Our next 20 questions athlete is Molly Freeman of Branch Gymnastics in Kalamazoo , Michigan. Molly, who is a senior, recently committed to continue he gymnastics and academics at Western Michigan University in the fall! In 2019 Molly qualified to the 2019 Level 9 Eastern National Championships, placing 8th in the All-Around and 2nd as a team. My favorite event to watch Molly on is the Uneven Bars! she is a natural swinger with an incredibly hard and unique dismount. You can definitely see why Uneven Bars is Molly’s favorite event. In 2020 Molly moved into her 1st year of Level 10, unfortunately her debut season was cut short due to COVID, like the rest of s. I look forward to seeing Molly this season out on the competition floor in her last JO Club session with Branch Gymnastics before she heads off to college and hits the mat with the Broncos. Let’s get to know Molly a little better as she finishes up her preseason training and gets ready to take on her senior season.
How did you get into Gymnastics? How old were you? I was 8 years old when I started gymnastics. My mom put me in gymnastics classes because I was constantly doing cartwheels everywhere. She said I was on my hands more than my feet.
What is your favorite event? Why? My favorite event is deFinitely bars. I just love the feeling of Flying that it gives you, and the excitement of learning a new bar skill.
Favorite Skill? Dream Skill? My favorite skill is either a jeagar on bars or a front toss on beam. My dream skill would have to be a piked full-in on Floor.
Favorite part of Gymnastics? Why? My favorite part of gymnastics is working toward and conquering goals, because I love seeing what I am capable of, and doing things I did not think were possible before.
Biggest Accomplishment in Gymnastics so far? My biggest accomplishment in gymnastics is committing to WMU, because competing at a D1 school is something I have always dreamed of, and has always been my goal.
What was the 1st thing you did when you were able to get back into the gym? The first thing I did once I was able to get back in the gym was an overshoot on bars.
Talk about returning to training post COVID, being out for so long (how long?) The struggles, successes, how long it took to get skills back and how it was adjusting to our new normal. I was so excited to return to training after being out of the gym for 6 months. While it has been difLicult to trust my body and skills again after not doing them for so long, I am so excited to Finally be training again. I missed being able to Llip around at practice, and see my coaches and teammates again. It took a while to get my skills back, especially because gyms in Michigan were not able to open for a long time. However, now I feel a lot better and more adjusted to this new normal that is training post COVID. I am just so grateful to be able to do what I love again!
Most embarrassing meet or training meet?
My most embarrassing meet would deLinitely have to be an inter-squad that my gym was doing when I was a level 7. We were on beam, and it was my turn to go. I started my routine, and it was going Line, then I went to step behind for a part of my dance, and I completely fell off the beam. This was really embarrassing because I made all of my skills, but fell on a very small dance portion of the routine. After that, my coach and I decided it would be best to take the dance part out for the rest of the season.
Something you have learned from Gymnastics that you will take with you? Something I have learned from gymnastics is how to overcome obstacles to achieve success. This is a lesson that I will take with me into the future, because when I am faced with an obstacle, I will not see it as the end of the line and back down, but instead will Lind a way to work through it.
Who is your biggest role model? Why? My biggest role model is my mom because she is kind, strong, and hardworking. She has taught me to treat others as I would want to be treated, and I try to apply this to my life everyday.
What is something that sets your gym and/or your team part?
Something that sets my team at Branch Gymnastics apart from the rest is how close we all are. I know that I could go to anyone on the team when I need help or am having a rough day, and they would be there for me. The whole team is really like family, and this is something I think distinguishes us from the rest.
What is your role on your Level 10 Team or you role in your gym in general? I feel I have a role as a leader in my gym. I always want to be a good example for younger gymnasts, and lead my team in any way that I can.
Most memorable Gymnastics or meet moment?
My most memorable gymnastics moment is the moment that my teammate and I found out we had both qualiLied to level 9 Easterns. We weren’t sure where we were in the standings of the competition because the scoreboard was no longer up. When our coaches came over and told us we had made it, we were both super excited to be going, especially together. This is such a happy memory for me, and I will never forget it.
How would you explain the year 2020 to your future children/grandchildren? I would explain the year 2020 to my future children/grandchildren as a year of many obstacles, in which I realized that nothing should be taken for granted. There was definitely a lot to conquer in 2020, especially with COVID stopping almost all training, and it made me realize how lucky I am to be able to do this awesome sport of gymnastics.
What is the most valuable piece of advice or wisdom your coaches have given you? The most valuable piece of advice that my coaches have given to me is to not be so hard on myself. This has helped me in a lot of tough moments to remember that beating myself up about my mistakes is not going to help me in any way. Instead, they have taught me to move forward and take the next steps to succeed.
How did you stay motivated during your COVID Quarantine time out of the gym? I stayed motivated during my COVID quarantine time out of the gym by remembering what my goals were. This pushed me each day to get up and take steps to reach those goals. For example I knew that I wanted to have a smooth transition back into training, so each day I would condition and stretch so that it would be easier for me once the gym was open again.
Do you have a nickname? If so what is it? What is the story behind it?
I do not really have any nicknames, except some people call me Molls instead of Molly. There isn’t much of a story behind except I think it’s easier for my teammates to cheer than saying Molly every time.
What really makes you laugh? My teammates deLinitely make me laugh a lot. I can not even count the laughs that we have shared in and out of the gym over the years.
If you could have any super power what would it be? Why? If I could have any super power I would want to be able to instantly transport anywhere I wanted. I would want this superpower because I love seeing new places and traveling, and it would be so cool to be able to travel anywhere around the world by just thinking of it.
What is a question not on this list that should have been? Add your question we should have asked you and then answer it. What is your favorite season and why? My favorite season is summer because I love being outside in nature, and my favorite thing to do is go to the beach.
Bonus Question: Tell us something interesting about yourself………..
One interesting thing about myself is that my family loves animals and I have a lot of pets. Right now, I have 3 dogs, a cat, 2 guinea pigs, and 2 birds. At one point, I had 12 chickens, 4 bunnies, 2 cats, 2 dogs, and a Fish.