Emma Dyson Flips Through Life

Krystal Orehek, Reporter

Most people would never consider putting themselves in a situation in which they swing themselves from bar to bar while doing flips and twists, but for Sahuaro junior Emma Dyson, this was a way of life.

Emma has done volleyball, track, theater performances, and is currently the junior class treasurer. Although this is what she’s up to at school, a big part of her life has taken place off-campus when she heads to the gymnastics gym.

I started gymnastics when I was five because my best friend at the time was doing it and it looked fun. My mom and her friend wanted time to hang out so they put both of us in it. However, I grew out of that level within months and had to be moved to a competitive team,” is how Emma got introduced to gymnastics. Little did she know it would become part of her life for the next 11 years. A couple of years ago she went to State and was able to snatch third place overall while taking first place in some of her events. She was an “all-around gymnast” meaning she trained for every event. Emma’s favorite events were bar and floor; however, she has strong opinions on the balance beam event, “I hated beam. Like who said we had to balance on an object that is 4 inches wide and 4 feet off the floor… but I was also told I was good at beam, so…”

Scholarships were on the horizon for Emma, but this summer she decided to give up the sport, “I have broken 10 bones, sprained many ankles, and just recently I got a concussion which was the main reason I had to quit. The concussion on top of everything else I had hurt made it time. Having pains and injuries comes with the sport, though. Part of quitting was also because of my height because gymnasts are short and I’m 5’9.” Despite no longer doing the sport itself, she now gets to coach younger gymnasts who are ages 3-12. “Coaching is amazing! You get to help young kids learn these awesome skills and when they finally get it and their face lights up, it makes you extremely happy for them,” is how she feels about the opportunity and what she likes most about the job.

Gymnastics helped to teach Emma some important skills, “I have learned time management especially because I would work out 20 hours a week so I had to learn to balance school and gymnastics and eventually a job during that too. It has taught me a lot of discipline and hard work, I also learned grit/perseverance. It is not easy to go in every day and put your body through what it goes through but I loved it, so it was worth it.” Even without participating in the sport, the lessons learned will always help to carry her throughout her future. 

Emma wants everyone to know that it takes a lot for people to stay in the sport for as many years as she did, especially when raking up injuries, “But we are super tough and put our bodies through unimaginable pain. It’s all worth it in the end though.”