Life in a Leo show

Life in a Leo

Summary: This is 20-30 minute Podcast about all things gymnastics! We want to celebrate athletes, coaches, judges, gym owners, parents and anyone that loves gymnastics! Come join us on this journey about what makes gymnastics so great! Support this podcast:

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 Episode 40: Interview with Olympian and total inspiration, Betty Okino | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1833

This week on Life in a Leo, I interviewed the amazing Betty Okino. Betty was part of the 1992 USA Olympic Team. This was the first team to win a medal at the Olympics. This was a time when the athletes had to compete both compulsory and optional routines. Betty was known for her beautiful lines and gracefulness. She has a couple skills named after her. The most famous being the triple turn on beam.  What I loved about talking to Betty was how much mental toughness she displayed through her career in the sport. She had so much drive and determination that she was able to overcome her fears and achieve her dream of becoming an Olympian.  Betty has continued to stay involved in the sport, giving back and building on the qualities she thinks make it so unique and important in young girls (and boys) lives. Betty has recently joined the National Team Staff, she also runs her own camp called Peak Training, and choreographs routines all over the country. If you want to learn more, check out or find Betty on Instagram @BettyOChoreo or @BettyOkino.  Thanks everyone for tuning in. If you are competing this weekend, good luck! Hope everyone stays warm and don't forget to point your toes ;) --- Support this podcast:

 Episode 39: Interview with gymnastics PT expert, Marla Ranieri | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1959

This week on Life in a Leo, I interviewed Marla Ranieri, a physical therapist specializing in gymnastics. As an elite gymnast herself, Marla completely understands what these athletes go through and what they are striving for. She is working to make sure injuries don't keep them from reaching their dreams.  This is done by performing an injury prevention assessment to find out what strength, range of motion and biomechanics deficits a gymnast has that may put them at risk for certain injuries.   It was fun to learn what got Marla to this place in her career and what she is working to do to improve the care for gymnasts going forward. Definitely check out the app/resource she has created at If you have any feedback or ideas for future episodes, or even want to appear on the show, you can reach us at or on Instagram @Rebeccasmomleo.  Hope everyone has been enjoying the holidays! We want to thank our community for all the support. You guys are the best!! Hope everyone has a safe and very Happy New Year!! Looking forward to more episodes in 2019! Keep up all the hard work, stretch and condition, and of course, don't forget to point your toes... --- Support this podcast:

 Quick update - new episodes coming soon!! | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 80

Just a quick update and apology for not having an episode ready for you. We have more in the works and I’ll have a new one next week. Happy holidays and don’t forget to point your toes

 Episode 38: Interview with college recruiting expert Jill Hicks | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2309

This week I got to interview the incredibly accomplished Jill Hicks. Jill runs a business called Jill Hicks Consulting where she helps athletes in seven different sports navigate the college recruiting process. Her expertise is gymnastics but the other sports include women's soccer, women's basketball, track & field, cross country, acro& tumbling, and cheer!! In addition to helping young athletes navigate the recruiting process, Jill was an elite gymnast at SCATS and received a scholarship to compete for the Oregon State gymnastics team, where she ended up becoming the assistant coach and transitioned her career as an athlete. Jill moved back to So. CA for a period of time taking on the head coach position at Cal State Fullerton for six years before returning back to Oregon to be with her kids and grandchildren. Jill discusses how this process is a marathon and not a sprint, so make sure you are patient with yourself through the process. If you want more information, check out Jill's website You can also see all 82 schools that offer college gymnastics programs here I mention that this is episode 40 at the beginning, but in fact, it's actually 38. Whoops...hope you guys enjoy the show! Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving next week! If you're competing this weekend, hope you have a great meet!! Keep up the hard work, stay positive, and of course, don't forget to point your toes ;) --- Support this podcast:

 Episode 37: Interview with level 7 gymnast Anabelle | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 953

Happy Friday and welcome to Life in a Leo! This week I got to interview, 10-year-old gymnast, Anabelle. She is training level 7 at San Mateo Gymnastics and just qualified as a TOPS National A Team Member! What a huge accomplishment. Her favorite gymnast is Laurie Hernandez because she looks like she's having so much fun out there. What a great thing to admire! We hope you enjoy the episode. Are you watching World Championships? What do you think? What are your favorite moments so far? You can send us an email at or you can reach us on Instagram, @Rebeccasmomleo. We hope to hear from you :) If you're competing this weekend, good luck and good skill. Hope you have fun out there and of course, don't forget to point your toes! --- Support this podcast:

 Episode 36: How I manage my time, tips and tricks, past and present | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 449

Thank you so much to everyone that answered my question on Instagram regarding topics you want to hear on the show. This week I explore a topic suggested by @abriannagallo on time management. I talk about what I did when I was still a gymnast, some of the tools I use now as an adult, and ways to plan your time. Check out if you want to learn more about one of the tools I live by these days. And remember, we are all human and mistakes happen. We can't always plan our time perfectly, so be kind to yourself and learn what works for you! Good luck to everyone competing this weekend. Hope you have a great meet! And good luck to Team USA at World Championships. Can't wait to watch all the amazing athletes in Doha. If you want more info or have other ideas, you can reach us on Instagram - @Rebeccasmomleo or by email - Hope you have a great weekend and don't forget to point your toes! --- Support this podcast:

 Episode 35: Interview with Elodie Bazin, my French Colleague | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 928

This was so much fun. I got to interview one of my new co-workers who grew up doing gymnastics in France! It was great to learn a little bit about what that was like, her favorite event, her disgusting competition leotard, and some great advice for young gymnasts. It was a little challenging at times with the language barrier, but we figured it out. Let us know what you think? Have you ever done gymnastics in a different country? What was it like and what did you learn? Did you or are you growing up outside of the USA? How is gymnastics different? Let us know - We hope to hear from you! Everyone competing this weekend, good luck, stay focused, have fun and don't forget to point your toes! Thanks for listening!! --- Support this podcast:

 Episode 34: Sorry, I don't have much for you today | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 176

I started a new job and am finding it difficult to create new episodes. I'm so sorry!! But, I'm still here and I'm going to try and get new episodes out. What do you want to hear? Email me - and let me know. Have you started competing this season? Let us know how it's going. What level are you doing? Are you competing in excel? Are you heading to World Championships? Now that's exciting!! We can't wait to see who makes the team. Finally, we are running a contest to promote Miss Val's new book - Life is Short, Don't Wait to Dance. Create a video dancing, whatever you want, and email us or post it on Facebook or Instagram. Make sure to use the hashtag #dontwaittodance and tag @MissVal @UCLAGymnastics and @Rebeccasmomleo We can't wait to see what you create! Five winners will be selected and will receive an autographed copy of Miss Val's book and a Rebecca's Mom grip bag! That's it for this week. Hope you all have great meets and don't forget to point your toes! --- Support this podcast:

 Episode 33: Interview with Sophie Kleinberg | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1367

Happy Friday and welcome to #Lifeinaleo! We hope you enjoy this week's interview with Sophie Kleinberg. Sophie is training level 10 at a small gym in NYC. She started gymnastics at 7 years old after someone commented on how well she did cartwheels. Once she started training she caught the bug and was hooked. I'm sure there are a lot of things you can relate to as a gymnast in this episode. I know I certainly did. We can't wait to see how things work out for you in your first season as a level 10. Good luck and keep up all the hard work. If you want to share any ideas with us about the show, we would love to hear from you. You can reach me at Finally, we would love it if you would vote for our pink leotard in the Flo Gymnastics lovely leo competition. Thank you so much! Hope you have a great weekend, enjoy being back in school and don't forget to point your toes! --- Support this podcast:

 Episode 32: Goal setting & my USAG Nationals experience | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 550

Sorry, there was no episode last week. I'm working on figuring out how to budget my time and continue publishing this show. Thank you to everyone for tuning in and sharing your support. It means a lot. This week I discuss some experiences with goal setting as a gymnast. I provide a little insight into using a technique called SMART. You can learn more just by searching online if you're interested. I also share some of my thoughts about National Championships this year. It was so awesome seeing Margzetta wear one of our UCLA Gymnastics leotards as well as the ladies from MG Elite who competed in our leos on both days. If you liked our leos, Flo Gymnastics is having a contest right now to vote for your fave. Here's the link. If you can, please vote for the MG Elite leo. Thank you so much! A huge thank you to Maggie for thinking of us and giving us the opportunity to design her leos! --- Support this podcast:

 Episode 31: Interview with Erica Rubin Peressin | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1819

Happy Friday! In this episode of Life in a Leo, I interview a good friend and old teammate of mine, Erica Rubin Peressin. We discuss Erica's journey through the sport, getting a scholarship to the University of Michigan, and her most recent adventure, coaching gymnastics in Austin, TX. I love how one of Erica's proudest moments in the sport was when she first made JO National championships her first year as a level 10 when she was 13 years old. I also love how Erica has kept perspective on the role gymnastics has had in her life and that it's very much part of her life, but doesn't define her. Check out the episode to learn even more. And of course, this weekend is the USA Gymnastics National Championships in Boston, MA. We are so excited to watch these ladies compete. I think a few of them are competing in Rebecca's Mom leotards this year. Let us know if you spot our leos out there and what you think? Hope everyone has a great weekend and don't forget to point your toes. --- Support this podcast:

 Episode 30: Interview with Ana Villela | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1197

Happy Friday! This week I had a great interview with level 5 gymnast, Ana Villela. Ana was so fun to talk to. Her passion and excitement for the sport of gymnastics are contagious. She has only been in the sport for four years but has continued to grow and progress. Ana is so focused and such a hard-working young athlete. We discuss Ana's favorite college gymnastics team, UCLA, and how attending the camp and meeting the team have continued to inspire her through her day-to-day training. We also discuss some of Ana's goals, greatest achievements so far, and things Ana likes to do outside of gymnastics. Tune in to learn even more, and don't forget to let us know what you think. You can always reach me at with any feedback you want to share. Hope everyone has a great weekend! Keep working hard, stay focused and don't forget to point your toes. --- Support this podcast:

 Episode 29: Quick reflection on peaking at the right time | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 287

I've been having issues getting my interviews to record well and so this week I had to come up with a quick alternative. I'm working on getting it fixed so hopefully next week I can share the interview that was planned for today. Today, I talk a little bit about what it means to peak at the right time. This is not something I thought much about as an athlete. I'm wondering if it's something coaches discuss and work harder towards now and have a better understanding of how to train for it. As an adult, I clearly can see when it happens or doesn't. Some examples I share in this episode are Morgan Hurd's timing for making the World's Team and the UCLA gymnastics team winning NCAA National Championships this year. Do your coaches focus on timing things right for you as an athlete? How do they do that and what do you think about to make sure you are healthy and at your best throughout season. Let us know - Have a great weekend and don't forget to point your toes! --- Support this podcast:

 Episode 28: The GK US Classic in Columbus, OH | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 439

In this solocast, I provide the 10 (actually 11) things I'm going to be watching for at the US Classic this weekend. It's also the Hopes Championships. We are so excited to see all these amazing athletes get out there and compete. They've been working so hard and it is exciting to see it all coming together. Remember, the Juniors need to get a 51 to qualify to National Championships and Senior Elites need a 52. Some of the athletes have already qualified but most have not. Some of the gymnasts discussed in the episode include Konnor McClain, MG Elite (Zoe Gravier and Olivia Greaves), GAGE (Aleah Finnegan, Alexis Jeffrey, Leanne Wong and JaFree Scott), Sunisa Lee, Katelyn Rosen, Sophia Butler, Simone Biles, The Gymcastic Podcast, Olivia Dunne, Jordan Chiles, Ragan Smith, Morgan Hurd, Jade Carey, Ashton Locklear, Riley McCusker, Shilese Jones, Levi Jung-Ruivivar and Hezly Rivera (via a shout out from @gymnast_nateianna). Have a great weekend and don't forget to point your toes! --- Support this podcast:

 Episode 27: Interview with National Judge, Kathi Ortiz | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1315

Happy Friday! This week on Life in a Leo, I interviewed one of my friends and fellow judges, Kathi Ortiz. Kathi is currently living in the Chicago area and got into the sport of gymnastics in 1968. In addition to being a successful gymnast, Kathi was also a coach, club owner, and a very well respected judge. Kathi has had the honor of judging NCAA National Championships four times and was one of two judges on the bars panel at the 2018 Nastia Liukin Cup, in addition to judging plenty of states, regionals, and national JO competitions. One of the other really cool experiences Kathi had was performing with The Flying Wallenda's. The Flying Wallendas is the name of a circus group, most known for performing highwire acts without a safety net. Hope everyone is having a great summer! If you want to reach us with comments or feedback, you can email me at Please make sure to rate and review us! Keep up all the hard work, stay hydrated and don't forget to point your toes --- Support this podcast:


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