Boy practicing routine when things go horribly wrong. But one person reacts in a jaw-dropping way

He had been doing flips on the bar when his hands slipped
February 4, 2018 3:45 pm Last Updated: February 4, 2018 3:45 pm

Colleen McGonagle of Marlborough, Massachusetts, has watched her 13-year-old son Noah blossom into an incredible gymnast.

Working hard at the sport for over half of his life, Noah has become very adept at performing increasingly difficult moves and flips.

Noah has been practicing gymnastics for seven years.

(Colleen McGonagle/Facebook)

Noah’s skills have helped him develop a reputation for himself—he has been deemed “a beast” by many of his friends and relatives. To McGonagle, he’s truly a blessing.

“I sometimes question why I got so lucky to have such a great son and then I look around at the village that has helped raise him and see how truly lucky I am!” McGonagle wrote on Facebook.

Noah owes his success to the tutelage of Coach Cal.

“They work together, along with his other teammates, 20 hours a week,” McGonagle wrote in a Love What Matters post, shared on January 30. “Cal is always there to listen. He’ll talk about the boys fears and work on overcoming them.”

“Coach Cal is not only an awesome coach but such an amazing role model.”

(Colleen McGonagle/Facebook)

Coach Cal is also always there to help should something in a routine go wrong—which unfortunately happened one day for Noah during a practice session earlier this year.

“[Noah] had a huge fall on high bar during warm ups,” McGonagle said.

Noah was doing flips on the bar when his hands slipped—and he started to free fall head first to the ground.

Coach Cal’s ingrained reflexes saved the boy’s life.

In an instant, he reached out his hands and grabbed Noah by the legs. Instead of a dangerously hard landing, Noah hit the ground without injury—and without Coach Cal’s intervention, the fall could have been devastating.

McGonagle says that the coach’s actions “saved his life.”

Although the boy was shaken from what he’d been through, Noah refused to let fear get the better of him—soon he was back on his feet to give it another shot.

Under Coach Cal’s watchful eye, everyone watched intently as Noah tried his hand at the routine again.

And he nailed it.


“Noah got right back on the high bar and had his best routine of the year so far!” McGonagle said.

“He has been struggling with high bar so this was a great accomplishment! I love how you can hear all his teammates and coaches rooting for him!”

Noah’s efforts were rewarded with applause from Coach Cal along with praise from his teammates. McGonagle is proud of her son’s determination and perseverance and thankful that everything ended up working out safely.