“He goes to gymnastics class? I thought that was more for little girls, for some reason,” a fellow mom said with a smile.
I can’t say that I disagree with her. That is the impression we’re given. Little girls take dance class or gymnastics. Little boys sign up for soccer or karate.
When my sister — a former gymnastics coach — initially brought up the idea of my unborn son one day taking gymnastics classes, I didn’t take it too seriously. I (wrongly) assumed that my husband would want a more “manly” activity for our boy. I (wrongly) assumed that he’d be the only boy in class.
I wasn’t too far off. The boys in his gymnastics class are few and far between. The little girls all run around in sparkly, multi-colored leotards while the boys wear ordinary sweats because there’s no equivalent gymnastics uniform for little boys.
Yet so much about gymnastics benefits children, no matter what kind of genitalia they are born with.
Gymnastics has taught him to listen, pay attention, and follow multi-step directions — like a 6-step circuit routine.
Gymnastics has helped him develop his motor skills, coordination, strength, and flexibility.
It’s helped him run off some of his bursting energy, as well as condition and stretch his body. It’s also helped him socialize, and concentrate, and work really hard at improving at an activity.
Gymnastics has helped lay a foundation for future athletics.
So tell me, society, what exactly makes it a girl activity?