Her great-aunt Sheila has been twirling her entire life and is very involved up here in Maine in judging and coaching. When CAM was only a baby, Sheila sent her a real baton. Teeny tiny, but real. Ever since, CAM's had the bug, but she was too young when we lived in Alabama, and we couldn't for the life of us find a coach in Georgia. As CAM got bigger, we received bigger batons, but we had no coach.
Then, we moved to Maine.
And CAM had private lessons with Aunt Sheila every Tuesday.
It all culminated last weekend with CAM's first competition, at the Maine Games.
It was a crazy lead-in week. Mick and WHM were out of town in NY. CAM needed basic Keds -- which, if you're wondering, are IMPOSSIBLE to find -- and she was supposed to practice her routine 3 times a day. (Her routine, if you're wondering that, was only two minutes.) She and I went as far South as Kittery (that's an hour away) on a school night, trying to track down Keds. After ten (not exaggerating; ten) different shoe stores in Maine, we gave in and went to K-Mart for knock-offs. They worked fine. In the meantime, getting CAM to practice was ridiculously difficult, and Mick and I discussed it in frustration a million times. It's a hard thing to balance: we weren't going to let her be a quitter, but we weren't going to force it on her, either and be "those parents". CAM needed to be prepared, but if she lost terribly, so be it.
Mick and I had no idea of what to expect when we got to Kennebunk, and although CAM was amenable to changing right into her costume, she was not at all keen on taking off her yoga pants or going down to the gym floor for the open practice times. In fact, she only went at all when Aunt Sheila came and got her. Even then, she would only do two of the three practice rounds of music they played. (Aunt Sheila was judging that day, but not judging CAM. So Aunt Sheila was there, but not sitting with us.)
As it turned out, CAM was one of only two girls in her age class. And she took silver, but not because she was awful. In fact, she was pretty super for her first time competing ever, if I say so myself. The girl she was competing against had clearly been at it for far longer, and if I knew more about what the judges look for (which is to say, which specific tricks, etc.) I might be able to tell you more. As a layperson, I thought CAM did pretty well and it was likely a close competition. I started out super nervous that she'd be woefully unprepared, but when both girls were done I found that I had hope, for what it's worth, that she might have taken gold. Regardless: we were (and are) so proud of her!
But I have to admit that the best part of the day was when she walked off the floor, leaned in to Mick, and said, "See? I TOLD YOU I didn't need to practice!"
|Here she is, doing her routine. We're still working on the performance smiles. This is sheer concentration.|
She also took gold in marching. Of course, she was the only competitor. But still, she won a medal which is what she knows. She then spent the rest of the afternoon not wanting to put her yoga pants back on, and kept asking us when she got to go again.
She wore her medals ALL WEEK. She was tickled, and I think the bug has bitten, because all she keeps asking is "when is my next competition?!"
It's still a long way to Tuscaloosa (and they don't offer scholarships for twirling) ... but a little girl can dream!