Zoie Pelfrey – Gymnast – US Glove Brand Ambassador
All her life, Zoie Pelfrey has been ahead of the curve. She started walking at just 10 months; she completed both seventh and eighth grade in a single year; and with just six years of gymnastics experience she’s already a level 10.
Zoie began gymnastics at the relatively old age of nine, but was no stranger to the sport. For years, she watched her older sister compete before deciding she wanted to give it a shot. Beginning as a level four, she quickly leapfrogged up to seven. Since then, she progressed through levels eight and nine, to where she is today.
For the most part, Zoie chooses not to dwell on the fact she trains with girls who have been in the sport for as long as 12 years. She jokes her body feels like she’s been doing it for 12 years too – the product of near constant pounding from 20 hours of weekly practice. Unfortunately, Zoie’s gymnastics career has not been without adversity. Nearly two years ago, a double layout gone wrong left her with three stress fractures in her back – which were only discovered after enduring six-months’ worth of intermittent rest and attempting to fight through nearly unbearable pain. Despite suffering a couple of setbacks on her path towards recovery, Zoie is luckily healthy today.
That experience made injury prevention a bigger priority for Zoie, who uses US Glove grips and Tiger Paws. “I rely heavily on my Tiger Paws for vault,” says Zoie. “I couldn’t imagine vaulting without them honestly. I really don’t have many aches and pains in my wrist on the vault.” Zoie is especially thankful for the plastic dowels, which have given her grips far greater longevity than anything she used in the past.
When Zoie reflects on how much she’s accomplished in so little time, she’s overwhelmed with gratitude for those around her. “I couldn’t do it without any of the help or support that I have right now,” says Zoie. Her family is the greatest support system of all. When Zoie first took up gymnastics, her family lived in Kentucky. Every day her mom gladly drove her an hour across the border into Ohio, patiently waited for the four-hour practice to end, and drove them the hour back home. Ultimately, her mom accepted an early retirement to make sure no obstacles would stand in Zoie’s path to follow her dreams. “I wouldn’t want it any other way,” her mom said – although she’s quietly counting down the days until Zoie gets her driver’s license.
In the sixth grade, Zoie began homeschooling and instantly knew it was a good fit. “My mom’s here to help me, but I was really just teaching myself,” said she says. One day Zoie, who’s always looking for a good challenge, approached her mom about attempting to complete seventh and eighth grade in a single year. Cramming an entire year’s curriculum into a single semester – twice – might not have been super fun in the moment, but now she finds herself with more freedom with big decisions on the horizon.
Zoie’s hard work means she can graduate ahead of schedule in 2023 or wait until 2024. Unsurprisingly, she’s going the early graduation route. Big picture, the goal is to receive a gymnastics scholarship and she’s excited to have the opportunity to talk to college coaches starting this summer. Having spent her entire life in Kentucky and Ohio, Zoie is ready to branch out and says she is considering schools in California and Utah – basically the other side of the country.
In her free time, Zoie enjoys hanging out with her close-knit group of friends, coloring, and bike rides. This summer, Zoie is looking forward to spending a lot of time at the pool.
US Glove admires the diligence with which Zoie approaches all facets of her life. We’re proud to have her onboard as a US Glove Brand Ambassador and can’t wait to see what the future holds for her. Unleash your superpower with US Glove!