Gymnastics Withdrawals

Competitive gymnastics was a huge part of my life in middle and high school. I would usually be at the gym and with my teammates for 16 hours every week year round. The two main parts of my day were school and gymnastics, with gymnastics being the part I was much more excited for! I learned the importance of physical and mental strength, and I got a lot of satisfaction out of constant goal setting and improvement.

In my last year of high school, I had a major injury that led to having to quit gymnastics. I came to college knowing I would be focusing more fully on school rather than school and sports. I adjusted well but still felt something missing every now and then.

Last year, I did gymnastics-inspired conditioning in my room and took P.E. classes to keep happy and healthy. The P.E. classes I have taken so far include Pilates, Jazz Dance, Modern Dance, and Circus Arts. The classes were really great, but I still wanted a little more.

This year, I have had some more time to explore and satisfy my need to be active, and it has definitely been rewarding!

First, I joined Frelon in the fall and performed a dance in thefFall student showcase. I also signed up to perform in the spring show, which just wrapped up. I did three dances in this most recent show. One was a popping dance – something totally new and fun and challenging for me. The second one I did was a more modern technical dance, and the last was a high-energy salsa-inspired dance.

This is me and my friend Ana after an exciting Frelon performance!

Alexandra Smith with a friend

By chance, I found another way to scratch my gymnastics itch:

Earlier this year, a former gymnast came up to me one day after a dance class we were in. She asked me if I wanted to do gymnastics at a place off campus that weekend. I remained calm and collected and agreed to see her later that week, but on the inside I was freaking out!

This is me after doing two hours of gymnastics that weekend. It had been almost two years since I had done gymnastics at a real gym, and I was about to be super sore for a week or so, but my life felt so much more fulfilled!

Alexandra Smith smiling

I also realized earlier this year that Western Michigan University (which is literally right next to campus) has a Division I gymnastics team! I went to see them compete one night and it made my week. I had not seen a college gymnastics meet in several years – they are always so exciting and energetic!

Next year, I will be studying abroad, but senior year I plan on continuing with Frelon and going to Western Michigan University gymnastics meets. I also hope to do at least one performance with Cirque du K! Check out Cirque here.


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Alexandra Smith ʼ16

About Alexandra Smith ʼ16

Alexandra is a Junior from Corvallis, Oregon who is currently studying abroad in Clermont-Ferrand, France. She is a double major in French and International Studies with a minor in Economics. Sophomore year, Alexandra led a program for the Center for Civic Engagement at K and was a Co-President of the club Zookeepers. She loves dancing, painting, writing, eating, and travelling.