FOMO Taught Me to Get Back Up

by Tab Moura

I remember the first time I stepped onto that fuzzy, blue, spring-loaded floor. My older sister was a gymnast, she was on the varsity team of a local gymnastics team. As a youngin, I mostly just watched from the lobby, but during their competitions, we could watch from the sidelines of the Floor, and I imagined the day it would be my turn.

Soulmate Rehab, by Tab Moura

It wasn’t much longer before I began taking classes and entering competitions. By the time I was 11 I was taking 5 hours of gymnastics a week, reaching level four and junior varsity. I was told that the Floor wasn’t my strongest event, they thought it was due to my lanky pre-teen-body. I had trouble with tumbling, but the Floor was by far my favorite event. —No matter how many back-handsprings ended with a faceplant.

Now that I’m a mother, raising three daughters, I have had the privilege of watching them grow as I learn how to support their developmental needs. We have been in and out of various therapies for the last 4 years, and I cannot count how many times a therapist has shared something about my children that ultimately helped me support my own needs. One particular session stands out.

She pointed out how my daughter, who has epilepsy, was basically choosing to stay in a loud room, longer than she could physically tolerate. Why? Her desire to be with people she loved was overriding her self-preservation. FOMO can be a bitter mistress.

I knew I shouldn’t laugh… but it was just so familiar. That’s my girl.

I told her therapist about my passion for the Floor and how many hours I cried from falling, attempting to master various skills. My daughter and I had a chat that day, I told her how I would be there to keep her company if she needed a break from loud rooms. She didn’t fully understand what caused her sound sensitivity, but she was a big fan of quality time with mommy.

She’s now an Oklahoma cannabis patient, and it’s becoming less and less common that she needs my help in this way… but her FOMO isn’t going anywhere.

I didn’t know I had epilepsy back then, I didn’t know it was affecting my body awareness… I didn’t know it affected my coordination. But I know now. I’ve learned that, because of my health condition, I need to accommodate for myself. I am now in my 30s, with more core strength than I had at 11. Mastering things like headstands for the first time in my life. I don’t have to miss out, I just have to pace myself, and I’m even stronger when I do.

I used to believe that my willingness to fall and get back up is what would make me a good athlete. But as time has revealed, I’m about 90% FOMO and 10% athlete. (It ain’t much, but it’s honest, right?) And now I am a mommy to a girl with FOMO. See? I’ve yet to find a limit to the real-world applications for this skill.

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