Who? Yeah, that’s what I was hoping you’d ask. Haley Graham, super-pumped female gymnast who blows away the competition with genius tricks and phenomenal backbone. Keeping it real, she and her crew take no prisoners. Today, she’s burning treads on Women Who Wow Wednesday.
You say you haven’t seen Stick It? There’s no excuse. Get it. The girls in the film are those who zombies would fear. They wouldn’t even need shotguns. All they’d need is a pair of leos to bust some bones. With gymnastics described more as a car race, you’ll love the lingo:
Burt Vickerman: You’re popping your clutch, losing traction.
Haley Graham: I’m not popping [censored]
Burt Vickerman: Are you sure?
Haley Graham: I’m so sure I’m practically deodorant.
Haley Graham (played by Canadian actress Missy Peregrym) gets caught busting up a new model home with her bike. The judge gives her a choice: boot camp or VGA. No way is she goin’ to VGA. Boot camp. The judge begs to differ. VGA it is.
VGA—The Vickerman Gymnastics Academy—notorious for turning little girls into elite gymnasts at the cost of injuries. What did Haley get herself into? There are over 2000 navy seals in the U.S. There are only 200 elite gymnasts. The price? Six-hour days training tricks that could kill you.
Haley’s philosophy is simple: “If you’re gonna eat mat, you eat mat hard.” And why not? If you’re going to do something, you do it to win. No half-hearted attempts. No one remembers second best. But Vickerman (Jeff Bridges), coach extraordinaire, doesn’t want Haley eatin’ mat. He asks, “Are you gonna learn to control your tricks or do we need to have an ambulance on call?” As if Haley would respond to a rational argument, “Call ‘em up.”
And what does she think of her training with Vickerman?
Gymnastics tells you no. All day long. It mocks you over and over again. Telling you you’re an idiot. That you’re crazy. If you like running full-speed towards a stationary object, vault’s for you. If you like pealing pieces of skin the size of quarters off your hands, bars is for you. If you like falling, then gymnastics is the sport for you! You get to fall on your face. Your ass. Your back. Your knees. And your pride! It’s a good thing I didn’t like falling… I LOVED IT!
Her fire for perseverance and thunder for winning infects the entire team with wild results. Pretty soon, the other girls are popping their clutch.
Yet Haley’s not all about Haley. When one of her teammates gets trashed by the judges ‘cause her bra strap is showing, Haley’s defiance proves incendiary with the other gymnasts. Screaming full speed toward the vault, she stops short of busting her trick, pops on the apparatus, exposes her bra straps, and purposely scratches on her attempt.
Burt Vickerman: Wait. Next time you should stick your tongue out too.
Haley Graham: I would, but my coach likes it when I control my tricks.
Haley’s move gives the gold to her teammate since all the other gymnasts scratched on all their vault attempts as well.
That’s what Haley’s all about, not to prove she’s the best, but sticking it so the team would be the true winner in the end.
RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, on sale October 22.
Have you ever sacrificed something you wanted for the good of someone or something else?