Gymnasts return to Monarchs

Life for the gymnasts at NPHS is slowly going back to routine as members begin making their way back to the gym after months away. Through time and persistence, the girls on the Monarchs team have been adapting to the new ways of practice and adjustment during their training. 

Mallory Norton, junior, is currently practicing at Monarchs Gymnastics and taking extra precautions to ensure everyone’s safety. “All coaches have to have masks on at all times. My group, specifically my team, wear our masks when we are on an event…our coaches are wiping down all the mats with UV lights that we use to clean off surfaces,” Norton said. “We’re social distancing and we’re doing everything we can right now to just keep everybody safe but still practice.” 

Spending much of her life doing gymnastics, Norton has definitely had a different and new experience this year, especially at the start. “It was definitely rough because if you don’t do gymnastics for a long period of time you’ll start to lose skills and lose your flexibility and it gets really hard to come back,” Norton said. “My gym was out for about three months and it doesn’t sound like a really long time, but in gymnastics, it is because in those three months, you could have done so much to get stronger and more flexible and get your skills down.” 

Aside from the adjustments in the gym, competition season is still a very unknown subject. Ambal Kailasam, sophomore, is a competitive gymnast of five years at Monarchs Gymnastics. “I competed for one season and I enjoyed it because of the adrenaline rush and seeing my teammates compete as well,” Kailasam explained. “Our competition season is usually from January through March and as of now, competitions are still happening. However, I am not sure if they will be canceled if COVID gets worse.” 

Madison Klein, freshman, has also been experiencing the same struggles as Norton and Kailasam at Monarchs, especially the lack of social interactions with her teammates. “We were so close with each other and it’s really hard to not go and give someone a high five or a hug after they just did a skill… it’s so fun just getting to congratulate your teammates when they’ve achieved something,” Klein said. 

From being separated for so long, the gymnasts find it hard to not be able to catch up like before. “Our team is physically separated due to social distancing, so team bonding is a little bit less,” Kailasam said. 

Through every struggle, members of the team have found a way to adjust to their hardships.“I’ve met some really really cool people throughout my years of competing and just really hope that we’ll still be able to kind of interact with other gyms, but I don’t really think that it’s going to be a possibility, but I can hope,” Norton said. With the only option to hope, the girls hope to be able to get back to a semi-normal competitive season as January comes by.

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