When I started my sport, I was already at a significant disadvantage. I was nearly twelve when I began rhythmic gymnastics, a sport where it is not unusual for a twelve year old to already have a spot on the National Team. Neither I nor my new coaches expected a lot from me. Nevertheless, I decided to give it a shot and I ended up falling in love. Luckily, the club that I started the sport in is ranked as one of the best clubs in the country so I was definitely given more opportunity than most in my situation. Unfortunately, these opportunities soon proved not to be enough. Since I wasn’t trained from an early age like my other teammates, I wasn’t very flexible and I didn’t perform quite as skillfully as everyone else. I had very simple moves in my routines that consequently got me low scores. I was not, what a coach would have called, “full of promise”.
At fourteen years old, I had nearly no faith in myself as a gymnast. I looked at all of the stars that came from my gym and, instead of viewing them as inspirations, I began to feel envy at the fact that at my age, they were already in the highest level of their sport and going to World Championships. Every day I focused on the fact that I was so much less flexible, less experienced, less fit and less skilled than everyone else.
It was just a year ago when my mom introduced me to The Secret saying it had done miracles for her and that she knew it would do the same for me. Over the summer I gave it a try, and to my surprise, my life literally flipped upside down. I gave thanks to all the good things I had neglected in my life before, such as my amazing bond with my teammates, my family who supports me no matter what direction I’m heading in and my success in other areas of my life, like at school. In return my newfound positive thoughts attracted everything I had hoped for. When the rhythmic gymnastics competition season of that year started up, I improved dramatically. Every day I was exceeding my coaches’ expectations and getting exponentially better at the sport. I developed one ultimate goal in mind for the year: make it into Nationals.
I had always desperately wanted to qualify to the most important competition of the country, but my thoughts prevented that. I hadn’t made it in any of my previous years of doing the sport and because of my negativity those few years, no one expected me to. Though I still wasn’t the type of gymnastics superstar that everyone assumed would make Nationals, I was confident that I would earn a spot at the competition. Every night I recited it over and over in my head: “I will make it into Nationals this year. I will make it into Nationals this year”. I placed a picture of the Nationals logo for this year on my wish board. I made sure to plan my summer activities around when Nationals were scheduled to be held and I told all my friends that I would be competing there early on. I believed in my success so much.
When National Qualifiers came around, I was barely even nervous since I knew for a fact that I would make it in. Now, even though I had gotten exponentially better at the sport over the year, I was still not the best and my coaches definitely did not consider it likely that I would qualify. There were a lot of other, more experienced gymnasts out there who had been winning for a while, and I had only been doing rhythmic gymnastics for four years. Despite this, I never allowed myself to lose hope.
After competing, I waited restlessly for the results to come out. In my head I kept imagining the feeling I would get when I found out I made in and the joy I would experience. However, my mood plummeted when the announcer finally gave the results: I was not in the top 25 athletes that would be invited to compete at Nationals.
At that moment, it occurred to me that, despite my slim chance of making it to Nationals, I really believed I would make it. I was truly shocked that I didn’t qualify. There was still a part of me that told myself that after a year of relentlessly believing I would make it, I deserved to be at that competition. I left the place where Qualifiers were held in tears.
The next morning, I got a spontaneous text from my coach. She told me that a very talented gymnast who I competed with earlier in the year at Regionals was no longer eligible to compete, and that I was going to fill her spot in the Junior Olympic Regional Team at Nationals! It was an even bigger opportunity than if I had made it through National Qualifiers. I nearly dropped my phone in excitement! I knew that The Secret had made this happen and that though it wasn’t in the way I’d expected, it gave me more than what I’d asked for.
This Thursday morning, I will be competing with the best in my country at Nationals as part of the Junior Olympic program, and I have The Secret’s teachings to thank. Thank you, thank you, thank you!