Sunday, May 23, 2010

Day 231

Warning, warning, warning - Proud Mummy Alert.

Do you remember how a few months ago we had this big chat about stage fright (both actual and metaphorical) and how Tahlia experienced the actual during her first ever calisthenics solo? You can read about it here.

Well, since then my gorgeous girl has been hard at work. She competed again about a month ago and got through her routine with flying colours - walk-overs, tigers stands, split leaps and all. Just watching her get through the dance on stage made me so very proud. But she was a little disappointed she didn't get a placing. Not in a big way, just a normal feeling of wanting her efforts to be recognised by the judges. I explained that winning medals was a bonus but that as long as she was always improving and working towards a personal best, then her efforts would be rewarded, trophy or no trophy. Yeah, ok Mum.

Anyway she spent the next month working hard with her coach on her technique. The routine was great, she could do very clever things, but she needed to extend her legs, point her toes, turn out from the hip. Roger that. She expressed a strong interest in getting an honourable mention at the next competition or a highly commended or maybe even a third. Ok then sweety, if you want to aim for a placing then you do it. Just do the thing and you'll get the result. It doesn't happen on its own ... success requires action.

So she did the thing. She scheduled practice sessions in her weekly planner, and she stretched every morning before school, and she listened to her music and visualised, and we moved the furniture in the lounge room and she practiced on a make-shift stage. She did the the thing to get her result.

Well, yesterday it was solo time. The last 2010 solo comp. Mummy was nervous for her ... I guess because she and her coach had been working so hard at training, and because Tahlia had been working so hard at home. Plus they had added this new tricky maneuver that looked awesome but which Tahlia only managed to nail about 50% of the time. It was a straddle hand stand starting from squat position, going into straight legs then into a walk over to standing. Anyway, I obviously didn't let on any nerves to Tahlia, I just gave her the positive energy and hoped she would feel safe and confident.

She was contestant number 15, it was an excruciating wait for those of us in the audience (Nanny, Daddy, Darby, Mummy and all the other calo mums). Apparently Tahlia wasn't bothered. She was out in the foyer with her coach doing walk overs and visualising with her iPod. Anyway, number 15 was finally called, the theatre was completely dark, I could see a tiny shadow in the centre of the darkened stage. The spot light turned on this single figure dressed in pink, black and silver with her back to the audience. Great costume Nanny! The music started, she turned, her smile was infectious as she strutted down the stage waggling her finger at us as she acted out her part. Her toes were pointed, her legs were extended, her hips were turned out, and she was having fun! I held my breath as she started her handstand trick, perfect straddle, then into straight legs, but no walkover. Shit. Would anyone know? It wasn't fumbled at all, still looked great. Only we knew what was supposed to happen I suppose. And Tahlia. I hoped she wouldn't be too disappointed. Perhaps she had decided to play it safe? Anyway, she continued on with the routine, did a great forward walkover, lots of lovely dancing, special poses and bits where her leg ends up behind her ear. A backward walkover, more dancing, wonderful smiles, a lovely split leap, a tiger stand, some twirling and leg raises, and then the final pose. Awesome!!! You beautiful wonderful child.

We screamed and clapped so hard I've got a blood blister on my finger. Clever girl.

There were 19 competitors in all, so we didn't have too long to wait for the results. I had already decided she was getting third. She did well. Why not first place you ask? Well, because there were other girls with lots more experience. They had proven their worth at the previous comps.

All the girls were positioned around the stage and the curtain went up for the awards ceremony. Look at all those smiling faces filled with personal pride and anticipation. Tahlia was grinning. Although she did look a little apprehensive. They called out the highly commended, the honourable mention, and then third place. Tahlia's name was not mentioned. I saw her face fall a little and her shoulders sag ever so slightly. She stayed cool though. Oh well, we knew she had improved. It was definitely a PB. I can't remember second place being called because I was too busy getting my encouragement speech prepared in my mind for when Tahlia came back to sit with us. Then something happened. The microphone got louder as the adjudicator said "and first place goes to, competitor number 15".

All the blood shot to my face and my heart did it's own straddle handstand into walkover. I saw here face register confusion on stage as she looked around for the winner to walk forward. I didn't see what happened next. The stage was swimming. She won? Did we hear it right? I squeaked some weird noise, Nanny squealed, Derek jumped, Darby was confused, the other calo mum's were slapping me on the back and yahoooing. Tahlia came first? I didn't see Tahlia's reaction because of the layer fog that had engulfed us. Apparently it was my tears. I was shaking. People were still screaming around me and I was getting hugs from people. At some point in all this commotion Tahlia had managed to accept her trophy. I missed it. I wish we could push rewind and then record to capture the gamut of emotions that coursed around the Langdowns at that moment. Excitement, confusion, wonder, relief, pride and complete and utter joy. All that hard work! Our baby girl, and her coach, had won.

I know I said that getting a place was just a bonus, and that aiming for a PB is really what competition is all about. I know I said all of that. And it's true. I am always harping on about aiming for the moon so that at the very least you can land amongst the stars. But what about when you actually land on the moon! Wow.

So there you have it. That was my day yesterday (hangover and all) and that is my daughter. Isn't she great! I think so ...

4 comments :

  1. Oh Leanne. You are marvellous. Tahlia is amazing. This blog post had me at hello and goosebumps throghout and tears by the end. WELL DONE to all of you! Imagine, Believe, Achieve......xx

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  2. What a great post. I can relate to all those emotions. So pleased for Tahlia. Tears here as well. You are a great Mummy indeed. Oh love the new look on the blog.

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  3. Wow that is your best post ever Leanne. That Tahlia is one inspiring girl, just like her mum!!!

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  4. She sure is great. What a wonderful story and result :) congratulations Tahlia :D

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