Jessica Meyer, 15, started taking gymnastics lessons just four years ago, and she recently won the all-around at the recent North Carolina State Meet and Regional Meet in Xcel Gold.
Meyer, of Fort Mill, spends the majority of her academic week at Meyer Academy of Excellence, where she is a home-schooled junior. Then she’s off to Metrolina Gymnastics where she trains under her two coaches, Kourtney Colley and Nick Baker.
“I work out at the gym for 11 and-a-half hours, and I help out my coaches – learning to be an actual coach – for about five and-a-half hours per week,” she said.
Her favorite events are floor exercise and beam, but at both the state and regional meets Meyer competed in all events, including vault and bars as well.
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She felt satisfied with her performance at the state meet, where she had her best performance on the beam. But at regionals, she wasn’t as pleased. She said although she was happy with her overall performance, it was not her best day.
“Unfortunately, I fell off the beam. But I still managed to score a 9.075, which was a miracle. But I was super bummed,” she said.
“I was shocked when I found out I won. Honestly, I thought that I didn’t have a chance since I fell off the beam. I was very happy though because I wanted to represent my state, my gym and my awesome coaches well.”
Meyer loves that gymnastics is not just an individual sport – it’s also a team sport. She can win individually, but also as a team by working together.
“I adore my teammates and coaches. They are basically my second family,” she said. “Also, seeing hard work pay off is so awesome.”
This is the second year she has won both competitions. Her mother, Rebecca Meyer, said Jessica is very driven and loves to compete.
“Her desire for excellence motivates her to learn new and more challenging skills and improve with each competition,” Rebecca said.
She believes gymnastics has taught her daughter many valuable lessons such as the positive consequences of failure.
“Getting back up and working even harder for the next meet, project or job interview will help her succeed in the future,” Rebecca said. “One of the most important lessons is discipline.The level of discipline she has will help determine how well she does in gymnastics, in school and in life.”
Jessica’s next competition isn’t until December because the season just ended, so she’ll spend the summer and fall learning new skills so that she can move up in levels next year.
She believes that gymnastics has given her the tools to never give up no matter how difficult a task may be.
“It has taught me to always give my 100-percent effort,” Jessica said. “My coach, Nick Baker, always says, ‘If you do not give 100-percent effort in the present, how are you going to be able to work hard in the future when you have a real job that doesn’t accept anything less than all you’ve got?’”