Sophomore gymnast flies to new heights


Photo courtesy of Isabel Kersey

Sophomore Isabel Kersey has competed in gymnastics since she was six years old.

Katlyn Owens, Writer

High school already takes a lot of time and effort, but it is hard to imagine doing 15-20 hours of gymnastics on top of that. For sophomore Isabel Kersey, that is just another average week.

Kersey has been in competitive gymnastics since she was six years old, and takes lessons at Gymnastics Etc. in Sulphur, Louisiana. She has traveled all over the country to compete in the following events: vault, uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercise.

“My mom made me go to my very first class, and I fell in love with it,” Kersey said of her passion for gymnastics. “After that I was upside down more than I was right side up.”

To be a competitive gymnast, it takes hours of practice in the gym after school, something that Kersey has grown familiar with.

“Preparing for a competition takes hours, working on precision and strength,” Kersey said. “My average week consists of 15-20 hours at gymnastics. It’s grueling, but it’s worth it when it pays off at competitions.”

Kersey said she has had two major injuries during her time in gymnastics, which put her goals on hold.

“My dream was to go to college doing gymnastics,” Kersey said. “We will just see where life takes me. Even if it didn’t end up panning out, I don’t regret doing this sport at all.”

According to Kersey, one of the coolest things she’s ever done was meeting Simone Biles at a competition. Biles is an American gymnast who participated in the 2016 Olympics and won a gold medal in vault and floor. Biles gave Kersey a medal and plaque after winning first all around at State in level six, which was the best Kersey had ever done.

Throughout her life, Kersey has depended on gymnastics to keep her grounded.

“It teaches life lessons that I will take with me for the rest of my life,” Kersey said. “It taught me self-motivation, discipline, and how to overcome my fears. It’s also a pretty cool party trick.”