Coronado gymnast sacrifices to reach goals

SAN DIEGO -- Madison Meyer loves to flip high in the air.

"If I had a super power, it would be to fly," Meyer said. "I guess (flipping) makes me feel like I'm flying.”

Since Meyer doesn't have wings she'll have to settle for launching herself off the vault and flipping across the floor.

At 5 feet, 7 inches, Meyer stands much taller than most gymnasts which presents several challenges. She said she can't tumble as fast or as powerful as a shorter gymnast, and the uneven bars aren't made for someone her height.


"My mom always tells me that I look really graceful, so I guess that's an advantage," Meyer said.

Despite her height disadvantage, Meyer has worked to become a level 8 gymnast.

"Our running joke with Madison is she is the most untalented, talented gymnast you have ever met," said Meyer's coach Larry Anhorn. "She has natural ability, but she has had to work incredibly hard for everything she has gotten. Nothing has come easy for her and she has never given up."

Meyer said she took her first gymnastics class at age two and has kept at it ever since. She spends 19 hours per week at Victory Gymnastics in Kearny Mesa. In the process she has sacrificed many things that 15-year-olds enjoy.

"I'm just missing out on having a social life, because I really don't have one," Meyer said.

As a sophomore at Coronado High School, Meyer takes two advanced placement classes (world history and biology) and one honors class (chemistry). She learned her most valuable lesson when she tore ligaments in her left ankle last July and couldn't compete for six months.

"You're going to have a lot of setbacks in life but they can't stop you from reaching your goal," Meyer said.

Now completely recovered, Meyer hopes to qualify for regionals this year and said her ultimate goal is to compete in college.

"I have my goals set and I know that I want to reach them," Meyer said. "They're pretty high goals, but I think that I can do it. It's what keeps me pushing through."

And that will make all of those sacrifices worth it.

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