18 March 2011

For the love of Gymnastics

I was a gymnast, from the time I was five until I turned ten. I had actually started in ballet, but, just a few months in, the ballet teacher (a former ballerina) told my mom I wasn't gracious enough for ballet.... So my mom switched me to gymnastics, and I was hooked! I instantly loved the sport, and would probably have continued with it for a long, long time.... But, before I turned ten, my family moved to the suburbs of Lisbon, and my mom was about to deliver her 6th child... So the trips to the gym became a true burden, and I had to quit.... I was heartbroken! 

It wasn't until my own children started doing gymnastics that I tried to revive my memories in the gym... Surprisingly, I don't have that many... I remember my coach, but don't remember my teammates, except for one... I remember that my favorite thing was tumbling (does Flick-Flack ring a bell to anyone? It's called a Back-Handspring, now...), and I remember broken pieces of doing a meet.... I remember riding in the back of my mom's mini cooper on the way to the gym all the while doing a head-stand....

When I asked my mom if she had any pictures of me doing gymnastics, I was surprised to find out that there were none... Not a single one! So, I made a commitment to document my girls evolution in their beloved sport... Do you know how hard it is to take action pictures in a poorly lighted gym? It is a true challenge for me! I even took a photography class for that purpose, and I still can't do it!!!

So, I will leave it to the professionals...!!! Yes, we do have to pay a hefty fee for the photos, but, boy, are they ever worth it!! Here are some of my latest favorites from my daughter Clara, who is a level 7 gymnast...

And, this last picture is one of my all-time favorites from my daughter Rita's time as a gymnast... Looking at it is bittersweet for me, as she had to quit gymnastics (ironically, at age ten...) to pursue competitive soccer at a higher level...


Yes, there is no shortage of pictures in my own "mom's bragging album"...!!!! I know, one day, my girls will appreciate it...!!


  1. Your daughter is so beautiful and is fortunate that she so talented in sports. You have to right to brag MOM. She is wonderful! sandi

  2. Gymnastics - It was the love of my life from age 7 onwards. It was 1972 & I discovered the Olympics and with them came Olga Korbut - I was hooked, glued to the TV (in black & white) watching this twirling, jumping girl do miracles with her body. Then I waited with bated breath until the next Olympics when I discovered Nadia Comaneci.... I wanted to learn gymnastics with all my heart (as I wanted to learn ballet) but my parents said no for a varied number of reasons - so at age 7 I learnt what it was to be heartbroken. To this day I tend to started shedding a few tears every time I see a gymnast doing the works and I cannot but feel a thrill of excitement at the same time. What a lovely post - cheer your girls on - let their dream come true.

  3. She is amazing!!! Your blog is my most visited! I love to stop by and do almost every day! My kids are grown now but not one of them has ever complained that I took too many pictures of them and their accomplishments. Our kids so need to know how special they are to us! Brag On Mom!!!! Blessings Meg

  4. Hi Isabel, just stumbled upon your lovely blog and you happen to be talking about one of my fav subjects: gymnastics!! Superb pics of your daughters, you must feel proud. Happy memories of being a gymnast when I was young; I started doing gym again as an adult till I hurt my back. But have coached and my daughter loved it too. Nadia Comaneci was my hero. Enjoy your weekend :)

  5. Wow, every penny spent for these pictures is well worth it! It is a moment that can not be repeated and you get only one are the best mom for sure..

  6. I love this post and these pictures, I myself have a similar story to yours. I was a gymnast (even went to state in 7th grade for beam) and oh how I loved it, I lived and breathed gymnastics but my mom never took one picture, not one. So your daughters are very lucky girls and look fabulous! Oh how I miss it!

  7. I'm visiting your blog to look for your vintage finds and lovely handmade creations, but have to comment on the most beautiful pictures on your blog.....those of your daughter, the gymnast! The photos are just breathtaking!


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