I want you to imagine running down the floor at full speed, and then hurling yourself into the air with all your strength, and then attempting to land on a piece of padded wood that is just over 4 feet high and 90 centimeters wide with just your hands while you are flying through the air upside down, and in a split second reversing your force to be thrown through the air, while performing twists and turns, to land cleanly on your feet – stopping in an instant. Now you have just a small vision of what it takes to be a Gymnast.
Speed, power, symmetry, mental toughness, and spatial awareness define this sport. The Greeks define gymnastics as the perfect symmetry between body and mind. In the Olympics, they are among the most beloved athletes we have to offer and are considered some of the most mentally and physically powerful competitors of the sports arena.
In high school gymnastics, you would need to know that while it is a team sport, their performances are individual. That what they go through is physically grueling and that they often perform with multiple injuries. The flips, twists, jumps, and feats of strength require all that they have to give. They compete in four events: beams, bars, vault, and floor. The events are scored as both an individual competition and a team competition.
Guess what? We have a gymnastics team at Sheridan High School and we have one of the best ones in the state, which also means we have some of the best Gymnasts Ohio has to offer.
With gymnastics right around the corner, I decided to catch up with two of our premier athletes – the Snider twins- Sarah and Madison. When I asked them to sit down for an interview they seemed very enthusiastic about it. I opened up the interview with this question, “What was the most memorable moment in your gymnastics career?”. Sarah paused for a second and started to tell me about last year at state, about the awards ceremony, and how they were predicted to get 3rd place as a team. “I was anxious and nervous about the team’s placement and I was almost certain that we were going to get 3rd.” But when the time finally came for the teams to be called up for their awards, she was shocked and overwhelmed that team not only placed, but they placed 2nd in the entire state for division two!
Madison just smiled, as she is apt to do. I knew right then that she was going to say the same thing.
The second question, however, was much deeper when it comes to relationships and making stronger bonds with others. I asked them, “What is one memory that you two share that has created a stronger bond between you?”. They both paused for a minute and agreed that their most memorable moment was their entire non-school gymnastics season a few years ago. Sarah said, “They both made the team, but they didn’t know anybody else so they just had each other to talk to.” They agreed that only having each other definitely strengthened their bond. The relationships that they formed with their teammates Beth and Skylar are not just about the sport but about life and what it has to offer. For them gymnastics is about relationships and bonds – that is what brings out success during competitions.
For the Snider twins, gymnastics is not solely based on competition. It does play a big part in it, but it’s about the memories they made and the relationships they created. They both agreed that the school team is looking pretty good this year. They specifically said to write about how they will go to state this year and how they are not just going, they are going to win it all!
When the season starts in January, make sure you catch them in action! I promise you that when the smoke from the fireworks clear, you will feel like Spiderman needs to give his suit to the Snider twins.