Why I didn't become a gymnastics mom

By age 4, Guerzon's daughter was invited to pre-team gymnastics for kids chosen to be on a fast track to competition.

Editor's note: Tiffany Doerr Guerzon is the mother of three children. She writes about her parenting journey from her home near Seattle, Washington.

(CNN)When my daughter strolled into our bedroom one morning when she was 10 months old, my husband and I knew we were in trouble.

Her appearance meant she had climbed out of her crib and opened two closed doors by herself.
Soon after she turned 1, she was running, jumping off stairs, climbing on kitchen counters and on top of the refrigerator -- and once we caught her hanging by one hand from the chandelier over the dining room table.
    She was not only fearless but agile, quickly defeating any childproofing barriers we installed. A friend suggested that a gymnastics class might release some of her energy and teach her to climb safely. I found a toddler tumbling class and signed her up.
      I expected she would learn to jump, flip and roll, I just didn't expect her to be so good at it. The toddler class morphed into the 3-year-old class and by age 4, she was invited to pre-team gymnastics for kids chosen to be on a fast track to competition.
      She was dying to join, but I had reservations. I was concerned about the hours required to excel at the sport and the expense for our one-income family. I was also worried about the judgment she would endure in competition. Now that Simone Biles has dropped out team and individual competitions at the Tokyo Olympics to focus on her mental health, more people see what the pressure can do to even Olympic gold medalists.
      Additionally, gymnastics demands perfection in both skills and body shape, resulting in pressure to conform to a certain body type. It is one of the "aesthetic" sports, which value leanness and judge athletes on both appearance and performance. And eating disorders have been found to be more prevalent in high performance gymnastics than in the general population.
        Society already puts enough pressure on girls. I didn't want a sport to add to the cacophony of voices telling my daughter that she wasn't good enough.
        I also spent years in dance class as a teen, which probably contributed to my own body dysmorphia. I wanted to protect my daughter from hating her own body. That wouldn't necessarily happen at age 4, but I worried about her future if she started down that path.
        Her unwavering passion and talent for gymnastics convinced us to continue, and by age 8 she was competing. I didn't realize at the time that getting into competitive gymnastics is like the story about the frog in the pot of water. When the water is warmed up slowly, before the frog knows it, he's boiling.
        "It's fair to say that it is common for athletes to feel stressed by their sport," said sports psychologist and certified mental performance consultant Elizabeth Boyer, who wo