The Training to Be an Elite Gymnast to Being a Woman in Sports Pipeline Will Simply Leave You in Constant Frustration and Without Any Memory of What You Had for Breakfast

By Kaylee Sugimoto

“I’ve never met a girl that likes beer before.” I feel so honored, James! Now go on… please tell me the same three points about why Tom Brady’s the best athlete ever.

I mean, there’s a reason why his wife cheated. Tom Brady is one of the best quarterbacks of all time, at least that’s what my dad and ten other dudes told me. Some of my buddies worship the ground he walks on. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did candlelight rituals near his footprint in the mud. 

Life’s easier when you choose to hate for random reasons. I hate The 49ers because this one guy was annoying about it sophomore year. I hated the Packers because my boyfriend at the time did. I don’t like the Broncos because I’m a Seahawks fan. And I hate Tom Brady because somebody said he was more talented than Simone Biles. 

Like okay, Ryan, Ben, Tyler, Chris, Luke. Whatever dude. 

What’s with all this football talk? Let’s stick with the sport I know inside and out but still get it explained to me sometimes like I haven’t done it for 13 years, or like I’m six years old entering my first day of Kindergarten. 

“So the Romanians actually started the trend of bringing younger gymnasts into America,” he explains to some guy we just met. We’re at some party and doing the exchanges of what your major is and all that shit. Of course, I bring up that I’m a student-athlete on the gymnastics team. Of course, he has to hijack the conversation. 

“Yeah,” I begin. “Gymnastics is a reall-”

“My girlfriend is really good, she has a ten-point-oh start value on everything,” he cuts me off and smiles. I look up from the floor and smile, too. He’ll tell me later that night that he interrupted because he was so proud of me or whatever, but I’m not stupid like he thinks I am. I don’t even do two of the events that he mentioned. Actually, at that moment, I could kill him. 

So…breaking eight bones and tearing three muscles by age 19. Crying when my parents yelled at me, saying things like we couldn’t afford another hospital trip, and that I was causing our family to go into debt and robbing my younger sister of a future education. Developing a whole ass eating disorder…all for this? For some man to pretend like he’s gone through all of this too, and for everybody to believe the straight-up lies he’s spewing out just to feed his own selfish little ego? Like come on dude, be fucking for real right now. 

I could go on with the trauma dump in a blunt-sentenced fashion, separating the events with periods to give some sort of effect on the reader. But I’ll save everybody some time and give those points to my therapist. Simply put, the pretentious side comments, the cutting off my point mid-sentence to say something insanely stupid, and the subtle glances at another man when I raise my voice make me so mad that I want to believe in God. Please God, save me from the idiocy that is man. And Goddamnit, can you let me win?

But, I’ll continue to lose. I mean, nothing I do is taken seriously. And why should it? I’m just a little girl. 

Oh yeah, I did co-create a magazine and network bands and artists from the city into buttfuck Normal, Illinois. I wrote articles and stories about these people’s musical journeys, and in one go it’s probably better than the essay you wrote on your AP Lit exam, where your life seemed to depend on whether or not you could write a short story about windmills for some reason. But no, all of that makes me a “groupie!” Writing news is just something I do for “funsies,” it’s a “girl major,” even when I become the editor of a newspaper that’s won 26 awards at the ICPA’s. Everything I do is just a little project, my little girl hobby that I do to pass time, while my husband goes away during the day to do the real work to support the family. 

It’s the never-ending cycle. The cycle of working twice as hard, and speaking up twice as much about it because you deserve it. But not speaking up too loud, because then you’re crazy, bossy, unapproachable, or on your period. 

It’s the constant struggle and climb up, stopping halfway and begging your male peers to treat you like a living person, as they look down from the finish point and throw rocks at your fingertips. 

It’s like your opinion doesn’t matter. And as long as you are an unattractive woman, or even an attractive one, or even, I don’t know exist as one? It won’t. Because your delicate, soft whisper is  not as tough, as strong, and as correct as a deep, male voice. Your period could be influencing your thoughts, your emotions could be uncontrollable. Your hormones could be causing you to act irrationally, since you’re forced to take those pills, since your boyfriend doesn’t even have the decency to cum responsibly. Since your boyfriend is willing to put you through the cramps, the mood swings, the emotional turmoil all for a few seconds of “more” pleasure, just because it “feels” better, and then direct the blame onto you for the consequences of his actions. I’m serious guys, I can’t make this shit up. 

This is something, as women, we can’t win. I don’t think we ever will until maybe the communist revolution, or until pigs finally do fucking fly. I think that men are too stupid to realize the patriarchy in everyday practice, and it’s not our job on top of all the other shit we have to deal with to educate them on how to treat us like humans. So yes. I am a girl, in fact, that drinks beer. To your surprise, there’s quite a bit of our breed out there in the wild. I can’t believe you’ve never met a girl that cool or boyish, in your words specifically. I’m glad you finally found a girl that is up to your level of validity. Maybe she listens to music, too. And if you’re lucky…she watches ESPN as well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s