Participant Dana Reflects on Camp

Jun 4, 2019


"Superhero’s don’t always wear capes. They can be found hidden in the non pretentious elite athlete who spends most his time barefoot, walking on his hands. Or in the person who orchestrates the most rewarding supportive week in 100 people's lives, all with a baby on her hip. They can dance, jump, floss and trip their way through a makeshift curtain onto a stage that will later be our playground. They can stand a solid foot taller or shorter than you, sporting an accent that they they will inflict with such force that you pull harder or run faster than you ever thought you could. They can be the strongest man in the room, yet the most soft spoken, whose superhero powers are his words of wisdom. They can be one of three beautiful blonde woman who rose above what most would cower from only to live their lives to the absolute fullest. And they can even be disguised as a very busy, world renowned endurance coach who would make time for anyone, at any moment to give the gift of knowledge. This is to name but a few of the superheros I got to meet at Power Monkey Camp 11.

When I was 12, I was supposed to go to a gymnastics camp for 4 weeks and train with most little girls superhero of the gymnastics world, Bela Karolyi. I had never been to camp and was so excited. Two weeks before I was supposed to leave I sustained a serious injury. I remember as they were loading me in the ambulance asking if they thought my ankle would be okay in time. I had a double compound fracture, dislocation and shattered my growth plate, so I was obviously delusional from the pain or knowing me, just overly optimistic. I never did get to go to camp nor did I really ever compete again seriously in gymnastics. I am 46 now, and my daughter and I signed up for camp together. As soon as I hit the purchase button I screamed at her via a text message “WE ARE GOING TO CAMP!!!!” . For the next month, almost daily when I would see her or anyone, I would yell “I’M GOING TO CAMP!!!” Hell when I left I even signed my work email telling everyone I was at to say I was excited was an understatement.

Today however I am not at camp, it ended a few weeks ago, and yes I cried when we left. On my first day back at work when my team asked how it was, I simply said it FAR exceeded my expectations. I have few regrets in life and one was not attending PMC 4 years ago when I first heard about it. I grew more as an athlete/coach then I could have imagined, but even more so as a human. I consider myself to have an amazing life filled with wonderful people but I found my tribe at PMC. Everyone of my fellow campers, my crazy team 4-head and all you superheros feel like home to me. Because of my time with all of you I am forever changed and I can’t thank you enough."

~Find your tribe and love them hard~

 - Dana (PMC 11 Camper)

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