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Lost Dreams

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She knew it was over for her. There was nothing left for her to do. She never thought this would happen; it had never even crossed her mind. But the unthinkable did happen, and it changed her life forever.

Sarah Falston was a special young girl. She started crawling, walking, running and even tumblesaulting all before the age of four. So Sarah’s mom made the choice to start her in gymnastics at the age of five. For the first year, she would have gymnastics two hours a day three days a week. Every year her abilities were becoming stronger and her hours becoming longer. As of last year, eighteen year old Sarah was practicing gymnastics nine hours a day, seven days a week.

Sarah’s lifelong dream was to become a famous gymnast and compete in the Olympics. She was so dedicated to what she did and she loved it more than anything. As a gymnast, she was forced to be on a very strict diet. She only ate what was necessary and from this she became so emaciated, but it was what she needed to do to stay a successful gymnast.

Tryouts for the Olympics were in November of last year. That year she would work every day on her routines perfecting them, trying to make them better and adding new tricks and moves. Every move, every routine, she was so meticulous about getting everything right. She was sure that her routine was perfect!

Finally, it was three weeks before tryouts when her coach decided to make a drastic change in one of her routines. They both knew how risky it was, but her coach believed in her and he knew she could do it. Adding this move is very rare because of the amount of failed attempts and injuries. But her coach coerced her to try the move, knowing she could pull it off if she really tried. And the next day, she did. She had to be confident to pull it off, so she went to practice the next day confident, fighting back her nerves, and tried the move.

Sarah and her coach both went crazy and became ecstatic as she landed the move perfectly. She practiced the move many times, just pulling it off every time, but still with perfection. Until one day, she came into practice not feeling so well, and she wasn’t really all there. But she knew that she didn’t have time to take a sick day off now, she needed to practice. And that was the day her life changed forever.

She practiced all of her routines, saving the hardest for last and right as she was making her last final dangerous move, she messed up. Not only did she mess up, but she made a near fatal mistake, a mistake that changed her life. Sarah Falston, gymnast of nearly 15 years, became paralyzed from the neck down. And just like that, her gymnastics career was over.

Her whole life, all Sarah wanted was to travel the world with the women’s Olympics team. She knew then that was never going to happen. So she gave up, she quickly went into a depression, feeling that she had wasted her whole life on nothing, and that she no longer had a purpose.

A week before the Olympics started, Sarah got an unexpected call from her old coach. She teared up a bit; hearing his voice brought back so many memories of her good life, her gymnastic years. But it’s the thing he said next that shocked her. He told her that he spoke with the Olympics committee, and told them her story. They wanted her to come on the road with them, and travel across the world with the Olympic girls, mentor them, and have her dream come true.

Although Sarah faced an accident that changed her life forever, all of her hard work paid off. Her dream was to travel the world with the girls’ gymnastics Olympics team. It’s not exactly what she thought it would be like, but it’s still a dream come true.





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