LYNN HAVEN, FL (WJHG/WECP) It is safe to say the Lynn Haven based Edgewater Gymnastics gym, its coaches and gymnasts have certainly seen more than their share of adversity the last two years.
Edgewater Gymnastics closed again, first the hurricane, now COVID-19
It was just last October when owner Pam Kitchens reopened Edgewater Gymnastics which was torn down by Hurricane Michael. All the girls so excited to be back in the gym working out.
That euphoria lasting less than 6 months as the pandemic has forced the gym closed, leaving the girls apart from each other and apart from their coaches, including for who for many of them is extended family member in Pam!
"You know some of these kids are used to coming to the gym three hours, five days a week." Pam told me via Skype. "And for them not to be in the gym is a big thing for them, it's a big part of their lives. And we're trying to at least give them a type of schedule so that while they're home they can at least stretch, condition. And do a little bit of gymnastics you know, toe work and things like that. But mainly, keeping a good attitude so that they're psychologically ok. Because that's really gonna be the problem, the gymnastics will be fine."
And here's a pretty amazing representation of how much the girls miss Pam and each other. One of the mothers sent Pam this picture Monday of her child, tear in her eye, and when you look closely, you see a picture of the team in that eye! That team you could say being apart from each other, and some of the fears these girls face being away from their gym routine!
"It's just that they need to believe that when they come back they'll be able to do gymnastics." Pam says. "And that they're not gonna lose everything. That's their biggest fear. They're so afraid that they' going to lose everything. And we just tell them if you're strong an you stay flexible you're not going to lose everything. We just really want them to keep psychologically motivated in a positive manner.
Part of a new routine includes video workouts via Zoom, and other creative ideas Pam and her coaches have come up with to keep the girls moving and involved.
"But for them to be together on Zoom is a great thing because it lets them see that they're not the only ones going through this and they still have each other. And so that's what we're doing and we give them challenges each week. Each week is a different challenge. Like last week we had them do a photo shoot and every single team girl, 100 percent of them sent five photos. And we said the best five...the best would make a calendar. So we got all these pictures, they were fabulous. So we creating a calendar right now."
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