Sabrina Cheney has been doing gymnastics since she was three years old.
When Sabrina Cheney was three years old she started gymnastics.
At that time, it was only an after-school program that Cheney said suited her active personality. Then, the young gymnast's teacher told Cheney's parents that they should put their daughter in an advanced gymnastics class. Cheney began practicing the sport at the Orlando Metro Gymnastics.
For the past 10 years, Cheney has traveled to Orlando five to six day a week for practice, which totals about 30 hours a week. Cheney's school schedule has consisted of attending four class periods before traveling to Orlando for practice and coming home at 8 p.m. Year after year, she worked to become better. And she did.
Three times Cheney was a Junior Olympic national qualifier for U.S. Gymnastics Championships and is in her sixth year as a level 10 gymnast.
"It's hard," Cheney said. "But it's definitely worth it in the end. I grew up faster and I learned a lot of life lessons."
Now, a senior at Spruce Creek High, Cheney is preparing for graduation when she will take her love of gymnastics to Auburn University where she will join the team of about 16 girls. This year, Cheney will fill one of only three spots that were available on the gymnastics team.
And while Cheney will be competing across the nation with her new team, she has a second goal ahead of her — becoming a pediatric occupational therapist.
Cheney said that it was gymnastics that propelled her in this career direction. Being around younger athletes at practice and going to physical therapy were two major parts of life that made her want to work with children. Cheney said that because she went through physical therapy multiple times herself she wants to work with children who may need the additional assistance as well.
"I really want to help them in any way, shape or form," Cheney said. "I really enjoy hanging out with kids and always was passionate about hanging out with them."
As for gymnastics, Cheney said she would like to continue being involved in the sport but eventually on the coaching side. She said this may be as a summer job or even returning to Auburn as an assistant.
Until that time, Cheney has one word of advice for other aspiring athletes:
"Push through any obstacle, no matter how hard it gets," Cheney said. "It's always worth it in the end."