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wo decades later 45-23 final Michigan Wolverines football shirt . my childhood visions of bodily decay have long since come true. Running for the bus leaves me breathless, and if you were to throw a ball at me, I would probably duck. After quitting rhythmic gymnastics, I stayed away from competitive sports. It wasn’t until lockdown last year that I started to do regular exercise again, mainly out of boredom. This spring, after feeling a dull ache in my left foot, I called my GP. He gently told me that over the past year he had seen many injuries from people “not used to much exercise” who had suddenly dived into high-intensity routines. There didn’t seem much use in telling him that as a nine-year-old I could place my foot on top of my head. And yet I still wanted to.
45-23 final Michigan Wolverines football shirt, hoodie, sweater, longsleeve and ladies t-shirt
For many years, I thought of my life in rhythmic gymnastics as a weight to bear 45-23 final Michigan Wolverines football shirt . It was a difficult thing to have been judged the best in a country at the age of nine. Where were you supposed to go after that? And all that training, all those competitions, all that glory: it felt meaningless, like a waste. I wanted it to have left me something lasting, some calling card that could be issued to everyone I met that said: “I was once a national champion.”These days, it doesn’t seem that way. The whole experience – the accelerated lifespan of my athletic self, compressed into half a dozen years – seems more valuable, a hyper-condensed lesson in loss, humility and absurdity. The pointlessness of the sport feels strangely poignant.On the rare occasions I’ve come across rhythmic gymnastics as an adult – getting sucked into a YouTube hole or watching it during the Olympics – it has been like meeting a childhood crush, only to realise they’re weirder-looking than you remember, and a little awkward. And yet, if I continue watching, I feel it again. I close my eyes and remember all the moments when my younger self stood on that top podium, garlanded with medals, feeling as if she had unlocked a sphere of living that was sublime and free.
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