Growing up, I move around a lot and was home-schooled until my family moved to Minnesota when I was in 3rd grade, so I was never particularly interested in sports because I was not around other people who did them and did not feel the need to participate in them. When we moved to Minnesota however, my parents enrolled me in public school because they were not going to move any more, and because Minnesota's education system is a lot better than most other states. When I started public school I also started doing sports, which is interesting because I feel like the only reason I decided I wanted to do them was because I saw my peers doing them. Starting out, I mainly did soccer and softball, then because interested in gymnastics. What was interesting was that the classes that I took at tags were obviously beginner classes because I had never done gymnastics before, but I remember everyone in my class being half my size. It was difficult for me to stay interested in when everyone was way younger than me, but I stuck with it because I truly enjoyed it, and I was pretty good and advanced through the levels fairly quickly. Gymnastics is an interesting sport because the different organizations that offer the sport are fairly competitive and people typically start when they are very young, so by the time I was in 6th grade, the girls my age were usually on the tags "team", having practice every night for a few hours, while I was still simply just taking classes for an hour a few days a week. But I still stuck with it and when I got to high school I joined the team there. I only did gymnastics my freshman year and decided to quit because the high school team was extremely exclusive, and because I hadn't been in gymnastics since I was a toddler, I was not competent enough for their varsity team. I remember feeling very self conscious when I was on the high school team, never feeling as good as the other gymnasts and I even thought that I was fat, however looking back to my freshman year I was definitely not fat at all. Also, None of my friends in high school did any sports, so I often felt left out of that aspect as well because I had practice everyday after school for 3 hours, and all of my friends would go and hang out. I think this is because the media often doesn't represent female athletes, and if they do they represent them in a way where they have been raised to be an athlete, something they have done their entire life, not something that someone just does for fun, or because they enjoy participating in the sport.
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