My mother says that after "mama" and "dada" came out of my mouth, the next word was why from that point forward. By age 3; I was enrolled in gymnastics because mom didn’t understand why I felt the need to jump off high objects. Safety was her goal. The gym is where I learned discipline. I learned to dream about who I wanted to be and to believe in myself-never giving up. And, if you want to be the greatest – you have to do great things. My dream became a reality in 2014 when I achieved Virginia State 1st Place All Round State Champion Level 4 gymnast. I have two events that are slated in the top 100 gymnasts nationally for level 4 & level 6 gymnastics.
Then “it” happened. My body changed, and I grew nearly six inches in a year. My life as a gymnast was coming to an end. My elders have a saying, “When one door closes-another door opens”. Within a week of hanging up my leo’s and grips I received an offer to play travel volleyball. Changing from a one-man sport into a team sport was exactly the remedy for crushed dreams and the longing for a sisterhood since I am an only child.
I’ll be the first to admit that there are many other girls who have more court time. However, when it comes to be being a team player, drive, determination, the ability to take constructive criticism and make the changes asked – this is where I rise above the rest.
All these attributes spilled over into my academic accomplishments as well. My mom drove an hour in each direction for my gymnastics career. Our car rides consisted of me reading to her on the way to gymnastics and a ride home discussion of what we had read earlier. I was recognized as an academically advanced child in 1st grade. I was put into the Duke Tip program at 4th grade. I have qualified for the program every year since. I have participated in online programs of study through the Duke Tip program as well. I’m currently enrolled in all honors classes with a GPA >4.0. I take pleasure in watching brain surgeries so it’s probably no surprise I’m interested in pursuing a career as a neurosurgeon.
My mom still drives me an hour for my travel volleyball team. I’m no longer reading to her, but I still maximize my time while riding by keeping my course work up to date. Why? Because dreams are only dreams until you do great things to turn them into, your reality.