Megan Wilson vaults into her next chapter of gymnastics

Megan+preforming+her+routine+to+the+judges.+

Megan Wilson

Megan preforming her routine to the judges.

Junior Megan Wilson has been vaulting and swinging for the last 13 years, and she has loved nothing more. 

Megan had lots of energy as a young girl; every parent tries to tire their kids out. Therefore, Megan’s parents took her to the gymnastics gym. Megan’s determination and willingness to improve set her apart from other athletes.

She is constantly telling herself not to back down.

“I always wanted to be at the gym,” Megan said. “My coaches always had more that I wanted to try, more that I wanted to learn, even when it was far beyond my skill set. I believed that if I tried hard enough, I could do anything I set my mind to, [which] still stands true today. Sometimes, it may or may not get me in trouble with my coach.”

This determination isn’t without its fault either.

Megan has had her fair share of injuries as a gymnast. While many gymnasts struggle more with fear and less with determination, Megan is quite the opposite, and her decisions outweigh her fears. 

“I’m sure if you ask any of the girls on my team,” Megan said, “I am one of the most injury-prone ones. I was working on twisting jumps on the beam, I had probably done 10 to 15 of these jumps perfectly earlier on one of the lower beams, so I went up to the high beam. That’s when everything went wrong.”

Megan was no stranger to falling. She was taught to fall correctly, but even the most proficient gymnasts can slip up.

Gymnastics has also brought Megan a lot of proud memories, and moments like these bring her happiness that no other sport could get her. 

“Leading into my jump was fine, but I was too heavy on my heels when I landed,” Megan said. “They slipped out from underneath me, so I fell straight down and landed square on my lower back. Looking back, it sounds hilarious, but it wasn’t so much at the time. When you can finally stick that skill and hear teammates cheer because they know you have been working on it for so long [and] that you have spent hours on it and have put [in] your sweat and tears, and sometimes your blood, there is a sense of accomplishment like no other.”

With so much work in gymnastics, it’s hard to keep up with school work. For Megan, it’s time management.

She learns things in school, but also in the gym. Life lessons that schools can’t teach are presented in the form of teammates, coaches, and even opponents. 

“When I first started gymnastics for school, it was difficult to keep up with coursework,” Megan said. “Because of the practice and meet schedule, something was happening every night. In gymnastics, fear is in almost everything we do. Watching gymnastics, many think it would be easy because it looks so effortless. But when it comes down to it, the work put in to perform skills so it looks effortless takes a lot of time, and when you first start learning a new skill, the only thing you can think about is everything that can go wrong.”

Fear is an obstacle only the strong-willed can vault, and Megan shows her courage through her moves and perseverance.

While fear is not an issue for Megan, she still has her strengths and weaknesses, just as everyone else does. Being a varsity athlete is no easy task, so she must work on these weaknesses daily. 

“Dwelling on that fear won’t serve any purpose in the long run,” Megan said. “Gymnastics teaches you when you need to hold on as tight as you can and when it is time to let go in a way that is both literally and figuratively. One of the biggest parts of gymnastics that I can work on is my form. While I have the power for many skills, not having the form can cause many problems. Performing a skill with the proper form is half the battle of gymnastics; bent legs or an arm that isn’t quite in the right place can be the difference between sticking a skill or taking steps out of the skill.” 

Megan works hard throughout her season alone, but also with the help of her teammates’ push. Just because there is some individuality, it does not take away from the positive impact her teammates provide for her performance and her mind.

“Gymnastics is an interesting sport,” Megan said. “It is simultaneously an individual sport and a team sport. You train as a team and get a team score, but you compete alone; you are the only one on the floor, and it’s nerve-racking. Having your teammates there to cheer you on through the falls and the perfect routines is like nothing else. Whether trying a new skill in practice, performing an old favorite, or just coming to support the team, everyone has a place and something to offer that makes the team one-of-a-kind.” 

Megan’s passion for gymnastics has pushed her to be the best she could be. She is in the gym day in and day out.

Dwelling on that fear won’t serve any purpose in the long run.”

— Megan Wilson

Her determination and dedication to her team and herself are unmatched, making her a great athlete.

“No matter what sport you play, or if you don’t play one, there is something you are passionate about,” Megan said. “Think back to what you were inspired by when you started, what made you want to work harder, practice longer, reach for more. I remember looking across the gym when I was little and watching all of these older girls fly; that was when I knew I wanted to do just that.” 

It is more than a sport; it is Megan’s lifestyle, all-day, everyday. 

“Become a person you would have been inspired by because someone is looking at you,” Megan said, “[and they’re] inspired by what you are doing. Be the person your younger self dreamt of being, for those who look at you like you [looked at them].”