay!) and a pullover and back hip circle for screening (Please do not judge my lack of skill, before this week I didn't do gymnastics for about 6 weeks and am hardly in the gym).  I didn't screw up bars (double yay)!  then we had pit fluff, which is easily the worst part of camp.  I legit had half of the pit in my hair.  An obnoxious coach separated my friend and I (Purple, move away from multi-colored!), and kicked a girl out for talking.  He became my vault coach the next day and is actually really funny.  A girl in our cabin told us our cabin cheer, so I didn't have to come up with anything (yay for no creativity!) and we went to dinner.  Being a picky eater, I found something yummy to eat, which was a small victory in itself.  Performing our cheer was awkward, but it wasn't too bad.  They announced that in addition to Alex Naddour and Marissa King, Hollie Vise and Kat Grable would be here this week.  Kat and Hollie were pleasant surprises!  Then we went to get to know you games, where they gave us the "you're a role model" speech, which I know is important, but kinda redundant when you're one of the two kids in your travel group over 11.  I made a new friend that night, someone from upstate New York.  During social hour, we hung out with our new friend and some of the little ones from the team.  The little one's faces when they found out they could get cotton candy from the canteen was adorable.  I'm having way more fun this year and can't wait for tomorrow!

Day 2- Matching Monday
I slept better last night than I did last year, but still woke up a bunch of times.  Morning came way too quickly.  After breakfast, I waited with the older members of our group.  Let me tell you, they're insane.  Warm up went well and then we got our groups.  They basically sit us down and read off our names.  I moved up from a B to a C, but I was the oldest one in my group, which was slightly awkward, but I'm used to it, as I'm the oldest in my gym now.  I'm in the same rotation as 5 girls from the gym, which made conditioning and dance so much better.  Conditioning wasn't bad, and dance was weird.  I don't really like dance, but I got a bunch of pictures of me laughing, so that's a positive.  We finally went to our first real gymnastics class-vault.  Garrett is really funny.  He runs like a deer while muttering "I'm fierce, I'm fierce" under his breath.  I'm really working hard on fixing my form on my front handspring, and Garrett thinks I have a lot of power.  During vault, my best friend was on the pit bar, and we kept making eye contact across the gym and making weird faces at each other.  She later told me that her coach (I would later find out he would be my floor coach) caught her looking at me and wanted us to make eye contact again so that he could say hi.  After lunch, I landed my cartwheels consistently and moved onto back walkovers.  A guy came over to me and told me "You know what I liked about that back walkover?  It was very aerodynamic, your mouth was open the whole time!  In all honesty, it was a good back walkover!"  It was hysterical.  I legit couldn't do a kip today, I wasn't used to the way my coaches were spotting me, but whatever.  I'm trying to be optimistic about bars this year, but I hate them.  I didn't rip!  Floor was good, it's my favorite class.  I worked on my roundoff back handspring, and my rebounds have so much power.  For rec, we walked around with the minions (they're so cute!).  After dinner, I went to open gym and HATED the coach.  I took one bad turn and she automatically thought that I was incapable of the skills I was doing.  I've been doing a roundoff backhandspring for years, at least let me show you that I can do it after I've warmed up before you tell yourself that I'm incapable.  A roundoff back handspring is one of the few skills I am capable of, so let me show you want I can do first.  Even when I started doing better (I swear my rebound was higher than the girls working layouts and fulls), but it wasn't good enough for her.  She sent me to the bar gym because I couldn't do it.  I had a pounding headache, and chalked it up to having a bad day, so I didn't go to the bar gym.  Question and Answer was funny as always, and Kat Grable said her second choice was Florida!  Social hour was cut short because of thunder, but before it did, we played mini golf.  IGC has a fun mini golf course!  We didn't get to shower because of lightning, and then were called into the Olympic Gym because of the high winds.  We played UNO with my cabin mates and my floor coach.  We left the Olympic Gym at 11:15.

Day 3- Tie-Dye Tuesday
I didn't wake up with a headache, so I didn't tell my counselors.  I was so tired.  After breakfast, we went back to the cabin and I slept for another 10 minutes.  It wasn't enough.  We worked on shaping and then went to dance, where we started learning the end of week dance, which is rather depressing since the week JUST started.  Vault was amazing.  Marissa King came and helped us and it was awesome.  Say what you want and listen to whatever rumors you want, but she is such a sweetheart.  She was always smiling and was super sweet.  One time I hurdled with the wrong foot and did a forward roll over the vault.  I was hysterically laughing in the pit, while Garrett was telling em it was a legit drill, and Marissa King was laughing.  It was actually really funny.  When I got out of the pit, Marissa asked if I was ok, and I told her I've done way worse.  She agreed with me.  Other than that, my vaults have improved a lot in just one day.  I was lectured by an 11 year old for eating salad on Taco Tuesday.  On beam, I landed my back walkover and my coach asked if I had it.  Seeing as I've only done a few in my life, I was surprised.  She had me work back handsprings on beam.  When I came here, I did not expect that I would come close to working them.  It was the first time in two years that my goal was too low.  I got on top of the bar when I did my kips, so progress!  Marissa King helped us on floor again and she apparently LOVED my roundoff back handsprings.  After literally every turn she gave me a high five and complimented me on my power and form.  At the end of class she complimented me again of how they looked and on being consistent.  That was so cool.  My cabin had Scary Aerie and I told my best friend that she couldn't let me chicken out this year, and we made a deal that we would force each other to go to the top.  We climbed side by side and I made it to the top!  I had a lot of fun, especially on the zip line.  The rocks at the top of the wall were awful, they were so small!  Afterwards we watched staff workout for a bit, but didn't see anything cool.  Then we found the little ones and one of them is JUST like me.  We didn't go to open gym so we played ping pong and spaceball.  They moved handstand, strength and flexibility into the Olympic Gym due to an impending storm (yes, another one).  The girl that did flexibility did not want to do it at all, but made it to the semifinals and the girl that did strength won!  they canceled social hour because of the storm, but I didn't mind because I don't really like social hour.  We were locked in the Olympic gym AGAIN until 9:30, because my cabin decided not to go up to the canteen.  We were aloud to shower thankfully because there was no lightning.  I was supposed to have the first shower, but someone took it.  I'm excited to sleep in tomorrow!

Day 4- On Wednesdays We Wear Pink
I slept through the night and didn't wake up with a headache!  Sleeping in was such a treat.  Our Cabin Picture was fine, but I don't look too great.  We did games in conditioning, and did ballet in dance, and I learned how to do turns like a dancer.  I totally belong on Dance Moms (just kidding).  During vault, a girl in my group was waiting my the vault near our coaches, and heard them talking about how if anyone in the group were to move up, it would be me (they pointed at me).  I was so surprised, because I didn't think I was the best person in our group.  I'm still not sure that they were talking about me, but that made me feel awesome.  I did back handsprings on beam the whole time and I think they've improved.  I can't really get my hands together though.  On tunnel bars, I fell twice, which is an improvement over last year!  On floor, my coaches thought I was ready to do tucks, but Katie reminded me not to just fling it, but to set.  I was so focused on the set that I didn't remember to tuck until it was too late.  It was actually kinda funny.  Katie got so mad, but I was learning a new skills, accidents and falls are going to happen.  We had to wait in the gym for 20 minutes because of rain.  Danny told me that next year I should come back as gym staff and I'm honestly considering it.  I know it wouldn't be as awesome, but I'd be getting paid to come to camp and meet some awesome celebrities and people.  I would love to come coach, I feel like I would learn so much.  I understand that they just want us to stay safe and dry, but it got boring fast.  I went jet skiing during rec, and I'm glad I went, even though I told dad I didn't want to go.  I got to drive though, and it was so much fun.  I went to beam open gym, and my back handsprings and they got so much better.  Then was safari hunt, it was so funny!  We had to find gym staff, who were acting like animals.  Danny (my floor coach), was a water buffalo, and he kept finding frogs and handing them to us.  He is my favorite coach by far.  I waited all of social hour for a gatorade, but I got it!  It started thundering and we couldn't shower AGAIN.  I felt disgusting.  There are some things I wished I had my phone for, just because I want to take pictures of the things going on in my cabin, it's hysterical.

Day 5- Thanksgiving Thursday
I can't believe it's already Thursday!  My counselor described it best, the days drag on, but the week flies by.  Two more sleeps until I fall asleep in my own bed!  Conditioning was annoying and dance wasn't really special, except the 12 year old I came here with asked for my "elderly assistance" in getting up.  It was insanely rude.  Nothing really happened during vault either, but my vault is improving tremendously.  We had pit beam today and my coach really liked my punch tucks and pikes.  I've always been strong with those.  I hate bars with every fiber of my being and I've accepted the fact that I will never do a kip, it is so bad.  I did a lot of drills.  Before bars, Kat Grable was working out and she did a full twisting tucked shaposh.  Seriously, she is such a beast.  I was having such a good floor day.  I was stretching out my back handspring and Katie was going to let me do another tuck.  On my last turn (the one I was going to tuck), I did my roundoff back handspring onto a locked arm.  I swear I heard a crack.  The trainers think that I strained it (I'm going to get it checked out).  It hurts like crazy but the iced numbed it up quite nicely.  I feel so bad for all of the gymnasts that have to sit in the ice bath after practice.  My friend knew there was something seriously wrong as soon as she saw me because she is mom and I never ice and am normally really good at hiding pain.  For rec, we were the first ones at the canteen and I got yoga pants and a matching sweatshirt (my favorites), and we watched Madagascar 2 while it (you guessed it) rained.  Afterwards we watched staff workout for a bit before dinner.  Dinner was okay, but I really wanted cake that they ran out of (this was legit the biggest disappointment of camp - besides my elbow that is).  I went to beam open gym (busted elbow and all) and did leaps and jumps.  The dance was way more fun this year, I was one of the first people on the autograph line, so early that Alex Naddour wasn't there yet and I was slightly depressed.  Later a girl in my cabin went up and asked him if he would sign my paper and he did so without a problem.  He is so sweet!  We Wobbled, did the Cotton Eyed Joe, and the Cupid Shuffle.  My counselor wanted us to Wobble in the cabin.  She agreed that we are her favorite cabin so far.  This cabin is so amazing and I'm going to miss them so much!

Day 6- Freaky Friday
I legit couldn't sleep last night.  I couldn't get comfortable because my elbow hurt so badly.  I can't bend it more than a 45 degree angle and I can't straighten it.  I did normal conditioning because we didn't use our arms.  I did the dance today, which is WAY better than last years.  On vault, Garrett and Katie (I have her on vault and floor) remembered that I hurt my self.  I was just going to do running drills, because Garrett said he wanted to fix my run, but he said I could do front and back tucks off of the vault, so I did.  Getting out of the pit was the worst, especially with one arm, it hurt so badly.  Garrett told me "Who needs arms to vault? Well to vault you do, but your special!"  It was so funny!  After vault, Katie was super nice, and she told me she was a twin too (2 other girls in my group had twin sisters, not including me).  It was the first time Katie was pleasant to be around.  She's a great coach, but doesn't have a nice attitude.  I saw Danny before lunch, and he felt so bad that I was hurt.  I improved my leaps so much on beam while I couldn't do anything else.  I really liked one of my beam coaches, she was so nice.  On bars, I joined conditioning since I couldn't straighten my arm or put weight on it.  On floor, I did front tucks, pikes, and layouts off of tumble track.  Katie was impressed with them.  We played laser tag during rec, and I won the game for my cabin during the second round.  I didn't go to open gym, because of my arm.  I signed my gym staff's book and it was so sad.  Then I started packing, which was literally depressing.  During open gym, I made a bracelet for my sister.Staff ex was awesome, our gym staff counselor was amazing!  I think she was elite in Canada.  Social hour was so depressing, I'm going to miss IGC and Cabin 22 so much it's not even funny.

I loved IGC so much and I would love to go back!  Seriously, if you ever get the chance to go, do it!  I had so much fun and couldn't have asked for a better week!  If you have any questions, let me know!  If any of you were there last week (week 4), let me know!

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