This post is part of Writer's Workshop at Mama Kat's Losin' It!
When I saw this prompt this week, I knew I couldn't pass it up. I had an encounter with MADE. And I was not in high school. How, you ask?
Since I was little, all I wanted to do was gymnastics. My grandma taught me how to do a cartwheel when I was five and it was all downhill from there. My father always wanted a son sports star, but he was stuck with a girl so he pushed me into every sport imaginable. I played soccer, softball, basketball, volleyball, and random other things on occasion. I did dance once on my own accord, and quit after a few weeks--rhythm is something I don't have.
But damn did I have good balance.
We built our own house (literally...my dad, mom, uncles, grandpa built the house) in the mid-90's, and for a long time the basement was unfinished. It was just concrete with a few poles, and a washer and dryer. And a pile of nice, smooth, long, skinny pieces of wood.
Welcome to the birth of the homemade balance beam. It was amazing, and I can't tell you how many cartwheels I did on that ridiculously unstable board, and I (almost) always stayed on it. Balance beam was my event--I could out-trick any kid my age on that thing.
Except I never got to take gymnastics.
I did once, with girl scouts, a few years before that. It was a week-long "camp." But gymnastics was too expensive and too risky and too non-boyish, and how could I possibly have time to do that when I was playing 4 other sports?
But I watched the olympic gymnastics faithfully, and as long as I can remember Dominique Moceanu has been my sports hero. I just settled for the homemade balance beam in my basement, the backyard cartwheels, roundoffs, and back bends, and the front tucks on the trampoline.
So when MADE came on, I held onto my dream. I said "hey, if that tomboy can be made into a pageant queen, then I could certainly be made into a gymnast." So I watched, hoping some mind-reader would eventually show up at my door and tell me that I was about to be MADE into a gymnast.
I guess all the mind-readers were on vacation, because that never happened. But early on in college, MADE came up with a new website. I think it was iwannabemade.com. I got on it and played around for awhile, and then grew some balls and submitted my story about wanting to be made into a gymnast.
A few weeks later, I was seriously surprised to see an email in my inbox from MTV. No, not one of those automated "thank you for your story" emails, no. That would be lame and I would not tell you about it. No. This email said "We are very interested in your story. Please tell us this this and this and we will get back to you about filming. We'd like to film and air your MADE story in the 2007 season. Thanks, MTV."
Or something like that.
I was floored. I said, "they WHAAA?!" and then I never emailed them back. Because I was in college. And too cool for MTV MADE.
We won't talk about the cartwheel I may or may not have done in the middle of work the other day. No, we won't.