Gymnasts’ talent may ruin your self-esteem

Thomas Gallick

I couldn’t be a gymnast.

That’s probably pretty obvious, but as a sportswriter (cough … frustrated athlete), I tend to exaggerate my abilities when covering sports.

I think to myself, “Yeah, I could probably score one or two hoops in a college basketball game,” despite the fact that I usually don’t score more than three baskets in rec games against other scrubs.

I postulate that I could play defense for the field hockey team because I can hit things with sticks.

I deem it possible to pitch an inning for the baseball team without giving up a run, even though the only record I had in Little League was for hitting three players in a row with beanballs.

With gymnastics, though, even my twisted logic can’t provide for a situation where I would be competent in the sport.

I can’t flip on a narrow beam, leap from bar to bar or vault from a, um, vaulting thing.

I can do a sassy little dance, but I don’t know that I would get any scores above a 1 from the judges on floor exercise.

Simply put, gymnasts are like super heroes to me. The Kent State gymnastics team might as well have been literally flying around the M.A.C. Center yesterday because they were doing things I couldn’t do if I practiced for 100 years.

Not only does the team compete in the most technically impressive sport on campus, but it wins too.

The team beat Mid-American Conference rival Central Michigan and Maryland this weekend in front of an appreciative crowd, as if simply possessing spectacular talent wasn’t enough.

The team may actually be a little too talented. I mean, who wants to go to a sporting event and be reminded how horribly unathletic they really are?

The answer is apparently a lot of people, as the M.A.C. Center was rocking yesterday. I was kind of expecting a small crowd for what I thought was a niche sport, but a hearty, vocal group cheered every hop, skip and jump.

Maybe everyone just has better self-esteem than me and can appreciate the team’s efforts without feeling like a miserable waste of human potential.

I hope my jarring feelings of insecurity don’t scare anyone away from attending a Kent State gymnastics meet, or any gymnastics meet for that matter.

It’s truly a spectacle. There’s always at least two events going on at all times, usually with bizarre techno or Middle East-flavored music blaring over the loudspeakers.

Anyone attending will leave with at least one of the following:

1. A terrible headache from the floor exercise music.

2. Feelings of low self-esteem from the realization that regular people cannot flip through the air.

3. A greater appreciation for a team that sometimes gets lost in the shuffle when people discuss Kent State sports.

Contact assistant sports editor Thomas Gallick at [email protected].