Stella and I recently started attending the open gym at a local gymnastics academy. It’s only $6, she loves it, and it’s so strenuous that she tires herself out and sleeps well. I casually mentioned this fact to her vision therapist, whose recent recommendations have included movement exercises like crab and other animal walks. The therapist lit up at the mention of Stella’s gym time. She said that parents often ask what sports are best for kids with binocular and other vision issues, a question that has been asked here at Little Four Eyes, too. Their immediate answer is always “gymnastics.”
Stella’s vision therapist then told me about another young girl in vision therapy who started gymnastics classes. At first, the girl’s vision actually seemed to be getting worse. But that wasn’t really the case–it was initial fatigue, as gymnastics can heavily engage the visual system. After three weeks or so, the girl adjusted and a new rate of visual improvement unfolded. So, in many ways, gymnastics is vision therapy. Stella and I will be signing up for a “parent and tot” class post haste!
Being the research junkie that I am, I started digging around online to find out about the connection between gymnastics and vision. I quickly found some inspiration, or perhaps reassurance, for parents of kids in glasses. Her name is Kamerin Moore, now 15 years old, and she reached the highest level of competition in gymnastics: international elite. In 2008, she made the U.S. Junior National Team. She’s wracked up some incredible achievements–all while wearing glasses.
Kamerin clearly doesn’t let anything stop her. She had two shoulder surgeries last year to correct bone issues that had been present since birth but had worsened as her growth sped up. So she hasn’t been competing, but is slated to make a triumphant return very soon. This time around, she’ll be wearing contacts. But again, she paved the way to greatness in glasses!
Head to kamerinmoore.com to learn more about Kamerin and her impressive gymnastics career. You’ll find many fabulous pictures of a bespectacled Kamerin competing and wearing hard-earned medals.
(Stay tuned–I will contact her in an attempt to find out what type/brand of glasses she wore. She’s been quoted as saying they’ve never fallen off or gotten in her way. Clearly!)