ABOUT Abby Heiskell

2017

Abby Heiskell

Hometown:
Waxhaw, North Carolina

Age:
17

Gym:
Southeastern Gymnastics Center
Waddington, North Carolina

Qualifying Meet:
Buckeye Classic

            Bio

Q: Do you have a nickname?
A:
Abs

Q: When and why did you first become interested in gymnastics?
A:
I was jumping on my neighbor’s trampoline, and her mom said that I should start classes at Southeastern

Q: What is your training regimen? Was that a big change when you made the switch to competitive gymnastics?
A:
I train Monday through Saturday for four hours each day.

Q: What is your favorite event?
A:
Bars

Q: What is your favorite skill?
A:
Jaeger

Q: What music do you use for your floor routine?
A:
The Godfather

Q: How have you grown as a gymnast during your career, both skill wise and mentally?
A:
I have learned not to overthink my skills. Gymnastics is a fun sport, and once you realize that, competing becomes a lot less difficult.

Q: If you had to select one life-lesson that gymnastics has taught you, what would it be?
A:
You need to live in the moment. Gymnastics won’t always be in your life, so you need to enjoy and treasure it while you can.


Q: What grade are you in school, and where do you go to school?
A:
11th grade at Marvin Ridge High School

Q: Do you want to compete in collegiate gymnastics?
A:
I am verbally committed to the University of Michigan! Go Blue!


Q: What are your favorite subjects, etc.?
A:
Science

Q: If you plan to go to college, do you know what you want to study there?
A:
Kinesiology and Exercise Science

Q: When you’re not in the gym, how do you enjoy spending your time? Do you have any hobbies or favorite activities? Charities?
A:
I like going on walks with my parents and baking desserts


Q: What is your favorite food?
A:
Chicken Parmesan


Q: What is your favorite movie?
A:
Toy Story

Q: What is your favorite book?
A:
Serena

Q: What is your favorite music group?
A:
The Beatles

Q: Do you have any competition rituals? Lucky charms?
A:
I just listen to music and sleep.

Q: If you had to pick 3 words to describe yourself as a gymnast, what are they?
A:
Hard-working, supportive & dedicated

2016

Abby Heiskell

Hometown:
Waxhaw, North Carolina

Age:
16

Gym:
Southeastern Gymnastics Center
Waddington, North Carolina

Qualifying Meet:
Buckeye Classic

            Bio

Nickname: Abby, Abs

Q: When and why did you first become interested in gymnastics?
A: When I was younger, I would always go to my friend’s house and jump on their trampoline. My friend’s mom recommended putting me in a class at Southeastern Gymnastics Center, where her daughter took gymnastics classes. I’ve been there ever since.

Q: Do you have any good/funny memories from when you first started taking gymnastics classes?
A: I remember one day when I was on bars, I was probably in Level 4, one of the “big girls” came up to me and told me, “Your vaults looked really good today, Abby.” It just made my day.

Q: When did you decide you wanted to compete? And, when did you want to compete on the elite level? What about competition appeals to you?
A: I never really decided on my own that I wanted to compete. My coaches were the ones that prepared me and made the decision on when I was ready to compete. I really love being out on the competition floor because my whole team comes together and supports one another.

Q: What is your training regimen? Was that a big change when you made the switch to competitive gymnastics?
A: We usually practice Monday through Saturday about four hours each day. Sometimes our schedule may get switched around for competitions, though. I’ve never really thought about the switch to competitive gymnastics because my coaches have done such a great job preparing me to do this sport on a competitive level.

Q: What is your favorite event?
A: Uneven Bars

Q: What is your favorite skill?
A: Double front dismount off bars

Q: What music do you use for your floor routine?
A: I use “Mama’s Broken Heart” by Miranda Lambert

Q: Who is your favorite gymnast or who is your “idol”?
A: I don’t have one favorite gymnast, but I do look up to all of the older girls that I practice with. They push and support me to be the best that I can be.

Q: How have you grown as a gymnast during your career, both skill wise and mentally?
A: I have continued to perfect my old skills while trying out new skills with the help of my coaches. Gymnastics has also helped me become a very disciplined and determined person.

Q: How has gymnastics helped you as a person?
A: Gymnastics has taught me that you need to cherish the small moments because you never know if you’ll get to experience those moments again.

Q: If you had to select one life-lesson that gymnastics has taught you, what would it be?
A: You can achieve anything through hard work and dedication.

Q: What are your biggest accomplishments or best memories in your career?
A: My biggest accomplishments are placing 1st at Level 9 Eastern Nationals, qualifying for Junior Olympic Nationals in 2014 and 2015, qualifying for The Nastia Liukin Cup last year and verbally committing to the University of Michigan.

Q: What are your favorite subjects in school?
A: My favorite subject is Science.

Q: What are your goals for the future, both as an athlete and after you are finished competing?
A: My goals are to continue to compete at the J.O. level and collegiate level. Also, I want to continue to be a successful student.

Q: When you’re not in the gym, how do you enjoy spending your time? Do you have any hobbies or favorite activities?
A: I love baking desserts for my family and friends to enjoy. I enjoy hanging out and relaxing with my friends. I also enjoy listening to a wide variety of music genres.

Q: What is your favorite food?
A: Chocolate! I love chocolate.

Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: My favorite movie right now is “Inside Out.”

Q: What is your favorite book?
A: My favorite book is “To Kill A Mockingbird.”

Q: What is your favorite music group?
A: I like all kinds of music, but The Beatles have always been one of my favorites.

Q: Are any of your family members current or former athletes?
A: My older brothers used to play hockey, and my dad runs marathons.

Q: Do you have any competition rituals? Lucky charms?
A: Not really. I just like to put on my headphones, listen to my music, and sleep.

Q: What’s on your iPod right now? What type of music do you enjoy listening to? How about before a meet when you’re trying to get focused and pumped up?
A: I generally listen to older classic rock songs from the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

Q: If you had to pick 3 words to describe yourself as a gymnast, what are they?
A: Determined, hard-working, and dedicated

Q: What 3 words describe you as a person, not the gymnast?
A: Funny, supportive, and easy-going

2015

Abby Heiskell

Hometown:
Waxhaw, North Carolina

Age:
15

Gym:
Southeastern Gymnastics Center
Waddington, North Carolina

Qualifying Meet:
Atlanta Crown Invitational

            Bio

1. Name, Age, Hometown
Abby Heiskell, 15, Charlotte N.C.

2. When and why did you first become interested in gymnastics?
I was in kindergarten and jumping on my neighbor’s trampoline, and her mom recommended putting me in gymnastics classes with her daughter. That’s kind of where it all started

3. Do you have any good/funny memories from when you first started taking gymnastics classes?
I remember my second coach made me cry when she called me a “vegetable head.”

4. When did you decide you wanted to compete? And, when did you want to compete on the elite level? What about competition appeals to you?
I didn’t really decide. I started at Mighty Mice and I just kept going up. I didn’t really make a decision honestly. I’m still in Level 10. I get to spend time with my friends. I really like to be out there with my team, cheering everybody on.

5. What is your training regimen?
I train Monday through Saturday, about four hours each day.

6. Was that a big change when you made the switch to competitive gymnastics?
It wasn’t really that hard of a change because our coaches knew how long we needed to train each day. So as we got higher, our training hours got higher.

7. What is your favorite event?
Uneven Bars
Follow up: Why is that?
I feel like that’s been my most consistent event throughout the years and my most favorite.

8. What is your favorite skill?
Probably the pak salto on the Uneven Bars.
Follow up: Can you describe it to me?
You’re on the high bar and you do a back layout down to the low bar. It’s hard to explain.

9. What music do you use for your floor routine?
Magyar Tancok.
Follow up: What kind of music is that?
My coach picked it out for me. . . . It’s pretty up-beat.
Note: The music was composed by Johannes Brahms and is also known as the 21 Hungarian Dances.

10. Who is your favorite gymnast or who is your “idol”?
Shawn Johnson.
Follow up: Is there a reason for that?
I always liked watching her compete because she always looked like she was having fun and that really inspired me.

11. How have you grown as a gymnast during your career, both skill wise and mentally?
It’s taught me that you should never give up on what you want to achieve. Because someday, you might not be able to do gymnastics and you just need to keep reaching for your goals and doing your best.

12. How has gymnastics helped you as a person?
It’s helped me learn that it’s not always about yourself and your score. It’s that you need to work as a team so you need to support everybody else also.

13. If you had to select one life-lesson that gymnastics has taught you, what would it be?
Never give up.

14. What are your biggest accomplishments or best memories in your career?
One of my biggest accomplishments was placing 1st in the Level 9 all-around (at the U.S. Junior Olympic) Eastern Nationals and verbally committing to the University of Michigan.

15. What grade are you in school, and where do you go to school?
I’m in 9th grade and I go to Marvin Ridge High School.

16. What are your favorite subjects, etc.?
Well my favorite subject is science. I’m in biology right now.
Follow up: You think that is what you might want to major in at Michigan?
Yes, probably something in the science field

17. What are your goals for the future, both as an athlete and after you are finished competing?
One of my goals this year is to qualify for JO Nationals and just to continue to be a successful gymnast and student going into college. I’m not sure what I want to do after I finish competing.

18. When you’re not in the gym, how do you enjoy spending your time? Do you have any hobbies or favorite activities? Charities?
I love baking, specifically desserts. And I also love spending time with my friends and family. I’m in a club at school with the Humane Society, and I help do charity events with them.

19. What is your favorite food?
Honestly, anything but seafood.

20. What is your favorite movie?
I like all the Toy Story movies and “Saving Mr. Banks.”

21. What is your favorite book?
I’m reading a book right now that’s pretty interesting, it’s called “Reality Check” (Peter Abrahams). It’s the best book I’ve read in a while.

22. What is your favorite music group?
The Beatles. I love their music.

23. Are any of your family members current or former athletes? Which sports?
My two older brothers used to play hockey and my dad is a runner.

24. Do you have any competition rituals? Lucky charms?
I usually just listen to my music and sleep.
Follow-up: Like before a competition?
Yeah, like whenever we’re driving up to a meet I’ll usually put my earphones in and sleep.

25. What’s on your IPod right now? What type of music do enjoy listening to? How about before a meet when you’re trying to get focused and pumped up?
Probably Classic Rock or Today’s Hits, something like that.

26. If you had to pick 3 words to describe yourself as a gymnast, what are they?
Dedicated, hard-working, determined

27. What 3 words describe you as a person, not the gymnast?
Easy-going, focused, funny.