Too Old For This

The title of this post is what echoed in my mind the moment I thought about taking gymnastics classes again. I had recently turned 25 and as much as I missed gymnastics, the thought of putting on a leotard and tumbling around on the floor with children made me cringe.

As a young adult woman, there was a sense of embarrassment at the thought of being in a gymnastics class with 5 year olds. Can you blame me?

So that left me with two options.

1.) Don’t do anything about my desire and forget I wanted to do gymnastics again.

or

2.) Find out if adult gymnastics classes existed and if I could make it work with my schedule.

After searching through numerous websites and calling different gyms, I finally found a couple adult classes that had piqued my interest. I attended a few classes and was feeling pretty good about myself, until last week.

We were working on back handsprings – something I’ve never done before, even when I did gymnastics as a child. The instructor assured me I’d be fine as he harnessed me into a contraption to keep me safe and then…he told me to “go for it”.

Well, I went for it. I threw my hands up, jumped into the air, and threw myself backwards anticipating the best (and only) back handspring I’d ever done. And just as quickly as the thought came to me, it vanished as I was abruptly jolted by my harness.

You see, I didn’t do the flip and land on my butt or something normal like that. Heck, I didn’t even land! As I opened my eyes, I saw the ceiling of the gym and realized, I was uncomfortably floating. There I was, suspended in mid-air with my legs and feet dangling – and the entire class watching. Worse, in order to get down, I had to flip myself either all the way over or back to my original position, which meant grabbing at the ropes that were holding me up. Suffice to say, it was definitely not one of the most graceful moments in my life.

I left that class feeling defeated, embarrassed, and like I wanted to give up. Everyone is better than me in this classI’m okay being in the middle if I can’t be at the top, but I definitely do not want to be on the bottom.

Getting into my car that night, I just sat there for a minute. For the first time in a long time, I realized something more clearly about myself than I had in the past. I like a challenge, but only when calculated risk tells me I’ll end up at the top or in the middle. If there’s a chance I’ll “fail” in some way, I feel the urge to run.

And boy did I feel the urge to run that night.

But if I ran, what would that say about me? And worse, what would that do to my solid belief that you finish what you start?

So many questions went through my mind on that drive home and I didn’t know what I’d do. After some serious thought, I decided quitting wasn’t an option. This was something I loved and wanted to do. It was building strength, health, and determination in me and I wasn’t about to throw that away because of an embarrassing moment.

I’ve gone to a couple more gymnastics classes since then and have not only seen progress, but I’ve also had a great experience – one I would’ve missed out on had I given up so easily.

My desire to get back into gymnastics began as a way for me to get fit and healthy. While that initial goal hasn’t changed, my perspective has. Even at 25, gymnastics is still teaching me to conquer a challenge and to not give up when things get tough.

And each time I learn a new skill, make a new friend, or step out of my comfort zone, I’m reminded that even if “failure” is possible, it costs us so much more when we don’t even try.

Try something new, reader – you might just surprise yourself.

<3

Manda

P.s. To follow more of my gymnastics journey (and other wild experiences), join me on Instagram! See you there, friend. 🙂

26 Responses
  • Mrs. AOK
    September 23, 2016

    Thats’ awesome!!! We shouldn’t let our age always dictate what we can do. I’m proud of you for going for it! I need to do that more. When I start to question my own age when it comes to things I always remind myself of this: Beyonce is my age, I’m fine. 😀

    • happilyme23
      September 23, 2016

      haha I LOVE that! “Beyonce is my age, I’m fine.” You go girl. 🙂 <3

  • Karen Coghlan
    September 23, 2016

    Gymnastics was my favorite, I loved the uneven parallel bars, but alas I am really far to old for this.. My neurotransmitters lag… lol thank you for the inspiration…

    • happilyme23
      September 23, 2016

      I’m impressed! Uneven bars are by far my most difficult apparatus. Hopefully I’ll improve on those too. haha

  • workoutwithdi
    September 23, 2016

    Hahaha sorry I couldn’t help but chuckle at the story because it sounds like the exact predicament I’d be in. If there is a way to embarrass myself, then I usually will find it.

    But honestly I just want to say that age is irrelevant. I went back to college in my 40’s. I became a registered yoga teacher in 2015. Never say you are too old.

  • Kim
    September 24, 2016

    I can’t imagine starting gymnastics at 25. Kudos to you! I want to start ballet again and need to find a class.

  • Barbara Fisher
    September 24, 2016

    Really great post, Manda. How encouraging! You did not give up, but got back into the ring, well, on the balance beam.

  • Chasa Fulkerson
    September 24, 2016

    Oh this is exciting! You give hope to so many. I am 26 now, but I went to gymnastics in the 8th grade and lasted 2 months. I was so awful! I was quite embarrassed as I was with younger students too.That’s so awesome they have adult classes though! I am glad you you went back and didn’t give up!

  • Jill Conyers (@jillconyers)
    September 24, 2016

    I love trying new things. I guess I never really give much thought to not being able to do try something. At least once.

  • GlamKaren
    September 24, 2016

    Love trying out new things and am all about failing at whatever! This idea of being perfect at something or knowing how to do things at the start or not taking risks needs to go away! Lets all try new things!

  • Roxanne
    September 24, 2016

    Good for you for going for it at all! So many people give up at the first inkling of fear! I tried an aerial yoga class and got stuck…I was the only one in the center of the class for all to see. I decided to ham it up and make it a show and just own that I could not master this in my first attempt. Now I have a goal and something to work toward. “Failure” is just another word for opportunity. Enjoy chasing this passion!

  • cvnxena
    September 25, 2016

    I am a firm believer in you are never too old for anything, just another challenge to overcome, I bet if you started at 5 as a beginner you wouldn’t be doing flips etc either – good on you and keep it up!!

  • Suzanne
    September 25, 2016

    Age ain’t nothing but a number but if you’re not enjoying doing something anymore, then don’t do it.

  • blythea (Prime Beauty Blog)
    September 25, 2016

    It was so much easier to try things as a kid because the embarrassment factor didn’t kick in till much later. I’m still up for trying new things these days, though they are probably more tame the gymnastics. But now you have me wondering if I could still twirl my baton like I did back in the day?

  • Rebecca
    September 25, 2016

    How wonderful. Age is just a number and should never dictate what or how you choose to do something.

  • Esme Sy
    September 26, 2016

    You are an inspiration. It is only when you step out of your comfort zone that you realize you can actually do many things that you never imagined you could do. Glad for you that you went through it.

  • Amanda Love
    September 26, 2016

    There’s no such thing as being too old when it comes to making your dreams come true. I’m glad you didn’t quit, it’s awesome that you’re doing this!

  • Angela
    September 26, 2016

    I took my nieces to a trampoline park recently, my 10year old gymnast inner child came out and I thought I could still tumble like I used to……nope I face planted the trampoline, how embarrassing, my nieces and all the other kids there were giggling at the side.
    However when they told their Mum about it when we got home they both said it was EPIC, so I’m epic at something, even if it is at failing!!! I can’t wait to go back!haha!
    Go you for sticking at it!!

    • happilyme23
      September 26, 2016

      That’s hilarious! I hope you’re okay though – sounds a bit painful. Glad you can relate! haha xoxo

      • Angela
        September 26, 2016

        Mostly my pride that got hurt. You just gotta dust yourself off and try again 🙂 xo

  • rosepetalsinthesea
    September 27, 2016

    Kudos to you to going back to something you’ve always loved! Always remember that you’re never too old for anything. 🙂 – HilLesha

  • The Trophy WifeStyle
    September 27, 2016

    Hahaha omg!!!! I didn gymnastics when I was younger… a few years ago seconded to go to an open gym with my sister and yeah… totally pulled a muscle on my leg within 5 minutes of being there and couldn’t walk for about a week lol

  • Brittany
    September 27, 2016

    I almost always take calculated risk and it is just a defense mechanism. But like you, when I push myself out of my comfort zone I often get my biggest reward.

  • Whitney S.
    September 27, 2016

    We are never too old to do something! I’m 30 and I want to do aerial silks. Nothing really is stopping me (yet anyways lol – my tune may change once I go). I just have to sign up and go!

  • Donah @ SweetJellyBean
    September 27, 2016

    I have to thank you for sharing this experience here. For weeks now I have been contemplating to trying something new and this just inspired me to do so! Good job!

    • happilyme23
      September 27, 2016

      Aw, that’s awesome!! Let me know how it goes! 🙂

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