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December 29, 2005

      Hi everyone, I hope all of you are having a great holiday season! As most of you probably already know, I have moved from SCATS HB to Wallers’ GymJam Academy in Santa Clarita. The gym is only 22 miles from my house (SCATS was 53 miles one way!) so my commute has been cut in half. Although I have only been there a week, I absolutely love it! Everyone has been so supportive and welcoming it feels like home already. Chris is really nice and gives very positive corrections. He even highlights the things that you did well before he gives you a correction to make. Kristen Maloney is also coaching me and I really like her as a coach a lot. She has so much experience from her elite and NCAA careers, that when she gives me a correction on a particular skill, I can use that correction and make the skill perfectly.

      I am really sad to leave all of my friends at SCATS and I'll miss everyone terribly. In the fours years that I trained there I had so many good times and met so many nice people, that it made leaving even sadder.

      Okay enough of the gym change drama, let me talk at little about how Worlds in Australia went!! In Prelim's I was so nervous I could hardly breath. This isn't normal for me because I LOVE to compete, but this meet was scaring the you know what out of me! When I got out there, I was thinking, "OMG I have actually made it to World Championships!!!" This has been one of my dreams since I was seven, so it was a just a little overwhelming to say the least. I felt that I was doing really well in prelims until I got to beam, where I fell twice. OOPS! Fortunately I did good enough on the other events that I made it through to AA finals.

      In finals I got 20th place which is a good starting point for the future, as I know that I can improve on that placement next year in Denmark. Overall considering my Injuries (My hand, my knee, and my toe hehehe) and the fact I hadn't competed for 18 months, I was very happy with this end result.

      At Worlds I shared a room with my teammates Beth, Imogen, and Rhian. We had so much fun and I can't wait to see them again (maybe in Melbourne for the Commonwealth Games!). Our hotel was very close to the River, and Melbourne is really lovely except for the flies! It was crazy, you would shoo them away and they would be back on you in a spilt second. It was so frustrating and I hate flies. On the last day I went to an Animal sanctuary with my Uncle, my cousin Elaine and her husband Adrian. We got to go in with the Kangaroos and hand feed them which was totally rad! They were sooo cute, especially the babies. I have some pictures which I'll try to get up as soon as I can.

      About a year ago, right after I tore my ACL, my Mom told me that if I made Worlds she would let me get my nose pierced. When we got back to California, as soon as we landed and my Mom met us at the airport she said "let's go to the piercing store". When we got to the store I was a little nervous, (okay a lot) but I wanted this so bad I just sucked it up and said, "I am going to do this!" When the guy put the needle to my nose he said my eyes might tear up a bit and I might shed a tear. He counted down "three, two, one” and then the needle went through and I really couldn't feel it, but when I saw it I instantly loved it. I also put a purple streak through the left side of my hair which looks pretty cool.

      My sister Carley had her baby on December the 1st. Her name is Kennedy Rae James-Huff. Wow, and I thought I had a long name! She is so adorable and she has my long fingers and my long toes. For Christmas I got some money, new shoes, some rings, clothes and new CD's. I think this was the best Christmas ever! The family also got together to sing karaoke and it was really funny!

      Around January 22nd I will be traveling to the UK again, this time to try and make the English team for Commonwealth games. Beth and Imogen are already named to the Team, so I hope I can make it as well. Rhian and Sam (Bayley) will be competing for Wales at CWG's, but I think we'll still talk to them ;) If I make Commonwealths then right after I hope to compete for Britain at European's in Greece. Then of course I want to do World's again in Denmark next October.

      Okay I'd better go now, but I hope everyone has a fantastic new year. Thanks for your support, Shavahn.

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