I wanted to share this video on my blog for everybody to see.
This was the routine that earned her a state title on bars. By no means was it perfect, but it helped the team win bars and helped them take second overall. I can’t remember ever being more proud of her than this day. I remember the feeling when she landed her flyaway. At the time, I choked back the emotions as each kid successfully landed. I was so proud of her and those girls for everything they did all year. I told Andrea’s mother that after I watched this video it brought all the memories back to me. All of the work we did together to get to this point.
The really sad realization that hit me at some point last night was that this was the last routine she ever competed. We finished on bars on this day. That was her last salute, the last high five that I gave her after a competition routine, and the last time she got to experience what she loved to do so much. There were many more high fives and memories in the gym and at camp after this, but this was the last time in competition. Around twelve hours before she was set to compete her first level seven routines, she was involved in the accident that took her from us all.
I am going to keep trying to acquire videos of her. I almost have enough pictures to put another montage together. To be honest… It has helped me to have the outlets that I have. The Blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube… I have been able to memorialize Andrea for myself and everybody else and it makes me feel so much better to be able to do that.
First of all… I wanted to share a photo with everybody. The letter I got tattooed on my arm was great and I knew I wanted it, but I also knew I wanted to add something more. I had tons of ideas but nothing seemed to fit. Finally I decided that I wanted anybody to that saw it, even at a glance, to know that the tattoo was a memorial for somebody. This is what I came up with.
I feel like it is pretty self explanatory. Andrea Bailes meant the world to me. I said recently in conversation that she was one of the kids that kept me sane in the gym. Her effort, focus, and desire were never in question. When I asked her to do something, I always saw something change. It might not have been right or perfect, but there was effort to change and improve. Always. I might add more tattoos in the future, but they will all be much more easily covered.
The other thing I wanted to share is that I have tons of ideas for articles in the near future and I am going to get back to typing soon. Between the accident and all that surrounded it, the trip to Texas, our first meet, Christmas, and New Years… It has been non stop. I wanted to get the information out that I got from Texas and I did that. I oddly felt relief when I hit publish. I think I just needed to get that out of the way. I feel recharged and ready to go now. Anyways… more posts coming soon! Tons and tons of ideas are swirling in my head. Be on the lookout on Facebook and Twitter. Also be sure to check my YouTube channel because I am going to keep posting drills and other videos there. You can find links to all of these at the top of the screen.