Imagine you have a daughter who is a gymnast. Now imagine that the entire US gymnastics team is coming to your hometown for a weekend to train at your gym and do a workshop with your child. Next, imagine that Gabby Douglas and Nastia Lukin are staying at your house sleeping in your youngest child's bunk beds. That's huge, right?
Jump rope isn't an Olympic sport (yet) and doesn't have the following of gymnastics, but in the world of jump rope, the USA All-Star team is about as prestigious as it gets. The All-Stars are a group of 20 elite US jumpers who go through rigorous try-outs each year to make the team. They range in age from about 17-27. It is a huge honor to be chosen to represent USA Jump Rope on the All-Star team. Elise's coach is a former All-Star, and one of the athletes from Elise's gym was named to the team this year.
A couple weeks ago, the newly named 2013 All-Star team came here for a retreat. We were fortunate enough to host two of them in our home. The girls had fun making the athletes feel welcome.
The gym honored them by having each All-Star attach a signed vinyl star to the "Wall of Fame" in the gym. This guy has some serious flight power. I'm thinking a lot of these jumpers would make great basketball players.
The girls who stayed with us are both members of the Jumpin' All-Stars team out of Brighton, Michigan, and they are both new All-Star team members this year. Jump rope has taken them to Isreal, South Africa, Brazil, and all over the U.S.. The opportunities they have had through jump rope are incredible.
It was so fun for us to host. I think J.C. was a little overwhelmed by the level of estrogen here in the House of Estrogen over the weekend with two extra girls, but he was a good sport about it. We had breakfast with them each morning, and then dropped them at the gym for a full day of jump rope. By the time they got home each evening, they collapsed into Addie's bunk beds, sound asleep before their heads hit the pillows. They got to experience a true Southern winter while they were here. They arrived to a 70 degree day wth the bay doors open at the gym, everyone enjoying the gorgeous weather. That night, the temperature dropped about 40 degrees, and we got about a quarter inch of snow. These Michigan girls thought it was hysterical seeing all the Southerners out sledding and making snowmen with snow that hardly even covered the grass.
Despite the crazy weather, it was a great weekend for everyone and such a treasured opportunity for Elise to be able to attend a workshop with all 20 All-Stars. She has previously attended workshops taught by a few All-Stars, but having the entire team here was a real treat.
Nina posted this picture to Instagram with the caption, "All-Star jump rope people in my house!!!!!!!!! :)" Elise and Nina were so proud to be hosts.
I took a few videos Saturday afternoon at the workshop and performance, but they were really lousy. I seem to have a knack for hitting the record button twice and only capturing a couple seconds of video. Instead torturing you with those, I thought I would post videos of a couple of All-Stars I really enjoy watching.
This is Nick Woodard. He has actually "retired" from the All-Star team and isn't on it this year. He is just so much fun to watch though. Elise has attended a workshop with him once before.
This is Chaz Robinson. He is currently on the All-Star team and is so talented. His flexibility blows my mind! YouTube won't let me embed the video, but here is a link: Chaz Robinson.
I love that Elise is able to learn from such talented athletes, but honestly, it was a fun, exciting, rewarding weekend for all of us.