I have my blog pal Lilith to thank for this decision, and thus this blog post.
Once I registered to take the gymnastics judges' test on September 11th, I got busy studying. I made flash cards, I wrote down combinations and series and point deductions, I memorized (or tried to) additive values of elements and their order, I took practice test after practice test.
And I still didn't feel ready for the test.
I told myself I have to be AT LEAST as smart as some of the people judging, I have a doctorate, so I should be able to learn anything, and yet the whole issue of judging lost some of its appeal.
When I registered for the test, I figured that would sort of force my own hand about taking the test. But it was only $20, so it's not like it's the biggest sum I've ever wasted, so that wasn't a whole lot of pressure.
Then I started asking myself if I really wanted to judge if I DID pass the test.
Do I really want to give up every Saturday (or entire weekend) to judge Level 5-6 gymnastics?
Do I really want to see the exact same routines, hear the exact same music every single weekend?
Do I really want to get involved in the lives of tiny little gymnasts.....and their mamas?
Do I really want to drive 2 hours to take the test on a UGA football Saturday?
I realized that the natural goal, which should have been to start with Level 5-6 and progress up to Level 10 or even Elite, wasn't something I really wanted to pursue. Perhaps if I had started when I was 30, it might have made sense. However, studying for this test has taken something I absolutely LOVE and turned it into a chore. Even if I were really, really good and progressed up the ladder enough to judge NCAA gymnastics, I wouldn't be able to judge UGA because I'm an alumnus and a donor. Not an organ donor, a financial donor. And if I can't watch my beloved Gym Dogs, what the heck is the point?
So I have decided NOT to take the test, and it has taken a load off my mind. Sure I wasted a little money joining the national governing organization and taking the safety course and buying the compulsory manuals. But I didn't buy the stylish (?) navy blue blazer and slacks, and I didn't join the women judges' organization.
I feel much, much better having decided not to pursue this judging thing. I don't think I'll regret it, but if I do, there will be another opportunity to take the test.
If this all sounds like justification for not attempting something I might not be able to do, it may very well be.
But I'm going on 50 years old, and I'm way past doing things I don't want to do. So there.