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After a couple of years as a serious gymnast, Adelaide’s passion for the sport fades

There was once a gymnastics gym called Tumble Town Gymnastics. This gym was the opposite of famous, and everyone who worked there or went there knew it. Except one person. Adelaide Collins. She wasn’t the best gymnast at the gym, but she wasn’t the worst. But she didn’t care because she didn’t know.

Adelaide was twelve, and she lived with her mom, dad, uncle, aunt, and grandparents in a big four-story house in Montclair, New Jersey. She went to the gym almost every day, even though she wasn’t on the gymnastics team, because her family thought she needed to “get extra pent-up energy out.” So that’s exactly what she did.

Her coach was Miss Anderson Pulatinaski. Miss Pulatinaski was once a three-time Worlds gymnast, but she never made it to the Olympics because she broke her ankle very badly and wasn’t able to compete. So she settled in New Jersey and opened a gym. But Miss Pulatinaski hated running the gym and doing all its paperwork, so she hired someone else to work the gym and she started coaching there.

Adelaide was Miss Pulatinaski’s favorite because she never cared what anyone thought. This made Adelaide special to Miss Pulatinaski.

One day while Adelaide was working on her punch front tucks into the foam pit, a poster caught her eye.


“Wow,” said Adelaide. “Do you think I could try out?” she asked Miss Pulatinaski.

“I think you could make the team, but are you sure you want to be on the team?” asked Miss Pulatinaski.

“Of course!” shouted Adelaide.

“Alright,” Miss Pulatinaski said.

So Adelaide signed up for tryouts.

The Flash

And on the twenty-first of May, Tumble Town Gymnastics hadn’t been this crowded since . . . well, ever. Adelaide felt very intimidated and was so nervous she almost threw up. But Adelaide walked into the gym and stretched with everyone who was trying out. Then they did back handsprings and front handsprings and then punch front tucks into the foam pit and then round-off back handsprings and then round-off double back handsprings.

One hour later, Adelaide was very tired. Just kidding. She wasn’t tired at all. Two hours later she was really, really tired. No joke. She went home and fell on her bed exhausted. The next day she heard she had made the team and was ecstatic.

Two Years Later

“Okay, people. Line up and go home,” said Adelaide’s coach. Which Adelaide was really excited to do because in the last couple weeks she had started disliking gymnastics more and more. When she got home, she looked up on her computer “ways to get out of gymnastics.”

She found a bunch of answers:

  1. Fake sick.
  2. Skip it.
  3. Find another sport.
  4. Tell your coach you won’t come anymore.

Adelaide hated gymnastics because Miss Pulatinaski had retired and Adelaide had started going to the gym more and more and more and more and learning harder skills, and it ate away at her love of the sport. It was obvious Adelaide was unhappy when she was doing the trickiest skill the team would allow at a competition and fell. She didn’t hurt herself seriously, but she did sprain her wrist and was pulled out of the competition. Something snapped in Adelaide that day.

That night she went to Miss Pulatinaski’s house, like she always did when she had problems, and explained herself to her old coach. Miss P. understood and told her to either find a new sport or take a break, which is exactly what Adelaide did: took a break.

When she got home, she looked up on her computer “ways to get out of gymnastics.”

She started running around her block over and over again to stay exercised; even though she did not love running, she figured out that she could run really fast. She realized after a while she was really good and that running was actually really fun. She then tried out for the track and field team at her school and made it!

Adelaide started to get very serious about running and soon tried out for more advanced and prestigious running teams until she found herself face to face with the Olympic trials.

It was the night before the trials, and Adelaide’s running coach was in her hotel sleeping because it was literally 10 p.m., which was pretty late for Adelaide, but Adelaide couldn’t sleep because of nerves. She decided to call her parents, but since it was 10, they didn’t answer.

Adelaide decided to call Miss Pulatinaski. She answered and sounded pretty worried at first but calmed down and asked what was wrong, and Adelaide told her. Miss P. told her she was going to be okay and that even if Adelaide didn’t go to the Olympics, she would still be proud of her. This didn’t really make Adelaide feel better, but she agreed and hung up.

The next day Adelaide woke up and did not feel in the least bit tired. Adrenaline pumped through her as she ran around the track with her team. Then, she headed down to the big building where the trials would be held.

After a short break, the coach who would be judging told Adelaide and her teammates to run around the track until she blew her whistle. Adelaide started running and the adrenaline pumped through her again as she ran around the track once, then twice, then three times, then four, and then five. It seemed to go on forever, and as the coach blew her whistle, Adelaide’s lungs felt like they were on fire. On her break, Adelaide replayed the moment in her head over and over and over again until she caught her flaws and perfections.

Then she went back to do it all over again, and when she saw her score, she knew that she was going to be a star because Adelaide Collins was going to the Olympics for running, something she would never in a million years have thought she would be doing.

Evelyn Mealer
Evelyn Mealer, 9
Montclair, NJ

Tatum Lovely
Tatum Lovely, 12
Pipersville, PA