How Unfortunate

How Unfortunate

Viktoria Nasto (she/they), Writer

The day after I quit gymnastics, I started working there. Awkward right? Well sorta…you could say so. My coaches, who have taught me gymnastics for 10 years, were actually pretty okay with me quitting. They said the big speech they say to all quitting gymnasts: “We only want what makes you happy… I really hope you come back… blah blah blah.” The reason I decided to quit was that I started liking volleyball and I wanted to pursue that passion and see where it would lead me. Well, that was the plan. A few nights before I quit, I was online looking for club volleyball teams in Worcester. I found two, CMASS and SLAM. After I quit, I returned back to the websites to see more information. I clicked the tryouts tab. You’ve gotta be kidding me right now. 

I missed tryouts. 

This was quite unfortunate. Actually, it was really unfortunate. I cried all night. But now I had a LOT more free time on my hands. The summer before, I had been Junior Staffing at the summer camp at my gym, in hopes of getting a job there soon. I had given in my application and workers permit. I was ready to work there. My plan was to have a job there by the end of the summer, but then school started and they never ended up putting me on the payroll. Again, how unfortunate. 

After quite a long time, I finally started working. Just after I quit gymnastics, perfect timing right?! As I’m talking to my boss about my job, she adds me to a server on Slack, our work chat. The server was named “Birthday Parties.” Yes, I’m that staff member that plays with your kid, then cleans up after them when they put frosting all over their body. As I’m checking the members on the server, I notice my ex-coach’s name, Kenar Cdhbjhyufj (I could never pronounce her last name). 

It’s been some time since I’ve started working birthday parties and I was coming in for a full day of parties, 4 in total. I walk in a half-hour before the first party starts, drop my stuff at the staff room, then clock myself in. On the sheet, I noticed my ex-coach’s name on the same date as mine. You’ve got to be kidding me. She can’t really be here, right? I turn around, and it’s her standing in the door frame. 

“Heyyy Vikyyyy. Long time no see huh?” 

“Yea I guess you could say that haha.” I wanted to chuck myself out of the building, land into the oncoming traffic to get run over by a 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT Double Cab 4WD. I told myself to suck it up when the first party came in. It was Cody’s 2nd birthday. Yes, 2nd birthday. Kid practically came out of the womb yesterday, and his parents wanted to celebrate his birthday at a gymnastics place. Two-year-olds can’t even be in the gym without their parent next to them the whole time. The logic just wasn’t there. But, whatever, it’s not my kid. 

I take all of them to the first gym, the gym that has massive trampolines on them that only allow one person on at a time. No matter the age. I explained the rules of the gym to them all, super enthusiastically saying, “Two hands on the bars at all times…One person allowed on each trampoline at a time…Only use beams with mats under them”. They all roam and start playing. I take a glance at the trampolines and there’s a parent jumping on the trampoline with their 2-year-old, casually flinging them in the air. I came over to them and politely informed them to have only one person on the trampoline. 

“But how am I supposed to save my kid when he falls?” The parent asked.

“Well, you can always stand next to the trampoline just in case he gets hurt, by himself.”

She rolls her eyes and says, “Ugh whatever” takes her child, and struts away. 

It’s time for the second gym, the big gym. The gym with a massive foam pit in it. I gather them all up, explain the basic rules, then tell them about the pit. 

“AS YOU CAN SEE HERE FRIENDS, I HAVE THIS BIGGGGG FOAM PIT! HOW FUN RIGHT?!” I could hear crickets. Wow, tough crowd. 

“So parents, there can be a limit of 2 kids in the pit at once. If your child wants to go into the pit, you must be there with them to help them get out.” I’m hoping they actually understood these rules, unlike last time. I set them all free. Minutes go by and I’m setting up the music when a parent comes up to me. 

“Hi, can you please help me get my child out of the pit? She’s crying and I can’t get her to stop.” Girl, how do you expect ME to stop YOUR kid from crying when you can’t? 

I sighed, “Yeah of course.” I come over and I already start to hear muffled crying. The girl is headfirst in the pit, flailing her legs in the air. I jumped in and I managed to get her right side up pretty quickly. Now the actual hard part, calming her down. I do the regular, “What’s wrong girlfriend…How you feelin’?” She tries to speak to me as tears are streaming down her face. Wait, is she about to say something? 

Wrong. She pukes on me. 

As if this couldn’t get any worse, I turned my head and looked at who it was, my ex-coach staring right at me. She had this look on her face, and I can’t erase it from my mind it was so embarrassing. She said, “I’m gonna go grab the vacuum.” If it wasn’t for the mask on my face, people would’ve seen Niagara Falls coming from my eyes. She comes back with my boss carrying a vacuum and a disappointed look. “Just, just get out of there.” I walk into the bathroom, look at myself, and think, how unfortunate.