Beam, Bars, Floor, Vault

The life of a competitive gymnast inside and outside of the gym


Aubrey Herrin, Staff Writer

Many students participated in gymnastics as a child, but often it ended in quitting once we figured out the most impressive trick we could do was a cartwheel. But a select few, like junior Katie Coda, kept with the sport to its highest level. 

“I started with the mommy-and-me classes when I was two years old,” Coda said. “Now I am a level ten.”

Because level ten is the highest level for Coda’s age division, she is the only gymnast at her gym to have reached this milestone. However, Coda said that there are seven other girls close to her skill ability. 

“It’s a pretty small team,” Coda said. “but I love my teammates.”

Competing at the top level requires many hours of practice and dedication.

“We practice six days a week, for four hours a day, and three hours on Fridays. It adds up to 20 hours.” Coda said. “I don’t have a seventh hour, so I leave and go to the gym and I practice until six or seven, and then I go home, eat, and do my homework and shower before bed. I don’t really have time for any activities during the week. It’s pretty busy.”

However, gymnastics is a dangerous sport, and often results in many injuries. This was the case for Coda, who severely tore her meniscus in January of 2019.

“The recovery process was over six months— so it’s been a long time,” Coda said. “I’m getting back into it now, but I think that taking the time off definitely gave my body a rest physically and mentally. I feel like I’m stronger now.”

Coda stated how gymnastics has bettered her life overall, and how her favorite part of the sport is the life lessons it has taught her.

“It’s definitely a love-hate relationship,” Coda said. “But [gymnastics] has made me grow as a person. It has given me the work ethic that I have, and so much determination.”