Years ago, I helped my cousin Joey get into gymnastics. He trained with me at the gym, and learned to teach and do some basic skills and progressions. Years later, he is now one of the most successful gym coaches in Arizona, and is the head girls coach for Bars and Vault at North Valley Gymnastics. I’ve been friends with the head boys coach there for years. Travis and Joey took pity on me and allowed me to come and be a guest judge for their in-house meet. In this position I got to watch some great boys performing excellent gymnastics and as an added special perk, I got to watch my cousin work his magic with his kids.

In addition, one of the boys that was on my team here in Phoenix years ago is on this team. How great to be able to come full circle and watch, evaluate, and love on a student with whom I’ve been able to watch grow.

I had so much fun I felt like I should have paid them for the privilege, but much to my shock and embarrassment they offered me a gratuity. Humbled. What are you going to do with kind people like this. Luckily I was able to pass it on, and the love spreads and grows. It is the interesting thing about gymnasts and their coaches, any sport this hard and demanding must be fueled by love and an inner compulsion. It was an honor to watch the gym owners, coaches, and students all share a mutual vision—love.

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