September 24, 2018

I am a UIC Gymnast

535 words · 3 minutes

Gymnastics. This word may be meaningless to some but for me, it’s everything. Being a gymnast is an amazing opportunity that allows you to be a part of something better and bigger than yourself. Gymnastics has opened so many doors in my life and has kept me on a path that made me essentially the young man that I am today. Gymnastics taught me to be disciplined, determined, and to have confidence in not only my skills in the gym but just in everyday life in general.

Being a gymnast at UIC is nothing less than an honor and is something I carry with pride and say with utmost confidence. UIC is not only the best place for me to continue my academic exploration but also to continue with gymnastics. I chose UIC because of all the diversity the school offered. Also, for making me feel safe and comfortable despite being far away from home. The fact that UIC is not only in the center of downtown Chicago but also has a Division I gymnastics team makes the deal all the sweeter. When I wake up in the morning, I can’t help but smile because every day, I am beyond happy to be living on campus, going to such an amazing school, and having received this unique opportunity.

Wearing the UIC logo on my chest is an amazing feeling. I really don’t think it gets any better than representing your college while competing at the highest level. As kids, often, our primary goal is to compete in the Olympic games one day and gain all the fame and glory that comes with it. But before you can have a sincere shot at this dream, your journey starts at your local D1 college.

The best moment of my experience at UIC is finding out that I had been accepted and realizing that all my hard work had paid off and I had made it to a collegiate Gymnastics team. That moment and sense of accomplishment is something that I always look back on with enormous joy and happiness. Not only did I become a Division I athlete after having only done gymnastics for five short years, but I had made it into one of the 16 schools with a Men’s Gymnastics team; a feat that took enormous effort and sacrifice but was so, so worth it in the end.

If I could go back and change anything I want, I simply would not because of the passion and true love I have for this sport. UIC gymnastics stands for excellence; not only in the gym and community but in the classroom as well. I am a UIC Men’s Gymnast and I am proud to be a part of such an amazing family and team. #togetherasone

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FanWord is embarking on a series of stories from UIC’s current team members and other folks whose lives have been positively, and irrevocably, impacted by UIC Gymnastics. As you read what UIC Gymnastics has accomplished and the lives it has touched, I hope you will understand the need for these programs to continue into the future.

For more stories on this series, click here.

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