What is your favorite moment to date in competition?
My favorite moment was winning Grand Champion for my state. I mean it doesn't get better then winning the state you live in. But there is many moments, not just winning, but being a part of these competitions and seeing yourself grow and becoming better. In JO's I came in 7th all around in the country, which is not 1st place, but being 7th out of 167 athletes and just to make top 10 in the country is a big accomplishment. For me winning is not the most important thing, of course it is what you work towards, but it the journey and the learning experience, the discipline and friendships you make along the way. I know all that I will have even after I retire from this sport!
What do you think is the biggest lesson you have learned in your time doing RG?
The biggest lesson for me that I have learned is BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!!!!!!!!!! I think for me that is/still is the biggest challenge. I have the training down, the discipline to go in everyday for hours and train while other kids are playing or out swimming, I am in the gym working. But having the best coaches, the best routines, the most beautiful leotards, at the end of it when you step out on the carpet, you are all alone, nobody can do your routines for you, and you know you only have 90 seconds to prove yourself and that's where the self-doubt starts... you question everything, like what IF? So telling myself to believe in myself and no matter what happens I will be OK!!!! I either do good and win, or I make mistakes and learn from it. Either or its a win-win situation.
What are some of your hopes and dreams for the future? in rhythmic gymnastics? in general?
My hopes for
rhythmic gymnastics is to make national team member level 10 and represent my country in international competitions. I will be 18 when the Olympics come to my city here in Los Angeles, so I mean that would be the dream!!!!!!!!!! I will be the perfect age and its in my own city. I call that : MEANT TO BE!!!!!!!
My dreams for my future in general I want to be successful in whatever I do. That's part of why
rhythmic gymnastics is good for me because it really teaches me discipline and work ethic and that I can use in anything and everything I do in life. I hope to be healthy and happy and discover new things, help animals, maybe even become a veterinarian. I also love modeling which I do a lot of now already so the sky is the limit. I think as long as you are happy in the things you do you have succeeded already!
What's some advice you would offer to someone who is looking to start competing in the Junior Olympics?
Depending on where you are in your Rhythmic journey, whether you are just starting out recreational or doing it for a few years, just stay focused. There has been many days filled with tears and frustrations, but if you don't fail, how can you learn? So just DON'T GIVE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep pushing, keep working, keep growing, keep learning and trust your coaches, apply the lessons they teach you. and BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
To learn more about Jayla and her continuing careers as now a Level 7 rhythmic gymnast, please follow her here