Over the last couple of days I have been pushing really hard on Front Handsprings. Now this technique of itself is not a very hard technique to master. The challenge is I have torn my knee up 7 times doing this technique in the past and the emotion is incredible every time I go and do it. Coach has been incredibly supportive during my process of overcoming my fear and moving towards doing this technique without a spotter.
I recently have been watching the series ‘Make It Or Break It’ about four teenage girls with Golden Dreams for Olympic Gold. There is a LOT of drama and the gymnastics is very solid but I have cried a lot watching the heartbreak the #1 Champion Payson Keilor do a bar routine come off the bars and break her back. For a number of episodes, she went to doctor after doctor and each one telling her her career is over. It was heartbreaking seeing her dreams shattered. She finally found a doctor who could do the surgery however there was a 1% chance of serious injury or even death.
She had to decide to go after her dreams or play the safe road. After an agonizing period of time she finally made the decision and had the operation and after a challenging period was able to make a remarkable comeback.
I look at my journey and there would have been so many opportunities to quit. When I started back in serious gymnastics training just short of three years I could have quit with the three broken ribs, the torn calf muscle where I could not run for six months, the paralyzed shoulder or the twisted knee. There were days when it was hard to choose an apparatus because I was so limited in what I could do. At one point I was one eight to ten advil every day to numb out the stabbing pain of the ribs. There was the constant icing of body parts, the constant ripping of the hands because my callouses from being a Junior had totally gone for when I was doing bars. So many reasons to quit. Only one reason to keep going. I committed to my dream.
Every step forward in this journey is a privilege and an honor. Every step in this journey is worthy of celebration. Every technique or skill I acquire is one more tool in my arsenal. I knew when I started this journey that the chance of me getting onto the National Team and then the Olympic Team for London was so slim to begin with. My progress has been too slow, the injuries slowed me down. I am proud of what I have accomplished and although I may need to go to Rio to compete for the Olympics I am not stopping this journey. Another five years of training will make eight solid years of training for the Olympics. I look at what I have done so far and know I will accomplish so much more.
Sometimes I have the eyes on the prize so much I forget the honor and gift of the journey. I could not imagine my life without gymnastics. I could not imagine not training. It is moments like those that I suddenly reflect and look back at my journey and love every step. Every single Step. Breathing. Loving. Training. Go Heroes!!