Flipping for state

Bailey Vrem, Editor

  Mountain View has been blessed with a wide variety of outstanding students, whether that be sports-related, academic-related, or purely integrity-related. Junior Payton Rechkemmer represented Mountain View in Class 4A gymnastics, placing third in vaults at state. 

  Rechkemmer is coming up on her twelfth year of participation in gymnastics. She has very fond memories of junior gymnastics and they are still vivid in her mind. Rechkemmer has participated in both high school and club gymnastics, although she has been slowly transitioning to high school practice only. 

  Previously this year, Rechkemmer faced an injury that landed her in a boot for seven weeks. “I couldn’t do high school,” said Rechkemmer, “for club, I basically competed for three meets and I was out the rest of the season.” Her ankle has almost made a full recovery but she still tapes it due to the weakness in her ankles. 

  Although injuries certainly propose a setback, Rechkemmer admits that her hardest challenge is overcoming mental blocks. “Gymnastics is such a mental game,” she said, “if you’re having a bad day or just not in the right headspace it affects your practices so much. Sometimes I do some skills that scare me a lot, so if I’m not in the right headspace it becomes a lot harder.”

  She has methods to distract herself when she struggles to overcome the mental blocks. “If I’m not doing a beam skill right, I’ll go and jump rope to get my head off of it,” said Rechkemmer. It’s easy for her to overthink her skills and zone out, so finding an effective technique of distraction helps her out significantly. 

  “At state, everything just came together and all my hard work paid off,” said Rechkemmer, “I was very proud of myself and it was really exciting.” She competed all around on Friday at the state competition and when she moved on to finals, she competed in bars, vault, and floor. 

  Rechkemmer enjoyed the atmosphere at state, “especially at finals, every team is rooting for you, every single team is cheering your name and they want you to succeed. I met people from Roosevelt and people from all over, it was really fun.” 

  She was overwhelmed with support when all of her friends came to watch her compete on Saturday. Her teammates came to support her and her coaches had her back the whole time. 

  The demand for this sport is high and it’s a sport that requires a lot of grit and dedication. “You have to put in a lot if you want to succeed, if you aren’t trying and not putting in any effort, you’re not going to get anything out of it,” said Rechkemmer, “you can tell who works hard and who wants to succeed.”

  “I think I am going to stick with high school because my body is not doing well,” she said, “I quit club because it was too much but I am going to do off-season training at my old gym.” Rechkemmer isn’t planning to continue in college, she wants to give her body a break considering that something was always wrong with her body when she was in the sport. 

  With her free time a little more open, she plans to participate in track and is excited to have the opportunity to play another sport. “I’m very excited because I’ve never been able to do any other sports,” said Rechkemmer. 

  “From a young age I learned that I did not have time at all,” said Rechkemmer, “I learned that time management is super important so when I have time to get stuff done I’ll do it.” She values getting her work done in school but also understands the importance of getting sleep and not staying up late. Balancing her school life and sports life has been engraved in her since she was little and she is very accustomed to the routine. 

  Rechkemmer is excited for the break from gymnastics and will be enjoying a couple of months off before returning to her gym for more off-season training. Until then, she’ll be balancing her studies and new athletics before she’s back on the beam again!