Memoirs of a gymnast......Camp and food....Chapter 4. | jenni855's Blog

I am guessing that from here, my story will become harder to write. I will have to relive some memories and dark places that I would rather forget but now is the time to bring it all to light.
After the competition with the trio, I was put with various pairings, none of which lasted long. Jo was put in another trio after our silver medal win and a girl called Anna was put with me and Alex to replace her. We only did one club competition at our own gym and we won gold. I liked both girls and wish I could have been allowed to stay with them. If anything I liked our new trio more then our old one. But once again, we all got swapped around and I got put with a girl called Fiona. She was lovely as well actually but we never did a competition together. I have no idea why Alison broke up all these partnerships so regularly. It was sad for me because as I say, I liked the girls.

The club held summer camps and I went to two of them. It was basically a week of training with theme park and swimming trips. I never hated them but I was homesick. I had never been away from home and a week is a long time for a 9 year old. The one thing I remember most vividly about the camps were the injuries. Kerry a team mate of mine,broke her arm and there was also another gymnast from another club (they were also allowed to attend the campb) who busted her leg. I remember the ambulance came and she was given laughing gas. We were all standing around and laughing nervously back not sure what else to do. That really shook me up as witnessing any injuries did.
I was very lucky that in my whole gymnastics career, I never broke a bone.

As my gymnastics career progressed, I was becoming more obsessed with food. I would stand there in the gym, sucking in my stomach as I thought it looked big. Weight was constantly being monitored and the issue of losing weit and not eating much was normalized to a great extent. There was a girl called Nicole who I trained with and she was about a year older then me. She was skin and bone, absolutely nothing of her. In fact she looked beyond ill. I remember we were all in the showers and she suggested to us all that we turn the water up so it got really hot. She said the steam would help us to lose weight. I also remember Alison telling her to not eat much of the dinner we were
provided with that night. I remember Nicole sitting down with us and we all had the same meal of fries, beans and I think it was sausages. Nicole kept turning her head towards the door and whenever she thought Alison was nearby, she would start spooning the food onto our team-mates plate. It was just crazy.
I remember after camp, I told my mother all of this and she wasn't horrified at all. I know I am not a mother myself but I think that would have made me cry hearing that. Knowing that a child was too afraid to eat a meal and that their own child was witness to that would deeply upset me. I also would start to worry about the messages my own child was getting in relation to food. Because that's what was happening. I was already too absorbed with diets, food and weighing myself. Things were only set to get a lot worse and looking back, it really wasn't a surprise. I was in an environment where being thin was everything and where you were scolded for putting on even a bit of weight. I had team-mates, not much older then myself refusing to eat proper meals and always wanting to lose weight off their already skeletal bodies. Things started to get a lot darker around this time. The impact of what I was experiencing everyday would now show itself in a very destructive way.

This Blog Entry's Comment Board (4 comments)
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Posted on 12:31AM on Feb 8th, 2013
So basically we can see the beginnings of your current body image issues, all these years later. I'm sorry Jenni that something that happened when you were 8 or 9 still affects you so greatly right now. And to think that your mom seemed completely ok with it or at least oblivious to it. Ugh.
Posted on 01:32AM on Feb 8th, 2013
I don't know Jeremy. Maybe I should have been stronger, it did happen a long time ago. Sometimes I feel guilty that it still affects me as much. It makes me feel weak.
Posted on 09:28AM on Feb 10th, 2013
No Jen, bearing this burden for as long as you have, makes you strong....I'm dead sure of it.

I can so agree with your thoughts at the end of this post. I am a mother and I AM horrified reading this, no matter how long ago it was. I'm so sorry your own mother didn't have the same instinct to protect you from it. (hugs) xx
Posted on 10:33AM on Feb 10th, 2013
It does make me feel a bit silly. Then again, it is liberating to actually voice what I was doing at that time because nobody knew. Here is the only place I have spoke about it at all. I needed to be able to say what went on at that time and am glad this blog has given me the opportunity.

Thank you for your kind words xx
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Previous Posts
Saturday, 3rd January 2015, posted January 3rd, 2015
Gymnastics..., posted December 2nd, 2013, 5 comments
Letter to M....., posted August 19th, 2013
Memoirs of a gymnast......Caroline.......Chapter 7., posted February 10th, 2013, 3 comments
Memoirs of a gymnast.....I want to leave......Chapter 6., posted February 9th, 2013
Memoirs of a gymnast.....Weight issues.....Chapter 5., posted February 8th, 2013, 4 comments
Memoirs of a gymnast......Camp and food....Chapter 4., posted February 7th, 2013, 4 comments
Memoirs of a gymnast.....The trio and our first competition...Chapter 3., posted February 6th, 2013, 2 comments
Memoirs of a gymnast.....Entering the squad. Chapter Two., posted February 5th, 2013, 4 comments
Memoirs of a gymnast....Introduction and chapter 1., posted February 4th, 2013, 6 comments
A letter to my mother......, posted July 22nd, 2012, 1 comment
A lettter to Kirsty......, posted July 22nd, 2012
Tuesday, 20th March 2012....An open letter to my circle...., posted March 20th, 2012, 9 comments

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