Personal Essay: Your Gymnastics Career Is Over

2007 Words 9 Pages
“Your gymnastics career is over.”

I pranced my way to the middle of the floor and took my starting position. The generic routine music started off slow, but quickly picked up. It was the first meet of the season. The previous year I placed second at the Idaho State Championship, with the difference between first and second being an additional step. Although I was one level higher and had tougher competition, I was determined that this was my year to take the first place trophy. If that was going to be true, I had to dominate this first meet, the debut of my level five skills. All eyes were on me as I danced, turned, and leapt my way to the first tumble trick of the routine, a front handspring. Even though I had done hundreds of front handsprings
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I was cleared from both my doctor and physical therapist to compete once again. My team and I walked across the gym to our next event, the vault. Like my front handspring, I had practiced this hundreds of times. All I had to do was run down the runway, jump on the springboard, and use the power from the springboard to flip over the vault. It is the same concept as a front handspring, but with a giant spring board that gymnasts use to get over the vault table. I even had two chances to do it to the best of my ability. All I had to do was stick the landing. A lot of preparation happened so that I could be perfect in this moment. I bought a brace, packed my bags, and flew down to Boise, Idaho for my chance to redeem myself. I had just competed on floor all dolled up with complete and utter confidence and finished my routine with no pain at all. I was all giddy with the thought that I had made it past the worst part of my injury, but boy was I wrong about that. I was fine with no pain throughout the entire warm-up and my first shot at my vault, but when it came to my final trip down that runway, I sped as fast as I could, let both my feet leave the ground, and boom. When I landed onto the springboard, that same pain struck its way through my injured knee, but this time it was accompanied by a pop. Right then I knew something was terribly wrong. I stopped there in …show more content…
It was a completely different change of scenery from last week when I was stuck in an MRI machine that engulfed my entire body and made loud, uncanny noises for the full forty minutes of the exam. I couldn’t decide if I was more scared in this week’s small office or last week’s big machine. Although it was freezing in the office, sweat started to build up on my forehead because I was too anxious for the words that would come out of my surgeon’s mouth. And they were the exact words that I didn’t want to hear. While they were what I expected, I tried to convince myself that it wasn’t reality. It took a few moments to wrap my small mind around the big news. Though my surgeon only told me that my gymnastics career was over, I felt as if he told me my life was over. That might seem a little over-dramatic, but to little nine-year-old me who spent four hours each night at practice, gymnastics was my entire life. My schedule was wake up, school, practice, dinner, homework, sleep, and repeat. I put all of time and energy (which nine year olds have a lot of energy) into gymnastics, and now all that work was for nothing. I was beyond devastated by the

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