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31 Secrets Competitive Gymnasts Will Never Tell You

"No matter how long you've been at it, doing the balance beam will always be terrifying."

We asked current and former gymnasts to share things about their sport that most people on the outside wouldn't know or expect. Here's what they had to say:

1. Not all of us want to go to the Olympics.

2. There's nothing worse than feeling a wedgie on the floor and not being able to pick it.

3. It's actually pretty common to pee a little when you tumble.

4. No matter how long you've been at it, doing the balance beam will always be terrifying.

5. The pressure to be small and slim and have the perfect gymnast body type is so high.

6. And you truly never get over being self-conscious about wearing a leotard in front of so many people.

7. You have to stick to an incredibly strict diet of protein, veggies, and tbh, very little carbs.

8. You're not even supposed to drink sports drinks because they have "too much sugar."

9. But that doesn't mean you don't sneak candy every chance that you get.

10. Coaches can be really nice or really terrible for your self-esteem.

11. So you had to develop tough skin and learn not to cry at an early age.

12. You live and die by the chalk and your grips.

13. And being upside down actually feels completely normal.

14. You often work through pain, even when you think you're hurt.

15. The constant cuts, bruises, and blisters will get you stares from people.

16. But even though people think our hands are gross, we wear our calluses like badges of honor.

17. Having stunted growth is not a myth.

18. And neither is getting a delayed period.

19. Ice isn't just nice, it's your best friend.

20. And so is Preparation H.

21. You get a deduction if your underwear or bra sticks out of your leotard.

22. But sometimes you roll the hips up on your leotard to show a little more leg.

23. Getting your hair caught under your hands is your worst nightmare.

24. You can tell when you're in the air if you're going to mess up your landing.

25. Yes, pretty much everyone is a perfectionist.

26. Sometimes after competitions your hair stays in place after you take out your scrunchie or ponytail because you use SO. MUCH. hair gel.

27. Sometimes it feels like you're not really experiencing life because all you do is train.

28. And you know you're going to have to suffer through a lot of annoying little injuries and pains later in life.

29. But your best friends and safety net are your teammates and fellow gymnasts.

30. And as tough as it is, you love gymnastics. And it's so hard to eventually leave behind.

31. Because last but not least, gymnastics really is as awesome as it looks.

Rock on, all you badass gymnasts!