Sunday, June 15, 2008

Leaving for Spain...

I'm flying out to Spain today to see my coach and I'm really excited. My coach, Mimi, has been living out in Europe since October and it's been a huge life change for me. For the past ten years I have worked with my coach every single day here in Toronto. I grew up and matured as a gymnast with her watching by my side. So when she had to take a contract out in Spain for an amazing coaching position I obviously supported her. It is a difficult life for coaches in Rhythmic Gymnastics here in Canada and she had to do what was right for her and her family. Long story short, she moved out there and I was faced with this huge decision. Should I move to Spain to be with her? I know it sounds like a no brainer, but it took me a really long time to decide. There were so many factors that went into it for me, it was far from easy. To move to Spain sounds so glamorous and fun, but I had to remember about everything I would be giving up if I left. I had my family, friends, university whole life. Could I really leave it all behind? 

In the end, I couldn't leave Toronto and we came up with a plan to make sure my preparation for Beijing didn't suffer. Basically, I fly back and forth so I can train with Mimi, but still be in school back home and not lose who I am and my life back in Canada. I love it out in Spain and it's always such an amazing experience for me as a gymnast and a person, but the first time I came back home I realized Mimi wasn't with me and on monday I would be starting up with a new coach for the first time in my career. It was pretty nerve racking I'm not going to lie. When you've worked with one person for so long, it's a scary feeling to not know what to expect when you head to the gym. I have to say though that it's been the best and most beneficial thing for me at this time in my life. So many coaches here in Ontario come to my trainings and want to help me with my preparation. Now I always have fresh eyes on me at practice in Toronto giving me new feedback and ideas and I push myself even harder in Spain when I know I only have limited time with Mimi. I have become so much more independent and able to take criticism from all different coaches and use it to my advantage. It feels like I have the whole Canadian gymnastics community trying to get me in the best shape possible for the Games, which is a pretty cool feeling to have.

So I'm going to be boarding a plane in a few hours and am really looking forward to the next two weeks with Mimi. I know it's going to be hard, I know it's probably going to be the hardest training camp of my life, but I still can't wait for it. I'm so ready to get the best out of me and on those bad days I'll just keep Beijing in my head and battle through....

1 comment:

Rhonda Page said...

Hey Alex!

I'm not sure if you remember me or not...but I trained at Kalev with you for about a year. It was almost 10 years ago now, crazy! lol I used to commute to Toronto with Maria from Cambridge to train with Svetlana. Anyways, I saw you on the cover of Chatelaine magazine and was sooo excited to see that you're still competing and that you qualified for Beijing! That's so amazing! Just wanted to pass along my congrats to you!!! I came across your blog when I was looking for some of your recent competitions videos!

Anyways, just wanted to wish you the best of luck in Beijing! My family and I will be cheering for you!!!

Best Wishes, Rhonda Page