During this difficult time of social distancing, we remain grateful for the positivity of so many of our members, like the Lanning family of Tennessee Elite Gymnastics, who wrote this touching email. Like them, we continue to gather inspiration each day from gymnasts, parents, coaches, and club owners across the country who have banded together in unique and thoughtful ways, despite the physical distance. We are all in this together, and we have been so moved by the strength and resilience of this community.

"During this time of the year being a parent of a gymnast, our family life is usually turned upside down. Running back and forth to drop off for practice, traveling to meets in some far off cold or warm climate, or just stressing over the next meet. This year has become something that none of us could have predicted. Children that have trained so hard for hours on end, year-round, just to see this season come to an abrupt halt with the inability to train in a gym. Not to mention, having to turn our living rooms and dining rooms into gymnasiums with air tracks on the floors and chin up bars in the doorways. I have seen something I can’t explain in my gymnast and I wanted to say thank you.

"Thank you to the USAG for offering a sport, a community, and for setting up rules for my gymnast to learn and live by. Thank you for a sport for our gymnasts to thrive and excel in. Thank you for a community for my gymnast to make new friends and life-long best friends. Thank you for the rules, so my gymnast can tell me the difference between a step-out and a backhand spring, even though I think they are the same thing.

"Thank you to all the Judges who take time out of their lives to enforce the rules over long weekends. From the first raise of a hand to start, through the routine, to the last salute, you are unemotional except for a simple smile and nod. You make little marks on paper for each gymnast and grade them, even though you are under the eye of every doting grandparent and closed eye of every nervous parent.

"Thank you to all the Gym Owners for offering a facility for gymnasts to come and train. A place to feel safe, a place to call their second home. Sometimes I think my gymnast would rather sleep at the gym. They go back to their real homes with talk of all the good and the bad that happened, and are just as excited to return the next day.

"Thank you to all the Coaches who have become the gymnast’s moms and dads in this second home. You praise, you scold, and you LOVE our gymnasts. You know every gymnast, and you keep our gymnasts informed and challenged through emails, texts and virtual workouts during this uncertain time. You work tirelessly, but most of all you encourage and stay positive.

"As a parent of a gymnast I understand the importance of this community like all other parents. We learn by talking to each other, through texts, blogs, Facebook, and YouTube, trying to understand the skills, the scoring or just leaning on each other for support.

Thank you, to USAG, the Judges, the Gym Owners, and the Coaches. Because of your LOVE of the sport and the LOVE of the gymnasts, you have given us more than just a sport. You have given our gymnast and us a second FAMILY.


The Lanning Family
Tennessee Elite Gymnastics – TEG