I started gymnastics. My dad wanted me to. I must’ve been about 8. I was in third grade. He was in gymnastics as a kid so I should be too. I was excited at first. I thought it would be fun. I saw the older girls and I wanted to be like them. I wanted to flip and fly. I especially liked the bars and I wanted to learn those. It went as it does. Learning slowly, doing things on the mat, and then the vault, and then the bars. I did okay, not great. My dad never came to watch. One day I was struggling with the bars, struggling to lift myself up and do the spin. I couldn’t do it. I wasn’t strong enough yet. I got down.
A few of the girls from class told me, “You’re too fat to be a gymnast, that’s why you can’t do it.”. I didn’t say anything back but I cried that night in my room. I quit shortly after that. Told my mom I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t tell her why I don’t think. I remember hearing my dad ask my mom what she was feeding me and if I needed to be on a diet at some point. For my birthday my dad bought me a lavender colored, velvet leotard that I wanted. I didn’t tell him I had quit. I wore it after school sometimes so he’d still think I went. After all, I was too fat for gymnastics.