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Tenley's Thoughts

Learn. Practice. Gymnastics.

This is my blog about gymnastics, the skills I’m learning, my love for the sport, my struggles, and what keeps me motivated.

Lessons Learned

When you are struggling… rock bottom and failure can be your biggest lessons.  A person who has experienced failure and had the courage to get back up—these lessons are a STRONG foundation on how to grow.   I have had 2 utterly heartbreaking seasons where I did not get to do what I love most —and that is competing!   That moment is  a thrill that I have always lived for.   I am often terrible at warm-ups but for some reason when it is time to compete—it is like a switch is flipped and I live for that pressure.    Then to have that taken away from me—there are just no words to describe my complete devastation.     I honestly thought my world was over.  Losing out on 2 seasons of doing what I live for…2 seasons of competitions,  a chance to earn a scholarship—ALL GONE.   True and utter heartbreak and so many tears!     Now, I can look back with a little wisdom,  these last 2 years of heartbreak and trials have taught me WAY more than 2 seasons of competing EVER could.

I have learned that I can still be a leader on the sidelines.  I can encourage and inspire others without even stepping foot on that competition floor.  I have found my true passion is helping others.  Volunteering has been incredible,  I have seen that a sincere passion for helping others can truly change lives.   I have come to understand that I have a real passion for business and age is just a number,  I started my own business, SEW Blessed, when I was just 12 years old, when my heart was breaking and I needed to find myself.  I have been making  heating pads that I sell  through several local businesses, on ETSY—shipping them all over the country and at local craft shows.     I have learned that I actually have good ideas,  I am a big picture thinker and look at things differently than others.. and that is ok.

I can’t change the past, but looking back with a little more clarity now… GOD was telling me—I have so much more in store for you!     I truly am thankful for every single day that I get to be in the gym (my happy place) but I have also learned that I can be a gymnast, a leader, a volunteer,  a student athlete and an entrepreneur!  I can do it all.   I have huge plans and this is just the beginning.   I am beyond excited for season this year.  I have put my heart and soul into this and will give it everything I have!

Thanks for following my journey!  Stay tuned—this is just the beginning.

The rest is still unwritten.




“Hardship often prepares an ORDINARY person for an EXTRAORDINARY destiny.”

CS Lewis

This quote is something that I believe in wholeheartedly.     These last two years of my gymnastics “career” have been a struggle to say the least, but I realize now that I would NEVER have become the person that I am today without these struggles.

An injury can shatter your dreams OR you can use the experience to change EVERYTHING!

I LOVE this sport tons—truly with all my heart and soul—But I also learned that I am so much more than just a gymnast.    I have learned that I can be a leader on the sidelines.  I love encouraging others!  I love to see happiness in people around me— So, I have spent the last 2 years finding my way and realizing that one person can truly make a difference in this world.

I have learned that LIFE is not just about ME— it is about WE!    That is truly why making a difference can change everything.  When you stop obsessing about yourself—your own goals and put others first—things just have a way of working out.

The PURE happiness that I have found in volunteering,  organizing food and clothing drives for people in need,  making heating pads for the Children’s hospital…. There TRULY  is no greater happiness than helping others.     I LOVE finding new ways to make an impact on this world and helping others.

I have learned that LIFE does NOT always go your way, but if you look for the silver lining… things always have a way of working out.    Every day brings new challenges OR new opportunities–  it just depends how you look at it!

I have learned to ENJOY the journey.   Life is not just about the destination.  I have found joy in the little successes and that just makes life better.

I know that someday I will change the world…but my story isn’t finished.   I will make every single day count.   In school, gymnastics, volunteering and my Faith.    My parents have always told me –Faith can move mountains—now I understand.

ANYTHING is possible if you believe in yourself and are willing to work for it.

Stay tuned…  my story is just beginning—and the rest is still unwritten.



Until you are broken, you don’t know what you are made of.

It gives you the ability to build yourself all over again, but stronger than ever.”

This is a quote that has truly defined who I am over the last 8 weeks.

Life had been going really well! I absolutely LOVE competing and the season was fast approaching! I can’t tell you how excited I was! I was working hard, making progress– but somehow life seems to throw you curve balls when you least expect it. Let me back up– last year I had a stress fracture in my elbow and the doctor advised me to let time heal it (which I did). Unfortunately, it started hurting again. After a dreaded trip to the doctor, he said that the best course of action is to put two screws in my elbow. My first thoughts were complete devastation, then I immediately started asking questions. How long??? How soon can I get this fixed? My DR appointment was on Friday and my surgery was scheduled two days later on Monday. I had to be at the hospital at noon, so I begged my parents to go to gym from 7-11 that morning. That turned out to be quite the challenge as I was not able to eat or drink anything the day of surgery! One hour of conditioning and 3 hours of events without water was quite the experience! After gym I went straight to the hospital. Surgery went great. I was in so much pain but ready to start the next step of the journey— Physical Therapy. Only two days after surgery –all bandages off and ready to get better! After 4 weeks of intense PT, hours and hours in the gym, at PT and at home—pushing myself to get full extension and strength back, I WAS FULLY RELEASED! ( 4 weeks might not seem like a long time—but when you can’t fully do what you love—these 4 weeks seemed like an eternity!)

Now I’m on the last leg of this journey and that is to get stronger and get all my skills back! The hardest part for me is coming back slowly and not just jumping right in, as all I wanted to do was get fully back to doing the sport I love. I am striving for progress every day—I will get there!

After the last year, I feel like I’m a pro at handling adversity and tough situations. My mom always taught me- to never focus on what I can’t do, but what I can do, in every situation. So, I went to gym every single day with the intent on perfecting every skill that I could still do, acquire new skills, get stronger, and be the best teammate I can be–cheering my friends on while they are still able to chase their dreams this season.

I have always had absolute faith that everything happens for a reason and I know that I have gotten mentally and physically stronger through this journey.

This is not at all how I envisioned this season to go, but I have found that I am so much more than a gymnast. My identity and purpose is not just to be a good gymnast—but to be a GREAT person. I think that is what I have learned most. That is why this is called a journey—it is not just the destination—but living life along the way.

What GOD is preparing you for is worth the wait”

I am working on a training video for March—so check back soon.

Love Tenley

Stronger than ever!

I am so very blessed to practice at Texas Dreams where we have unbelievable talent that inspires me every single day.

Last week in training, I got BOTH my Full Out dismount and Jaeger on bars.  I am also working double tucks, double pikes, and double fronts on floor.

This is absolutely my favorite time of year, because I love training new skills and achieving my goals!  It is about time for school to start, which means meet season is fast approaching.   I can’t wait to get out there and compete again, because I absolutely LOVE competing and performing in front of a crowd!

Love Tenley,

Tenley Jaeger


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