Alina Goodrum, 16, before her workout at Santa Rosa Gymnastics. Press Democrat photo by John Burgess


It’s the back tumbling.
“Certain skills I’m really afraid of,” said Alina Goodrum, 16, describing the gymnastics move that most wracks her nerves.
“Ever since I can remember, that’s been her nemesis,” said Darcie Fellows, who has coached Goodrum, a junior at Analy High School, in gymnastics for seven years.
So, Goodrum says, “I have to do it every day. You have to break it down into baby steps” — first a round-off, then a backhand spring, then add a twist.
Then, for the moment at least, she’s got it down.
It’s how Goodrum, who wants to work with professional sports teams as a trainer, does things. Break it down and go for it, absolutely.
“I think it’s good to push yourself,” she said. “I’m not going to do something halfway.”
That attitude is threaded through Goodrum’s life, from Analy’s honors choir class — right now they are rehearsing “The Lion Sleeps” — to the school’s varsity softball team, where she pitches.
“I love being in control of the game,” she said, adding, “I like the change-up. It’s funny when people swing at it and it’s not even close to being there.”
Funny is good because Goodrum likes funny.
“She’s a crack-up,” Fellows said. “She’s hilarious. We do a lot of team stuff together and she’s kind of a clown.”
A Santa Rosa native, Goodrum has taken the lessons she learns in Fellows’ gym — over and over again for hours a week — into the rest of her world.
“It keeps me focused in everything else I do,” she said. It’s a mental sport as well as a physical sport. It started off as something that was just fun and it kind of grew into something that helps me.”
Goodrum’s work doesn’t all take place on the field.
She maintains a 3.87 GPA at school, partly by doing as much as six hours of homework a day, and is president of Analy High’s Interact Club.
The club has spruced up Santa Rosa’s DeMeo Park and worked on Relay for Life. Each holiday season it decorates senior citizens’ home.
“It’s really fun to get involved with the community,” she said.
Her full schedule is fine with her, though it has had an odd, an unusual, an unexpected, just a very un-teen-like effect.
“I have an iPod but I haven’t downloaded anything on to it,” she said. “I’m not very techie, so I don’t know how. Well, I know how, but I haven’t found the time.”
Her friends have taken note: “I get bugged about it a lot,” she said.
Meantime, Goodrum keeps breaking things down, getting them done.
“She gets upset, she gets mad, but I don’t think ‘quit’ is in her vocabulary,” Fellows said. “She just finds a new way to push through it.”

You can reach Staff Writer Jeremy Hay at 521-5212 or or on Twitter @jeremyhay

Alina Goodrum
Age: 16
Birthplace: Santa Rosa
Lives with: Dad, Darvin; mom, Nicky; and brother Dalton, 11
Favorite hobby: Singing, shopping
Dream job: “To work with famous teams in the NFL, MLB or NBA.”
Favorite TV show: “Dance Moms”
Favorite food: Chocolate shakes
Quote: “Never be afraid to fail.”