Carley W., ATL Chemist, got her first taste of gymnastics at 18 months old when her mom started taking her to “Mom & Me” classes. Her love of gymnastics continued to grow and by the time she was 8 years old she was competing in USA Gymnastics meets. Carley was dedicated to becoming the best she could by practicing a minimum of 20 hours each week. By the time she started competing she was ranked a Level 4. There are 10 Levels when it comes to competitive gymnastics followed by the final level of Elite Olympic Athletes.
Carley competed across the U.S. in all four gymnastic events: Beam, Floor, Vault and Bars. Her favorite event being Bars. At age 12, Carley became the Ohio State All Around Champion in all four events and was competing at a Level 5. Unfortunately, she was faced with a set back the following year when she broke her elbow during practice. She underwent reconstructive surgery followed by intense therapy and was unable to compete for 9 months.
Carley wasted no time getting right back to practicing and eventually started competing again, but it wasn’t easy. After her injury, Carley had to make adjustments to how she executed traditional techniques and tumbles that were required for competition.
“It was frustrating but my drive for perfection allowed me to stay focused on the bigger picture,” said Carley. “I was fueled by my drive to succeed and worked with my coaches to find solutions that allowed me to meet the requirements so I could continue to compete.”
Two years later Carley became the Ohio State Bar Champion and by then was competing at a Level 7. After high school, Carley went to Ohio University where she was a member of their Competitive Gymnastics Team for five years.
Carley’s love for gymnastics has come full circle. She no longer competes but instead is a Team Coach at “Flip-in-Twist”. She trains girls ages 6 – 8 in preparation for competition.
“I love these kids,” said Carley. “It’s so rewarding to see the excitement and sense of accomplishment on their faces. It’s neat to be part of something so fulfilling.”