Marie-Joelle Champagne started doing gymnastics at the young age of 3. Now 15 years later, she recounts her time as a gymnast.
When she was 16, she left her training centre due, to disagreements with her trainer. She originally claimed it being an injury but later, stated it being because of not being
Despite, her young age she had a very mature mindset to her approach. She took her competitions really seriously for someone her age.
“A lot went through my mind, you(self) know you are always scared to get injured, you are always scared to not finish your routine. You just want to get through it, and be proud of you no matter what. It’s not always easy. It’s an individual sport, so when you make mistakes, you blame yourself. Personally I could feel bad for a week because I can see what i did wrong.” said Champagne about her mindset during and after competition.
When she was on the floor waiting for the judge, she would need to wave to the crowd before having 30 seconds before her routine starts.
” It’s tough because if there is a movement you (self) aren’t secure with, then you start worrying what if I fall, what if I do it wrong. One wrong move and it’s over.” said Champagne in more detail during her routine.
When she doesn’t do anything wrong the finish is a good thing.
“Once it’s finished, I feel happy because I didn’t fall or get injured.” said Champagne.
“I only got injured once, when I tore a tendon in my back.” added Champagne.
When it went wrong, she took it hard and would always think “What if this or what if that.” Gymnastics is hard on your mind and the gymnasts like Marie-Joelle only have one shot and it’s over if they mess up they won’t get another chance.
” You(self) really have to be strong mentally in order to be a gymnast because it’s all on you. You must be able to motivate yourself after you fall. You need to tell yourself you can do the movement and just forget about the past.” said Champagne.
“I was the girl who always expected to win the medal, and when I didn’t win the medal I was mad because I am very competitive. Even my own team, I always wanted to be ahead of the other girls.” said Champagne on her competitive spirit.
She would not accept losing as even when she finished 11th at Nationals, she would feel like she failed. Or when a teammate finished ahead of her she would cry because she didn’t get the best score on her team. One time, she was happy with her performance but changed her mind just because she didn’t win a medal.
Champagne believes her mentality, got her further in life because it allowed her to strive to get what she wants in life. She believes it helped somewhat in her career but it was her dad who taught her to not think or see anything else but her own routine. He also taught her that in life, that she should put herself ahead of everyone else.
Everything that Marie-Joelle used mentally in gymnastics, she uses in life today.