Hey everyone! Welcome to my blog, my name is Ilaria, I’m 22 years old and I live in Florence (Italy).
Let me bore you with the story of my life:
I first started gymnastics when I was 5 or 6 years old and I kept doing it for three years, then I was stupid and stopped, I started doing variuos other sports but I didn’t really enjoy any of them, in fact I never did them for more than a year of two (I did swimming, skating, volleyball and dance, for like three months) and I really missed gymnastics. When I was 14 I finally went back to gymnastics, the first gym I tried was not that good so I changed after a year (I practically spent the whole year doing splits, cartwheels and walking on the beam, nothing else!) so I found another gym which was really small and we didn’t have any equipment but I stayed there for 4 years and did also a few (really easy!) competitions, I actually hate competing, I always liked doing gymnastics just for the sake of doing it, learning new skills and see what my body could do, I was never interested in “showing off” (can’t think of a better term right now), besides I am terrible under pressure and I ended up screwing everything up.
So, after that my friends and I finished high school, they started working and I started university so we couldn’t keep going to that gym, they stopped but I found and adult gym class in a nice gym (it was small and didn’t have all the equipment an elite gym needs but my standards were pretty low and I wouldn’t have much use for a lot of things actually) and I really loved it there!
Unfortunately last year I had to quit gymnastics because of a shoulder injury, I still don’t know exactly what’s wrong (a tendon inflammation I guess) and still hasn’t healed after 3 or more years despite all kinds of physical therapy I did, I still hope I’ll heal and can go back to gymnastics. I had to quit because it was getting really frustrating, I kept going to the gym but couldn’t do anything… Ok, I was really happy I couldn’t do push-ups but even cartwheels or handstands were out of the question, not to mention bars, so all I did was beam and front and back tucks on the trampoline, which was fun but I watched my teammates doing all those things I couldn’t do and it made me sad/angry/frustrated.
Despite being involved in gymnastics since I was very young I didn’t start following international gymnastics until 2004, during the olympics I watched the AA final almost by chance, I remember watching Carly Patterson winning and I think that was what really made me go back to the gym.
After that I started downloading everything I found about gymnastics, I joined a couple of forums and I started learning about international gymnastics. The first competition I attended was a meet of Serie A in 2005 which was held in my city, I didn’t even know what kind of competition it was, I saw a poster for it in my school and it was close to home and I went to see it!
Since then I’ve attended a few national competitions and a couple of international meets (like Italy-Russia), the first “real” competition I saw was 2007 worlds in Stuttgart, I don’t know how much time I spent trying to convince my parents to bring me there, in the end I won! It was great! I love the atmosphere you have at Worlds or Euros, besides the great gymnastics you get to see there.
I also have been to Euros in 2010 and 2011 (ironically I missed Euros in Milan in 2009). I hope I can go to next year’s Euros too. I didn’t get any of the tickets for the Olynpics I’d applied for, but I won’t give up and will try and get them somehow!