Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Unseen Path

I don’t understand, truthfully I don’t want to. What I really want is to cry and mope and carry on. But I don’t want anyone to see me. I stare at the wall in my room and try to convince myself that it’s not the end of my world. That’s silly; the end of my world would be much more dramatic. So I think back to what happened, to what went wrong. To that single moment that meant so much and held with it the ability to render me a complete failure. All I had to do was hit one routine, a routine I had been nailing for weeks. As I slowly fell from the high bar I pulled with me my dream of regional’s. Gymnastics isn’t like other sports; you have one chance to hit every routine and then you’re done. But I didn’t want to be done, I wanted to do it again and fight harder this time. I learned that carrying that passion around with me was my key to successes, but for some reason I couldn’t see it, at that moment all I saw was pain.

My memory is incredible and recalls the moment with perfect clarity. The first half of the routine was good, I made my handstand half pirouette on the low bar; not a single deduction could be found. Alright now the rest is easy. I thought to myself. It is a tragedy that I was wrong. I remember telling myself to fight for the handstand, to not let myself fall. But I was too late. My dreams were crushed and now came the hard part. Now I had to pretend that I wasn’t upset; I had to put a smile on and finish the routine and not look back. Guess that’s out the window. I recall the long walk back to my gym bag. I didn’t want to look at the score board and made a point of facing the other way. I already knew I wasn’t going; I had to nail bars for that to even be a possibility. The feeling in my gut was unbearable and it still is. It’s not just the pain of knowing but a physical pain as well. It’s like when you get a huge burst of adrenaline but instead of giving you energy it only makes you more tired. It’s a feeling that continually reminds you that you have failed and there is nothing you can do that will change it.

I walked back to my parents; the meet wasn’t quit over yet. My mom’s face was kind and all I could say was hi, then I sat next to her in silence. I tried my best not to cry. I hate crying in public. I was doing pretty well, until my coach came by and talked to me.
“Good season Tamara.” she said
“Yeah.” I tried to agree
I waited until she was gone but then I burst into tears. My mom has always been good at comforting me. I love her for that. But there was nothing that could keep me from crying. I was devastated and I had planned on staying that way. I think it was strange for her. I’m usually the tough one, the one that doesn’t let them see me cry. I tried to remind myself of that when they started to call out awards, but it was very difficult. I did get one medal for beam; I got 4th place, which was the only good part, everything else just reminded me of the feeling in my stomach. It was awful, I should be celebrating my first state medal but instead my entire experience was soiled by a single fall.

As they were announcing the names of the girls going to regional’s I decided to slip away to the ladies room. I didn’t really want to hear that I wasn’t going, I already knew I wasn’t but it’s different when it’s confirmed. Looking in the mirror I saw some stranger looking back at me, her eyes were red and blotchy and she didn’t look a thing like me. I remember thinking it could be worse; couldn’t it? I could be dead or dying. Yeah, it could be worse. But it didn’t make it hurt any less. When I came out of the bathroom my coach hugged and verified what I already knew.

The next day I chose not to go to gym. My two other teammates made it and I didn’t want to ruin their happiness with my depression. Later I found out that they were both mad at each other over something silly and my effort to make them happy was foiled. Maybe that’s what gave me life again. Maybe it helped me remember my passion, the one I had been hulling around since State. Hearing about them fighting gave me a different emotion to feel, instead of just being sad, now I was angry, at them. Not because they made it and I didn’t but because they weren’t enjoying it. They should be celebrating and not fighting. With that one emotion I was given a new outlook, I was going to enjoy my medal and make my team mates enjoy their accomplishments as well. I also chose to be the best I could be and never let myself give into sorrow. The next time around my dreams won’t fall, they’ll rise. I’ll take my passion and work harder than anyone. It will be my own personal goal to never feel such a dreadful feeling again. Now I choose to thank both Bethens and Jones for allowing me to see a new light, if it weren’t for them I would probably still be a mess. I would also like to thank my silly fall for giving me a new goal, a stronger fire inside and a great determination to conquer anything that stands in my way.



Three months later
Three months ago I was a total wreck. I was unable to see the bright side to anything, until I learned a very important lesson, sometimes out of failure comes achievement. This will stay with me for the rest of my life. I now know how it feels to fall, but still have the ability to rise. Recently I have made many accomplishments including release drills on bars and other new exiting skills. Confucius once said “Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall”. Now that my lesson is understood I can finally comprehend the meaning of this very important message.



Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

Site Feedback