Staying Positive by Doing What You Love


Ella Colquhoun and Bella Boyas

With the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been difficult for people to stay committed to their values and goals because of how unmotivated many individuals have felt. People that have true dedication and passion towards their goals will discover a path to success because staying motivated is key to success. One individual that has found ways to push through the difficult times by being persistent towards the activities she loves is Julia Ripp.

At just two years old, she was starting gymnastics for the first time. 15 years later, and she is the captain for the girls gymnastics team. After three years as a member of South’s varsity team, Ripp was selected to be the team captain for the 2021 season. After so many years of hard work put into practicing skills, competing in meets, and going to the gym to train, gymnastics has been a very big part of her life. 

For Ripp, gymnastics has not only been a sport she’s participated in, but it’s also given her qualities to use in everyday life. She said, Learning to be positive after a bad practice or not getting a skill is something I’ve been reminded from doing gymnastics. You need to keep going, and not give up. Like in life, if something is not working out you have to keep going to get where you want to be.” Gymnastics takes a lot of dedication and mental focus, and it’s changed Ripp’s mentality in different situations.

After being on the varsity team for her first three years of high school and exemplifying encouraging and hard working qualities, Julia was chosen to be the team captain for the program. Not only has Ripp led workouts and helped her team train, she has also emphasized the importance of team bonding. “I want it to feel like a family”, she said.I really want everyone on the team to know each other. Whether they are on varsity, or just trying out for JV for the first time, I really want everyone to be included and feel like they are a part of the team… I want to make sure there is a lot of cheering and encouraging teammates.”

Unfortunately, due to the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic, all winter high school sports were cancelled. Because of this, the gymnastics season was unable to happen. Ripp said, “We trained the entire summer, and were expecting some type of season because gymnastics isn’t considered high risk. Three days into the season, it was cancelled.” Though this was upsetting news, Julia remained positive. “A lot of times people would be sad to hear that, but for me, I’m grateful for the three years that I’ve had and have accepted it if it doesn’t come back,” she said. 

Not only is Ripp the captain of her gymnastics team, she is also the co-owner of an embroidery business called EJ.Embroidery, which she and her friend recently started. Ripp spends her time being a dedicated captain to the WWS gymnastics varsity team while also being a hard-working individual towards her embroidery business. 

With having so much free time on her hands during quarantine, Ripp began sewing little designs on old sweatshirts of hers or on her sister’s hammy downs. Ripp talked to one of her friends who also loves embroidery and one night they did a night of embroidery and they got the idea to sell them. Ripp said, “I got so many compliments whenever I wore a sweatshirt I designed and multiple people told me to sell them because they would definitely buy one.”

Ripp single-minded herself to start up a new hobby to keep her busy during quarantine and when she discovered embroidery she fell in love with it. “Embroidering gives me a break from being behind a screen and it puts me in such a calm and relaxed state that’s much needed during all this chaos of Covid-19,” she said. With her gymnastics season being cut short, Ripp realized that staying motivated to do something she loves is what would help her get through some of the rough patches she experienced. 

Being able to sell her products such as sweatshirts, shirts and tote tote bags gives Ripp a feeling of accomplishment and joy because being able to share her happiness with others makes her feel joy inside. “It’s fun to experiment by putting different colors and patterns together because it’s totally my own by not having to follow anybody else’s ideas or steps when designing the products,” Ripp said. 

Being a devoted gymnast and a hard-working embroidery business owner, Ripp’s accomplishments have set her aside from others her age by how devoted and motivated she has been and continues to be. Even during this difficult stage of life, she has continued to work toward her passions. This has been a motivation all throughout the pandemic.