The Early Days
The Gist of Things
FROM: Duncanville, Texas
FAMILY: Family of Four. Mom – Linda, Dad – Mark, Brother – Steven
HIGH SCHOOL: Duncanville High School
COLLEGE: Texas State University
GYMNASTICS: 20 Years. Nationally & Regionally ranked 2003-2007. NAIGC Competitor 2007-2013.
CROSSFIT: Mid 2012 – Current.
But why dont you scroll down and read the interesting stuff!
Believe it or not, being an athlete is in my blood. It all started before I was even born. tossing and turning flips inside my mommas tummy. I bet she loved that! It was almost fatal for me, but good thing I came out two months early and avoided a cord around my neck. EEK! But enough baby talk, lets get to the good stuff.
My athletic career all started at the age of three. Balling my eyes out on the gymnastics floor because my mom wasn’t there with me. I guess you could say it was like taking your 5 year old to kindergarden for the first time. They kick and scream at the door, but once they realize they get to do cool things in class they forget about being away from their caretakers. So, I got an early start to that, I like to be an over achiever!
Gymnastics soon became my second home, a home away from home if you will. By the time I walked through that door to kindergarden I was already on my way to competing level 4. (Gymnastics goes up to level 10/Elite) I loved gymnastics at that age and couldn’t wait to go every day.
The Middle – No Guts. No Glory.
So here I am in third grade. You best believe that I had a “Magnificent Seven” folder to keep all my school work in! These are the first gymnastics that I looked up to.
These ladies truly set the bar for my era as a young gymnast. See the one without pants on? Kerri Strug. My hero! But it wasn’t till later that I tried to be just like her. Ill get to that story in a little bit. Needless to say, these girls put me in drive and I set forth on my gymnastics career.
Middle School. Oh man, what a time. I dont even think I was ever called Lauren, it was always “The gymnastics girl.” Ya, you know her? The one that flips around at recess and beat everyone, even the boys, at pushups and chin up holds. Yup, that was me.
I lived, ate, and breathed gymnastics. Nothing could stop me at that age. I was always doing flips in the living room at home and at school. No fear complex at all. You name it and ill try it. Double front flip? No problem. Double back flip? Wait what? You want me to do what? Crap, I just got older and realized I could hurt myself!
No guts, no glory. Damn straight! The biggest thing in gymnastics, that we all have to get over, is that fact that we may crash and burn. Literally crash…..and burn. You cant even imagine the kind of rug burns and beam strawberries I have had. It all comes down to standing there at the end of the runway and telling yourself that your body knows what its doing, just let it do it.
So, about that double back flip. Let me tell you a little story. I was 14 years old training for level 10. We were a few month out from hitting competition season and I was training a double back flip as my dismount off bars. It scared the crap out of me every time! But, I went for it no matter how much of a head case it made me. Well, one day our coach decided to condition us for over an hour and half and from there move straight to the uneven bars and through cold sets. Cold sets are full bar routines without warming up each individual skill. (it’s good for competition practice) On that dark and rainy Monday (it really was rainy, not just adding that for dramatic effect) I went for my cold set and upon landing my dismount my right ankle shattered! This is when I tried to be like Kerri Strug. It was so bad I had to be taken to the emergency room that night. So painful to even move my body an inch! The doctor there told me they were going to do surgery that Friday. Remember, this was a Monday. All night I was whining in pain so my mom took me to see a specialist the next morning. By Wednesday I was taken into surgery first thing. The doctor told me that if I had waited till Friday, I would never be able to walk again! Holy crap! Glad I dogged that bullet.
Took me one year to get back to my old habits of flipping around with a brand new nifty scar. That year I went to Regionals in Seattle as a level 9. I came back stronger than ever and ready to work and win. This is also when I became “the Hulk.” Not only did I grow a foot, I also did a LOT of strength work to accomodate my new height of 5’6”.
And so, another era began. I spent the next 3 years as a level 10, busting butt to get a full NCAA scholarship. Keeping the reputation of “that gymnast girl” at school and also acquiring the nicknames: “The Hulk.” “Superman,” “Superwoman,” “Gigantor,” and “Thunder Thighs.” (lol dont ask). Needless to say, my shoulders were huge, my legs were huge, and I was just an all around Haus!
The End Before the Beginning
The story gets better. Coming Soon.