Saturday, February 16, 2013

Best. Night. Ever (and it was FREE!)

After months of begging, I finally signed Katie up for gymnastics. I put her brother in too, partly because I got a price break and they could attend at the same hour, and partly because Reid has so much natural talent, he'd probably be pretty good at it. If nothing else, it would get some energy out of him.

Both my kids love their gymnastics class.

Tonight we attended a Gymnastics competition at Stanford University. All I can say is WOW. I had no idea what to expect. This is one of the greatest hidden gems of family entertainment I've ever encountered.

First, (and I'm not sure all the meets are this way) it was absolutely free. We parked free. We entered the pavilion free. There was an attendant at the entrance, and she was so welcoming and sweet. She talked with my kids, gave them Stanford tattoo stickers,  and encouraged us to take some little pom poms and Stanford posters. We did, and then entered into the main area of the pavilion. There was a person at the door there too, who energetically welcomed us, and told us we could sit anywhere we wanted to. She also pointed out that if you wanted a good view of all the apparatuses, to sit on the sides, either section 3 or 11. So we did, in the front row seated a bit above so we could see it all. We probably were there about 45 minutes early and could have easily gotten an incredible seat in any section. Being early was actually fun, because we got to see the gymnasts warm up and see how encouraging they were towards each other. They looked like they were having FUN.

Before the Stanford and Arizona University took the floor, we were introduced to a young medal-winning gymnast with Down Syndrome. I don't know if my kids even realized how special and motivational it was so see her do her floor and bar routine. They just though she was great. In an age where you don't see many people with Down Syndrome, it almost brought me to tears. And she did a GREAT job. Truly inspirational.

The competition itself was great. We saw some amazing gymnastics. Really, these girls are good! We marveled that we had amazing seats and it was all free. There were lots of kids there and when they did "Gangnam Style" the videographers showed the crowd cheering and doing the viral 'gangnam" moves. It was fun and cute.

Alas, we had to go home early, as it seemed one of the kids wasn't feeling all that well. Katie cried; though we had seen every event, we left before Stanford did their floor exercises.

As we headed out the door, an attendant suggested we stay, because after the gymnasts were done with the competition, they were going to be available to sign autographs. Wow. Unfortunately, we left before then.

So not only did we get to see some fantastic gymnastics, but it was also really exciting and motivational. This was a slice of university  life and not just any university,  but Stanford. I am pretty sure nearly every kid in our area dreams of attending Stanford. (that's Reid's dream university)

It was just a wonderful night on so many levels. Even with a sick kid. I highly recommend this type of event with your family.

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