Breaking the Streak

March 11, 2010
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Clearly, I ended my year off rickety last year. Having difficulty in school and anxiety in my home, my own sanctuary, was only the start of my problems. My slacker of a teammate also bailed on me and she was the only other girl on my team. Left every day (except Tuesday) in a soul binding gym to practice six hours with, what I thought, a dictating coach was gnawing at my spirits. I was going through a streak of bad luck and there’s no other way to spin that, but I knew I was enduring through it for a cause.
Just recently, I placed seventh in the country for rhythmic gymnastics, which landed me a coveted spot on the US national team. Now that the season has concluded international assignment were being given out if you could prove yourself at the national team camp. Leaving for the Olympic Training Center in a mere two days, my coach noticed me limping. Usually she wouldn’t care, but surprisingly she asked me what was wrong. Skillfully, I had been hiding this jutting pain in my foot for about two months because I knew if I told my coach, Ira, she would demand my parents to take me to the doctors. This meant I could bid the Pan American Games in Cuba goodbye. Too scared to lie to her piercing eyes and interrogating questions, I told her the truth. Not surprisingly, my theory was proven correct because the minute I told her, Ira told me to get it checked out. The doctor found a torn capsule in my toe was the cause of my searing pain. That was it. Everything I had worked for, down the drain. The two months of perfect attendance at practice even when I was sick had just gone to waste. Two months of awkward silences with my coach and masking my injured foot was for nothing. I was crushed when they slipped me into that imprisoning cast, which intended any hope of representing the USA out of the question.
Still, my coach and I went to Lake Placid for the camp so I’d feel more united with the team, but I would be vegetating for the week of camp and for about four months after that. To spend my time at the training center doing equipment work, conditioning and muscle wrenching, stretching. It was an opportunity well squandered. As I watched the other girls suffer under the pressure of competition I felt my eyes burn with envy and the longing to suffer alongside them, but I manage to holdback my tears. They all resented me because I wasn’t doing anything, but really I resented them for having this amazing chance to represent the USA.
I wanted to prove myself to the chairman of rhythmic gymnastics, Caroline, along with all the other coaches that I was a determined worker and it paid off. At the end of the camp they congratulated everyone and Caroline singled me out and noted how proud she was of me and what a diligent worker I was, but all that praise from my fellow national team members and their coaches’ was soon wrenched away when she announced who would go to Cuba. Never in my life had I ever felt so out of place when they slowly called the lucky candidates. The reason we decided to go to the camp even though my foot was temporarily lame was to make me feel like I was part of the team, but really it did the complete opposite. Originally, only three girls born in the year of 1995 were going to be picked, but they wanted America to be strongly represented in Cuba so they picked all four girls to go. I was the only one born in 1995 that wasn’t chosen. I guess I thought that my hard work would show I could be ready in time for the Pan American Games, but it was a childish thought that brought me nowhere, but lower in my emotional state. I didn’t cry… but I wanted to. My chances of going were so high and I couldn’t believe I just let it slip away. My coach asked me if I was okay; I was able to lie this time and said I was fine and understood the circumstances. Not wanting to cry in front of anyone, I decided to make my congratulations quick. To bring the day to an end, we all went to our dorms. I stayed up through the night and quietly sobbed to myself, careful not to wake my roommates. Feeling remorse for carelessly sharing my foot predicament with my coach, I cried a little more. While thinking about my recent decline in luck, I regretfully pitied myself.
Now I have made a full recovery. My foot is back intact, but I’m still working on my dignity. I now regret crying that night. I regret not giving the most enthusiastic congrats to my fortunate teammates. I regret not telling my coach about my foot right when the problem arouse. I now know that I will come back to the new season as fresh as ever. And even though my foot was a small chink in my plans, I also had an unthinkable opportunity to work on things I would never have had the time for. This is me now and the streak is broken.





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