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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."

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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:

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

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That's right, there's a deduction. You don't know true discipline until you get a major wedgie in the middle of a routine and can't even acknowledge it.

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

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Most of your meals are made for you so you don't ever have too much of a decision over what you're eating.

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

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There's lots of getting yelled at. And lots of being told to look a certain way, hold yourself a certain way, and be a certain way.

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

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For lower-level meets, you have to use tons of gel, hairspray, braids, and clips so your hair doesn't budge.

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

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School and gym are life. You train six days a week for four hours a day and it's hard to see other people your age hanging out with friends and doing other normal things that you can't.

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

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All those sprains and hitting the balance beam are definitely going to catch up to you.

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

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Sure, there's some competition, but most gymnasts are ~competing with themselves~.

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