I was falling head first then...Crack! I heard the bone in my elbow snap. At the time I did not know that I had broken my elbow but the x-ray showed it nice and clear. When I got to the elbow specialist he told me that to repair it I would have to have surgery. I was so emotional because all I wanted was to have a good year competing for my gymnastics team. It was even harder coming to the gym because I thought the coaches were going to be disappointed in me. I had to tell them that I was going to have surgery and take about six months off. I knew it was going to be hard because gymnastics was the most important thing to me at the time. I wish I would not have had to go through this experience but it made me who I am today.
After the recovery of my first surgery, I thought I was so close to being back to where I was before I was injured, but God had other plans for my life. I ended up having to have a second surgery on my elbow because there were complications from the first surgery. When hearing this news I was devastated. I was again sad because I thought it was going to be my comeback season and also a bit nervous on if I would be able to recover. The one emotion that was new was the one that felt like giving up. I had never once before thought about giving up gymnastics because I always knew that I was naturally gifted at it. But as I watched girls that I was above start passing me, I was so discouraged. I didn’t know how to express this so I just continued doing gymnastics while I was continuing to lose confidence.
The recovery process was so hard but I learned so many lessons. They are lessons that I do not only use in sports but in my day to day life. I learned that for things to improve you have to speak up. I always felt like I was alone and that nobody had gone through what I had, but when I started sharing my feelings I realized what I was going through was common. It also put my injury in perspective. When it first happened I thought it was the end of the world and that I would never bounce back, but after talking to people I realized it was a mere bump in the road to the goals I was trying to accomplish.
While the previous lesson was one that I am glad I learned the most valuable lesson I learned was that if something is worth it, it will be hard. I know, sounds simple but this was the hardest lesson for me to learn and something I still struggle with today. I could not grasp the concept that I was not winning first place at every meet anymore. At first, I took that as I sign to say I should not continue to do the sport. As I’ve gotten older I understand now that it was a test to see if I was committed to the sport. I still believe I struggle with this lesson today as my first instinct is to give up on something when it is hard, but my injury has put it into perspective and now I believe it is just a matter of desire. If the desire to do something is strong, then you will push past and achieve it.
In conclusion, I have come to the realization that this injury only made me stronger and it made me who I am today. Looking back, I understand that the lessons I learned not only helped me in gymnastics but in my everyday decisions. I would not trade this experience for anything in the world as these were some of the first lessons the world had taught me. I would not be where I am today without these lessons.