Good day GDN readers.
I decided to write this blog from a parent standpoint. A couple of weeks ago, my daughter’s gym opened up, and my wife and I decided to send her back to practice. I posted on Facebook a pic of her going back to practice like it was the first day of school(don’t act like I was the only one). As soon as the picture posted, I received a flood of text messages asking me why I was sending my daughter back and if I thought it was too early. In short, the answers to those questions were “we felt it was time” andddddd “don’t know,” but the real question and the topic of this blog is, how did we arrive at our decision. In this blog, I am not going to act like I have all the answers. How and when a person restarts life in the “new normal” is a personal decision and will be dictated mainly on household circumstances. In this blog, I am only going to talk about my thinking, so take it with a grain of salt.
Before we get started, I want to send a shoutout to Triniti Montgomery for being selected GDN Apparel Student-Athlete for June. Triniti is a soon to be Level 9 gymnast. To learn more about Triniti, and to watch some of her Level 8 performances visit HERE.
Also, we would like to let you know about a new platform we are building. We are in the process of developing a platform for gymnasts to build their own personal recruiting profiles. If you are interested in learning more, please visit. We are giving away 25 free profiles, so the sooner you sign up, the better chance you have to get a freebie profile. To learn more visit HERE. Now, on with the show.
The new way of doing things.
I called this blog “Back To The New Normal” because much of what is being asked of us to reduce the risk of contracting the Coronavirus are common sense. Growing up, we stayed using the term “give me my personal space.” I can’t count the number of times my momma told me “get up out my face with you smelling like outside and stop beggin,” I still have no idea what “smellin like outside” means. Little did I know she was training me to survive the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks mom(sarcasm). In my opinion(no, I am not Dr. Fauci), this virus isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Regardless of which side of the spectrum you fall on politically, one thing most can agree on is that this virus is whipping every government’s ass in the world. I am not talking about just the typical beatdown, I am talking about that Debo, you stole my bike kind of beatdown.
Since we really have no end game in sight, I think the next best step is to figure out how to go about life while operating under the constant threat of the Coronavirus. How do we work in a world where we are no longer top of the food chain. Okay, that was a little dramatic, but I have been dying to use a Walking Dead image, and this is my chance, so I took it. Moving forward, before gymnastics practice, my daughter needs to have her temp taken, take sanitizer with her to practice, and frequently washing her hands at practice. Once she gets home, she hops in the shower for a “just in case” cleansing before she resumes her day job as the resident couch potato. That’s our new reality, good, bad, or ugly. It is what we are stuck with for the time being if she wants to do gymnastics.
Paralyzed By Fear
This pandemic has everyone shook and for a good reason, but the fear of the unknown is often worse than the reality of the situation itself. Don’t get me wrong, the risk and consequences of catching the Coronavirus are real, but what we had to do to mitigate that risk was beginning to make me feel paralyzed. My entire decision-making process revolved around how to avoid getting “tha Rona.” I realized that some of the choices I was making I wasn’t even leveraging the limited information I had about the virus to make those decisions. Even with my track team, we have families who are not planning on returning until they feel comfortable. But when you ask them what will make them feel comfortable, you get ………………….. This is not a typo, or me falling asleep while pressing the period key. This is literally their response when you ask them the question.
The truth is, I can’t operate under those conditions. When deciding to go back to the gym, we asked two simple questions as parents. This first question was what has changed, and the second question is, “what can change enough for me to be comfortable.” Since the answer to both those questions was “nothing,” my wife and I each said….
Close the gap or widen the lead.
In truth, I am a competitor, that is one of the reasons why I got into coaching. The Coronavirus has created a unique opportunity for athletes on the lower end of the totem pole performance-wise to close the gap on their competitors. For athletes already on the top end, it creates an opportunity for those athletes to widen the gap. Eventually, everyone will get back to competing. It will be a hard pill to swallow to watch your athlete take an ass whooping by an athlete they were beating pre-Corona (but you didn’t hear that from me).
Necessity is the mother of Innovation
In closing, this is our new normal. As the earth warms, things that were once unknown are starting to creep up to the surface. As humans begin to build further out into unknown territories, we increase the risk of being exposed to these new things, some of which may be deadly. At the rate we are moving, it is just a matter of time before we run into Sasquatch. Our new normal will require both families and sports teams to become innovative in the way we approach training and development while still mitigating the risk of contracting diseases. It will be interesting to see how gymnastics competitions adapt post COVID-19.
For those out there that still think it is too early to return, I understand entirely. As I said at the onset, returning to the New Normal should be utterly dependent on each household’s ability to handle the worst-case scenario. My only suggestion is that when you make your decision, don’t make your decision out of fear, make your decision with an expected outcome in mind. At least, that is what we did.
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