BEIRUT: From a gymnast to a Taekwondo fighter, Andrea Abboud can rock both her leotard and her Dobok, dazzling the audience with her multiple talents.
It all started when Abboud’s mother, who is a ballet teacher, decided to enroll her daughter in ballet classes to increase her self-confidence.
Her mother’s involvement and encouragement have been a key part of the journey; cheering her up all the way, and reminding Abboud to keep her head up and be confident be when things get rough.
“It is true that we may not be able to prepare the future for our children, but we can at least prepare our children for the future,” her mother said.
Additionally, gymnastics was Abboud’s secondary activity, but not for too long. It soon became her magical portal to a journey full of talent, success, and achievements.
When speaking of her first-day learning gymnastics, Abboud enters a trance of a flashback that plays the beginning of it all in her mind.
“I was instantly hooked. Though it looked hard at first, I never predicted failure. I knew that once I practiced, I’ll be able to perform the moves. Eventually, as I expected, it wasn’t hard anymore; it became fun,” Abboud said.
Her supportive parents made sure that every opportunity is seized, and every door opened with determination and passion.
As a result, Abboud got the chance to develop her talent by visiting several countries and taking gymnastics classes with experienced gymnasts.
Consequently, she had the courage and the competent skills to participate in many local championships where she always scored first place. She also won the gold medal in the Lebanese Women’s Gymnastics Championship.
Excitement and nervousness keep her up the night before her competitions, highlighting her committed and perfectionist spirit.
“I stay up all night excited and nervous. However, days before, I practice all day and all night,” she noted.
Undoubtedly, none of this is enough without practice and a suitable lifestyle.
“I invest my time in a way that will pay the best interest in the competitions; I train, I eat healthy food, and I absorb motivation from my parents,” she told Annahar.
She also mentioned that, other than medals, she gained strength, flexibility, courage, and a sense of fearlessness.
Unexpectedly, Abboud’s path took a different turn, and a new passion began to form. Despite her achievements in the gymnastics field, she fell in love with another sport that shifted her vision.
Her brother was taking Taekwondo classes and her mother wanted her to tag along. Nonetheless, what she didn’t know was that Abboud will thrive in that field too.
Her skills gave room for not only one, but two rather difficult sports, in which she succeeded.
“My secret is simple; I never quit. Gold and silver medals are not made of gold or silver, they’re made up of determination, hard work and sacrifices,” she said.
Abboud eventually moved on from her gymnastics in order to excel in Taekwondo, and now she plans to participate in Taekwondo competitions.
Her mother, who has always been her mentor, advises parents to encourage their children and motivate them, and not to regard the financial challenges of that as a burden but rather as an investment for a better future for their children.
Furthermore, Abboud lives by a promise she daily makes to herself, motivating those around her to follow their dreams and welcome the changes that come along.
“I will keep on doing what I love and I will give it my all. My life is in my hands and I will make the best of it, “she told Annahar.
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