In college gymnastics it’s not uncommon to find out the program you chose is not what you thought it was.
Madison Loomis’ experience at San Jose State University made her into the gymnast that she is today. Through leaving her previous program, she learned one of the toughest life lessons she has learned: money doesn’t buy happiness.
Loomis, a senior for the Flippin’ Birds, now enters her last year of college with a newfound appreciation for herself and her sport. With the coaching and leadership of head coach Scott Bauman, Loomis has accomplished much more than she ever thought was possible.
“It is because of the program at [SUU] that I can walk away from my sport knowing that I’ve gained more confidence and will never settle with mediocrity,” said Loomis.
In the summer of her sophomore year, Loomis wasn’t sure if she still wanted to pursue gymnastics anymore. Her love and passion for the sport was tarnished and she felt defeated.
She decided to give it one last chance at SUU.
Coach Bauman told Loomis that he would love to have her as part of his team, but he only had a walk-on spot available. If she chose to transfer to SUU she would have to turn everything around from academic expectations to athletic expectations.
She worked closely with the SUU coaches in hopes of restoring her love for the sport. Little by little, her confidence and skills started to come back.
Going into preseason, Loomis’s love for gymnastics was back and better than ever.
“It’s not a job if you love what you do every day,” Loomis said.
In her final year as a Thunderbird, Loomis is a true representation of an athlete with the determination and strength every school wants on their team. Her loud encouraging voice and crazy dance moves make her easy to pick out of a crowd as she motivates her teammates.
Story by Morgan Alfaro
Photo courtesy of SUU Athletics