The pressures of staying on top in Hollywood can be overwhelming, even to the most seasoned of celebrities, but add those and additional pressures of youth on the shoulders of a child actor and you can have a recipe for disaster.
You can’t remain Pinocchio forever. One day you have to grow up.
Making a successful transition to another life, your next life, can be extremely frightening and challenging.
“Sometimes the transition from being in control of your life to having absolutely no control is swift, but other times it is so gradual that you wonder exactly when it truly began.”.. Mickey Rooney
The Hollywood stories are legend. Alcohol abuse, failed careers, broken marriages, psych treatments, rehab and unfortunately even death fill the new chapters of their story.
So while many who re-invented themselves and transitioned out of the Hollywood bright lights to a successful but more quiet life are to be deeply admired, the story of former college super star gymnast Kristina Baskett is one, where after sports retirement, she’s transitioning into a new Hollywood life as a stunt woman.
Let’s meet this gorgeous girl.
At the informative college site utahutes.com they are proud of one of their own. “Finished her career as a 12-time All-American … seven NCAA medals included the 2006 NCAA uneven bar championship, two silver medals (2008 vault, 2009 all-around) and four bronze medals (2008 all-around, 2009 vault, 2009 bars, 2009 beam) … 88 career victories ranks fourth all-time at Utah … hit 216-232 of her career routines … two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American (2009 first team, 2008 second team) … three-time recipient of the Dahl Award, which is given to the Utah gymnast who most distinguishes herself academically and athletically.”
That is amazing and those are just the beginning of her accomplishments.
When you read about Kristina, you find yourself eager to learn more.
Her larger family at ncaa.org provides that and more. “Born and raised in Normandy Park, Washington near Seattle as the daughter of an airline pilot and a stay-at-home mom, Kristina got her first fateful taste of gymnastics at the tender age of 2 years old. She dabbled in other activities throughout her childhood, including swimming, diving, T-ball, soccer and dance; however, gymnastics emerged as Kristina’s sport of choice.”
So after a brilliant career in college, what’s next? Who do you evolve in to?
“Life is one big transition.”… Willie Stargell
This a common intersection that former popular high school cheerleaders and football players find themselves standing in and looking around cautiously at potential transition streets to walk down after graduation.
Previously they defined themselves by their specific high school pursuit.
But after high school, who are you then? How do you re-invent yourself?
It can be frightening.
In a quote found at the Washington Times, Kristina expressed, “It was a scary decision. I never thought I would be happy in a place like L.A., but I embraced it and followed my gut and it has paid off,” Baskett said. “The parts I’ve had have given me a taste of what acting could be like, and I want more.”
Very good. She’s off to a good start. The initial journey is always in the mind.
And what a transition.
As reported at archive.sltrib.com, “Baskett, who earned 12 All-America honors for the Utes, is enjoying a rising career as a stunt double. So far, her résumé includes appearances in a Nationwide Insurance TV commercial as she flips and turns her way through a house as a sort of anti-cat burglar, acting as a stand-in for actress Jana Kramer; an appearance in TV Shows “CSI New York,” “American Horror Story: Coven,” and “Grimm;” an Under Armour commercial; and several appearances in various Disney productions.”
Heady stuff. A-List movies working with big name stars.
Kristina seems to have been raised by a well-rounded village.
Let’s travel there now and view what helped shape this beautiful rising star.
Normandy Park is a cool place in a wonderful and fresh part of the world near Seattle so we are happy to find a very warm welcome at the city site ci.normandy-park.wa.us.
They smile, “Welcome to Normandy Park. Normandy Park is a beautiful waterfront community located along the shores of Puget Sound in King County, with convenient access to downtown Seattle and the SeaTac International Airport. With approximately 6,500 residents and covering an area of about 2.5 square miles, the community places its highest priorities on maintaining and enhancing its quiet pedestrian-friendly setting and providing a healthy and safe environment in which residents can raise their families.
The City of Normandy Park has over 100 acres of parkland, all of which are open to the public. There are six major parks within the City, two of which are low intensity nature preserves. There is also one recreation center building, and several mini or pocket parks.”
Very refreshing. For those of us who have frequently visited the great Pacific Northwest, we know that it is a scenic and spiritual paradise.
As she peers back into her past, Kristina is proud to mention how much she appreciates the value of the academics, the travel opportunities and the general sense of camaraderie she enjoyed as a student-athlete.
What we might appreciate from Kristina’s life journey is that she met and succeeded in an area that so often dethrones the most capable of us.
“Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome.”… Isaac Asimov
Life transitions can be so formidable and seem like the highest mountain to climb when falling down far below to the jagged rocks is a real possibility.
We can wait for life to force change upon us, which can be devastating, or we can take steps to pursue what we love and fight for that transition.
Kristina is clearly a fighter, a great champion and an inspiration to all of us in that when we face life’s transitions, frightening though they sometimes may be, we should continue to move towards them and embrace our new future.
~ ~ ~
OPENING PHOTO CREDIT (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)
Sources: brainyquote.com, Wikipedia, fciwomenswrestling2.com, FCI Elite Competitor, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.