took up gymnastics, which left him with
little time to bond with new classmates
after school, he says. In the gym, he’s
one of only two male athletes, so most
of his social interactions are limited to
the girls around him. “Everyone at the
gym understands the time constraints,”
says Shawn, whose former girlfriend was
also a gymnast.
A typical weekday for him and Nicole
consists of school, practice, then two to
three hours of homework before bed. So
far, their school work hasn’t su;ered, even
though they’ve had to miss two weeks of
class this year for competitions and a visit
with their choreographer in California,
their mother says. ;ey’re mindful that
they need to keep their grades up: Nicole
wants to be a dentist one day, and Shawn
hopes to be a mechanical engineer with
his own company. (If acro makes them
more attractive to colleges, that would be
a plus, their mom adds.)
“A lot of my friends at school are athletes, too, so they get it,” Nicole says.
“;ey know that when I can do something with them, I do.” But it’s easier to
spend time with her acro friends, whose
schedules easily sync with hers, and five
of them hang out together away from the
gym in the limited free time they have.
She and Shawn don’t complain much
about the toll the sport has taken on their
social lives, though sometimes Nicole
wonders what it would have been like if
she’d chosen a di;erent sport, like skating or dance, which attracts more boys. “I
go to an all-girls school and I’m in pretty
much an all-girls sport,” she says.
At their gym, a nondescript cinder
block warehouse with an open floor,
mats strewn all around it and practice
belts and ropes hanging from the ceil-
ing, Nicole and Shawn are a fixture.
She remains the fierce competitor who
enjoys doling out advice to any young
gymnast who asks for it. He’s the guy
with a smile on his face who’s quick with
a joke to defuse a tense moment. He no
longer stands out as a curiosity, though
once in a while he’ll attract unwanted
attention. “When his sugar is low, his
phone goes o; and the whole gym hears
it,” Nicole says as she chalks her hands
midway through their 3½-hour practice
one evening this past December.
Shawn can now press his sister
straight into the air with one arm as
she grips his fist with both hands. She
maneuvers herself into a straddle position and he eases himself to his knees
and then into a seated position, his sister
still high above him. A gaggle of young
girls practicing nearby pauses to watch.
One of them mouths: “Wow.” ■
Dina ElBoghdady spent more than two
decades as a journalist at several ne wspa-
pers, most recently ;e Washington Post.
BayWoods of Annapolis, the only waterfront retirement living community
1br, first floor walkout w/fully enclosed
porch w/additional outdoor patio, look
out onto Bay, owner priced to sell.
CHESTER - #201
Beautiful Bright Apartment Southern
exposure, enclosed porch area, Pass
through in kitchen area 1BR,
with 1 full bath.
CHESTER - #202
1BR, 1. 5 Bath, North side, engineered
hardwoods, fully enclosed porch area,
very spacious 1,000 sq. ft. Apartment,
priced to sell.
CHESTER - #405
Beautiful 1BR, 1. 5 Bath, South Side
southern sun exposure,
recently remodeled apartment, fully
enclosed porch, built in bookcase,
very nice location.
SEVERN - #206
2 BR, 2 Full Bath. North Side, our
best - selling model featuring
1380 square feet.
WYE - #418
Southern Sun exposure, First Floor
Apartment w/enclosed porch and
outdoor slate patio, Great water views
from outdoor area of Chesapeake Bay.
WYE - #421
1b, 1. 5 baths 1100 sq. Ft. Southern
side w/Southern Sun Exposure,
exquisite water views of the
Chesapeake Bay, enclosed patio
MAGOTHY - #225
1600 sq.ft., Southern Sun exposure,
w/four seasons patio balcony area,
fantastic water views.
7101 Bay Front Drive
Annapolis, MD 21403
Please call for more information and to schedule a tour.
Bay Woods of Annapolis, located on the Chesapeake Bay of
Maryland is a residential cooperative living community, offering
continuing care with retirement amenities on site.
Your view from our waterfront.