Charity Challenge Cup Meet Recap

On Friday, March 10, 2023, Jossalyn competed in the Charity Challenge Cup in Wesley Chapel, Florida. She competed in Session 3 (3:00pm) and started on Bars.

Her Charity Challenge Cup Meet Scores:

  • Vault: 8.950 – 5th
  • Bars: 9.250 – 3rd (tie)
  • Beam: 8.325 – 10th
  • Floor: 9.000 – 7th (tie)
  • All Around: 35.525 – 8th place (age group)

Meet Week Preparation

Jossalyn had a typical meet week experience during the practices leading up to the meet. She had an off day, a couple of okay days and one great day. She felt a little off on bars during Wednesday practice and she decided to come in to practice on Thursday just to work bars.

Travel Day and Meet Day

We had full Friday that included travel, competition and more. The morning started with parent teacher conferences for both Madalyn at Jossalyn, all before 8:00am. After that, we headed back home to get the car packed, braid Jossalyn’s hair, and get Gwen off to daycare. We were on the road about 9:45am. The drive was smooth, and we arrived in the Wesley Chapel area about 1:00pm. We stopped at Publix to pick up lunch and snacks. Then, we drove south to shop at Uptown Cheapskate – Tampa, a very cute, upscale used clothing store for teens and 20-somethings. Madalyn enjoyed it the most and while she shopped Jossalyn used a dressing room to change into her competition leotard and warm-ups. Madalyn found a very cute top and then we headed to the Wiregrass Sports Complex for the meet.

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Running in the ARMY: The 1-Mile Run at Reception that Changed My Life

It took me three years of running to realize I love running.

Skateboarding, then snowboarding were the first sports I fell in love in with. I started snowboarding at 16 and moved to a ski resort town after graduating high school so I could snowboard all winter long. It was snowboarding that introduced me to running. During my first winter snowboarding every day, I got to know other young people living the dream and eventually went on a few back country hikes that led to big jumps, untouched powder days after a fresh snow, and lots and lots of hiking in snowboard boots and full gear. During these long days I realized how winded I was and struggled to keep up. I was already a foot shorter than everyone I was riding with and I was the only girl. I realized that I needed to build cardio stamina if I was going to keep up with these fellas in the future.

After the winter was over, I headed back to SoCal and eased back into a routine of community college classes, part-time work, and then started running. I think I picked up my first pair of running shoes from Big 5 Sporting Goods, most likely it was something that resembled what I thought runners wore. Running bras weren’t an issue as I had already found some bras with serious compression that worked well for snowboarding and skateboarding. I started run/walking a route through the neighborhood. As I built up distance, I would run to the local park, do a few laps around the park, and then head home. Eventually, I found the Ballona Creek Trail and Bike Path and built up to running 9 miles. I figured out my mileage by using The Thomas Guide of Los Angeles County. It was a paper map book drawn to scale.

Over the next few years (ages 19 to 22) I ran all year long (usually from 2 to 4 days a week). I mapped out runs during my winters in Mammoth Lakes, at the beach in SoCal, through many neighborhoods and city centers. I generally ran for distance (3, 4, 6, or on occasion a 9-mile run) or for time, giving myself anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. I generally started slow, eased into a comfortable pace, and once in a while would push myself to go faster. To assess if I was improving, I would record my time on run routes I did frequently and then see if my time improved over weeks or months. I generally enjoyed running and the cost was minimal – a pair of cheap running shoes twice a year, running bras that were already in rotation, running shorts and basic cotton t-shirts. I ran with an MP player and then an iPod.

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Florida USAG Level 6 State Meet Recap

On March 31, 2023, Jossalyn wrapped up her first season as an optional level gymnast. Her age group was in the second session (3:00pm) of the day and she started on vault. Here are her stats:

Level 6 State Meet Scores:

  • Vault: 9.325 – 7T
  • Bars: 9.100 – 7
  • Beam: 9.250 – 10
  • Floor: 9.025 – 13
  • AA: 36.700 – 10th

Meet Week Preparation

The week leading up to the meet is always weird. I have learned that Joss wants to have a good practice every day, but also wants to have an “off” practice to get the nerves out. While she wants an “off” practice, she doesn’t actually want to go through that practice because it challenges her confidence in her skills. Luckily, or unluckily, Monday was a little off and Tuesday was good. After learning from the previous meet that getting in an extra practice the day before a meet does not always help her, she opted to focus on making Wednesday the last day of practice so she could have Thursday to build the anticipation. Instead of Thursday practice, we focused on family time, board games, homework, and packing.

Travel Day and Meet Day

Travel day and meet day happened to be the same day. I don’t usually like to travel and have Joss compete in the same day, but sometimes it just has to work out that way. Friday morning, big sister and baby sister were off to school by 7:30am. After that, I braided hair, packed up the car and we were on our way by 8:45am. We arrived in Wesley Chapel just after 12:30pm and decided to have lunch at Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen. Cheddar’s is known to be quick and has several menu items Joss likes. While we ate lunch we brought a board game, Upwords, and played one round to try and keep Joss distracted. After lunch, Joss changed into her competition leotard and warmups and with it came a big smile, indicating she was super excited and ready to compete. After she changed, we headed over to the Wiregrass Sports Complex for the meet.

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