UCLA gymnastics signee Hallie Mossett sat down with Go Joe Bruin staffer Ryan Tabb to talk about her past and future as a gymnast. Next year, Hallie will attend UCLA as a member of the Bruins’ gym squad. She is currently a senior at Vistamar High School in El Segundo, and is overcoming a pair of troubling injuries.
The transcript of the interview is reproduced below. You can check out Hallie’s website here for more information.
GJB: What made you pick UCLA out of all your other options?
HM: I really enjoy the campus a lot. The academics are really awesome, a top-10 university. The gymnastics team has amazing coaches and girls who I love. UCLA just fits me and my personality.
GJB: When did you first realize that gymnastics could be such a big part of your life and take you this far?
HM: Well, I think I was about 7 or 8, and I did dance and gym. At one point my mom said I could only do one, so I chose gym and when I started compulsory lower level I really enjoyed it. I began to invest more time in it and when I started leaving school early for practice is when I realized it was a big part of my life.
GJB: What do you look forward to most, in terms of academics, at UCLA?
HM: I’m excited to learn what I want to learn about. I’m going in undeclared, but I have an interest in humanities and anthropology.
GJB: What happened with your injury? Where were you? How did it occur?
HM: In 2011, I got in a minor car accident and broke a little part of my hip. I took some time off to let it heal, but went back to competing afterward. Right before the Pan-Am games it started hurting again, so I went to the doctor. I needed surgery and got a few pins put in my hip. Then I came back so I could train and go to Nationals the following year, but I broke one of the pins in my hip. I had to come back from that in September, only to tear my ACL preforming a skill on beam. I needed surgery for that also, and I got it in November. As of now, though, I’m doing pretty well.
GJB: What has the recovery process been like?
HM: It’s been long and hard. It’s really hard to get my leg back to where it used to be. I didn’t realize how well I moved until one of my legs didn’t move very well. It’s been long, and I’m still trying to recover.
GJB: What’s the the most important thing gymnastics has taught you?
HM: [Sighs] So many things. It’s taught me to have a lot of discipline. I’ve been more punctual because of it. I learned to be more accepting of other peoples’ ways of doing things in different cultures as I traveled everywhere. I also learned to take constructive criticism and not only look at the negative side of it.
GJB: What’s your favorite pre-collegiate gymnastics memory?
HM: Probably traveling with the U.S. team. Going to camps and Nationals. I liked participating in and winning the Hopes meet. It was the first year they did something for my age level and I was only 11.
GJB: What do you think, on a gymnastics team, is most important to build camaraderie?
HM: Support from everyone. I think it’s really important to build a sisterhood—or a brotherhood—for whatever team you’re on. Even if you’re not the best of friends, just know that everyone has your back.