Getting Back on the Floor

“Why do you have a sling?” My friend Katie asked with a concerned expression as she eyed the navy sling on my right arm.

“I sprained my elbow,” I explained to her like I hadn’t been asked that question fifty times already.
I was at gymnastics practice on a freezing Thursday in December. We were all beginning to work on aerials, which is a no handed cartwheel on the floor. I had gotten my aerial at summer camp for the first time and was anxious to show everybody at my gym what I could do. I took a deep breath before I went and took off the fuzzy, blue floor and dove into my aerial. I twisted in the air making the hair in my ponytail whip my face. As I was coming down I felt myself falling. I reached my arm out for protection as I crashed to the floor with a cloud of chalk swirling around me. When I got up I felt fine but my arm was aching a lot. There was a whisper of gasps from my friends as I went up to tell Coach Jane what happened. Jane carefully rolled up the sleeve of my blue velvet leotard to check to see if my arm was swollen. It was a little red and swollen but not swollen enough for her to let me get out of splits on the floor. I was worried about my arm and scared what was going to happen. I was usually the one getting ice packs for the person who hurt themselves not the one getting hurt but I figured I would be fine in the morning.

The next morning when I woke up, my arm still hurt which wasn’t a good sign. After 3 days of complaints about my arm, my mom took me to the doctor. The day of the appointment I felt very nervous. I didn’t want to have a bad injury because I had a big gymnastics meet coming up and I couldn’t miss that. As I walked into the doctor’s office with my arm limping at my side, I smelled the familiar smell of rubbing alcohol and wished I could sprint out of the doctors. Something about the doctor’s office always made me feel uncomfortable.

“Amy?” a nurse called.

I reluctantly followed her into a room where I said on a paper-covered bench. The doctor finally came in after what seemed to be forever. He asked all these questions about how I hurt myself. He also bent my arm in different directions, which hurt a lot. After careful inspection he said that I had to get an x-ray done on my arm. Getting an x-ray was different than I imagined. They had so many machines that looked like you wouldn’t want to press a wrong button on them.

When the x-ray was finished my mom and I waited in the hallway for the longest time. The doctor came out of a room and explained that I had only sprained my arm. He also said that my arm would heal in 3-4 weeks and that I would be able to compete in my gymnastics meet which made me happy to hear. The bad part about spraining my elbow was that I had to wear this sling that was embarrassing to wear, but wearing the sling was the least of my worries. I just wanted my arm to heal fast. When I went to school I felt worse. I couldn’t swing on the monkey bars or play ball. I also couldn’t do anything in gym class. I had to sit on the sidelines, which was hard since I don’t like to be left out. I just kept thinking about how my elbow was going to heal soon.

By the time my elbow did heal and was working fine, it had been 4 weeks just like the doctor predicted. I felt so excited when I found out I was able to compete in the meet and ended up getting 2nd place on vault and 4 all around in my age group. When I went back to gymnastics the next week though my attitude changed from excited to scared. When I got to my gym and started practicing, I felt fine but when my coach said to start aerials, my stomach did a flip. I hadn’t planned on spraining my elbow and I didn’t want to hurt it again. When I told my coach, she said I could sit out. When I went over to sit on the mat with the other people who were sitting out I didn’t want to. I knew that if I was ever going to get over my fear I had to at least try my aerial. When I punched off the mat once more and twisted in the air I came down, but this time I landed it without any problems. I felt so proud of myself for not giving up and trusting myself that I would be okay.





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digimac22 said...
Feb. 3, 2010 at 7:51 pm
I love this memoir! Great job!!!
 
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