December 21, 2017, was one of the biggest days for my startup business. We were bringing the equipment I grew up on and performed many of my firsts on to my new community so I could share my passion with another generation. That day was full of tears – tears of joy and tears of sadness. I wanted to share it with my coach so badly.
To make the day harder, it also was the 3-month anniversary since her death. That was purely bad timing due to the very wet and cold weather and upcoming interview along with holiday plans between both families. I know it was a hard day for the family, and I just am so grateful to them for letting me pick up the equipment on the only dry day above freezing for weeks.
Everything was coming together. There was just a little more sadness than I had planned. Still feeling overwhelmed with excitement though, I made the following post.
“Loaded and ready for its journey home ❤️”
Later that day, I made another important post as I shared the next post.
“It brings tears of joy and sadness, but I want you to know the value of this equipment and the opportunity within our Chelsea community. I hope you’ll celebrate this with me as I have been given the tools to expand horizons. Please join our growing community this January for a world of new opportunities for youth and families.
“It’s been an emotional journey without my first and most favorite gymnastics coach who lost her battle with pancreatic cancer just 3 months ago today and means the world to me to have her equipment she purchased when I was a young gymnast and performed many of my own firsts on. Joan is helping my dreams come true even if she’s not here on Earth to celebrate with me.
I appreciate Tiffanie Howard Hunter and Ginger Edwards (two of her daughters) and especially my dad helping me bring this gymnastics equipment home where I hope to enrich others’ lives a fraction of the amount Joan enriched mine. Endless thanks goes to my husband Christopher Gilbert for his support in this incredible journey. Plus my family Gaye Ann Gilliland Scudder, Dad, Mary Pillsbury, and Jared Scudder remind me that this incredible journey is worth it.
I have a passion to share with the community, a passion that helped shape who I am today and almost caused me to abandon using my computer science degree for a pro college coaching career, which was hard to walk away from. I love gymnastics (and swimming if you know me) and all that it does to help one grow, gain confidence, motivate, accept and welcome challenge, and expand physical, mental, and psychological awareness, strengths, and skills. There are no limits to our dreams, so reach for the stars and do something because you want to try. Amazing things can happen and I’m here to celebrate with you all the way. 🙌🏻❤️🤸🏼♀️🤸🏼♂️”
We made it! I did realize that the high beam and vault along with a couple extra large crash mats would have to wait for my next space, but the moment I had worked so hard to get to happened. After almost 2 decades of sadness since leaving gymnastics, I finally had the opportunity to get back in the gym and enrich others’ lives. It felt like a miracle.
Have a great and successful day!