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    This Mum Posted A Video Of Herself Trying A Gymnastics Move She Was Afraid To Do In Her Teens And, Yep, It Hit

    “That's the best part. The simultaneous in-control and out-of-control moment where I get to show gravity who is the boss.”

    Meet Nicole Clemens. She’s a 37-year-old mum of two from Missouri, a high school English teacher, and a former gymnast.

    Nicole Clemens with her daughter posing in matching sportswear
    Nicole Clemens

    She told BuzzFeed News: “I was a pretty mediocre competitive gymnast from about ages 10-15. I loved the sport but I started training late by gymnastics standards and I’m not really built like a gymnast."

    Nicole as a young woman on the gym floor
    Nicole Clemens

    "I have always loved following the sport," she added.

    When this busy mum isn’t teaching or raising her children, she also coaches gymnastics part time to help fund her 14-year-old daughter’s gymnastics career.

    Nicole Clemens

    She said: “I put my daughter in a recreational gymnastics class to just keep her busy. She took off in the sport and is now a level 9 out of 10. But that means my life has been consumed by gymnastics in new ways.

    "I'm always in and out of the gym as a mom. Gymnastics is also such an expensive sport so I started coaching a bit at the gym to offset costs. I now coach a small competitive team."

    Alongside her coaching, the mum-of-two has been enrolled in adult gymnastics classes for fun, an experience she says has allowed her to "learn how to fly".

    Nicole Clemens

    “I got into the class with another mom friend initially a few years ago. We were both parents of gymnasts and former gymnasts ourselves," explained Nicole.

    "I've stuck with it for over a year now because it's just fun. There's no pressure, no anxiety, just reliving the glory days I never really had and learning to fly. That's the best part. The simultaneous in-control and out-of-control moment where I get to show gravity who is the boss.”

    And showing gravity who is the boss is exactly what Nicole did when she executed a roundoff back layout — a technical move she previously struggled with during her competitive days.

    In the spirit of being freaking proud of myself and also knowing I'm about to be fat shamed on the Internet, I present to you me, a 38 year old mom and teacher, doing a thing I was afraid to do when I was a 14 year old gymnast. Next week: add a full (and straighten my legs)

    She explained: “It was one of the skills that kept me from moving up to the next level.”

    The video, captured by her daughter, was shared on Twitter along with the caption: "In the spirit of being freaking proud of myself and also knowing I'm about to be fat shamed on the internet, I present to you me, a 38 year old mom and teacher, doing a thing I was afraid to do when I was a 14 year old gymnast."

    It has now been viewed more than 4.5 million times and people are inspired by Nicole for facing her fears and her display of athleticism.

    Going viral is "very very weird," said Nicole, who has managed to impress her students and a lot of people online.

    Twitter/GIF Brewery

    She said: "Of all the random stuff I've tweeted over the years, this is not the thing I would have bet on. But I think the world is a hard and scary place and people are afraid to be vulnerable by putting themselves out there like this. But when you do, people want to support you, because, really, I’ve already kind of roasted myself anyway, so what did I have to lose? They want to cheer for regular people."

    The part-time gymnastics coach shared that she had received mainly positive comments with only a "tiny handful that weren't 100% positive" and hoped that more people would be encouraged to share their small wins.

    "People do cool stuff all the time and don't even realise how cool it is. We should share more of that stuff."

    Her gravity defying stunt has been applauded by people all over the internet.

    @Nicolemens I am an internet stranger and frankly, you are #goals and a proper inspiration. I hope the kids you teach see this!

    @Nicolemens That is soooooo awesome! Way to go!

    @Nicolemens This is amazing! Damn right you should be so incredibly proud of yourself. I’m really happy you shared this. It made me smile as I’m currently laying down with a cold & a napkin in my nose. 🤧💕

    @Nicolemens You look amazing! Congrats! I am nearly 55, and my body didn't work that way when I was 15, and damned skippy wouldn't now! Don't let anyone steal the joy of what you've accomplished! You earned that, girl!!!

    @Nicolemens From one former gymnast to another, excellent form! Proud of you. I'm 40 and my back hurts just sitting in this chair. In honor of you, I'm going to go home and cartwheel. Hope I don't kill myself. 💗😉

    Her post has also generated a lot of interest in adult gymnastics classes which is a bonus for the enthusiast who welcomed the opportunity to be an advocate for the sport.

    Nicole Clemens

    While the internet praise continues to roll in, Nicole told BuzzFeed News that she was committed to getting better and continuously confronting her fears.

    She said: "I'm just going to keep plugging along and talking myself out of being afraid of things I can do. My daily goal in class is just not to die. But I also want to add a twist to this skill, eventually put some of these skills on the hard floor instead of into the foam pit, and upgrade some bars and balance beams skills. But just because I want to. No other reason. It's the only thing I do on my terms which is why I love it."

    Ade Onibada is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

    Contact Ade Onibada at ade.onibada@buzzfeed.com.

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