In Ludus Veritas

February 20, 2010
By troupwood BRONZE, Boulder, Colorado
troupwood BRONZE, Boulder, Colorado
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

In Ludus Veritas
If I nail this event, parallel bars, my event, I might make all-around finals and surely event finals, at nationals. This is the minute I have been training for, every day of the last year; this very minute, hit or miss.
The meet organization is deteriorating; the rotations are no longer by the clock; people are everywhere.
There is no real order: “If you are warmed up, go compete.” Am I warmed up? Go compete! What mat should we use? Get the bars ready! Put chalk on. I need to relax. I can’t focus with all this; I need to take a moment. “Troup! You’re up.” I have to nail this. All this, busying up my head, I need some room in there, to focus.
My mount, my handstand, my half turn. My Diamodov goes too early. I’m falling on the ground. I just forfeited my entire gymnastics career. I can do this in practice, why did I have to miss it now? The shock hasn’t hit yet. I am falling again on my dismount.
Why don’t I give up? It’s over. I shouldn’t even care what happens next on high bar. But no, I have to channel my anger and frustration to do the best high bar routine of my life. I am furious about parallel bars, but I know that I can make it up on high bar, I know that I have another year, and I know that college coaches are still looking at me. It’s not all bad.
My failure on parallel bars at nationals only motivated me to swing back up and make the best high bar routine I have ever done. I caught my releases perfectly and stuck the dismount. Gymnastics teaches me that I can get through even the toughest situations and always rely on myself. Physically, I trust my body to survive hard practices, injuries or scary new skills. Mentally, I know that my muscle memory and mindset can motivate me through difficult times. Mind has power over matter, and if I really want to do something, I can do it. Philosophically, I have to be truthful to myself. I work toward being my best by trying challenging skills, but I know I can’t accomplish skills that even an Olympian couldn’t do. I try my hardest but set realistic goals. This means learning to live with limitations. I have also discovered that it is necessary to sacrifice other parts of my life to make time for gym. I find myself wishing I had more time and I didn’t have to cram my schoolwork into half hour slots. There have been many times when gymnastics got rough and I wanted to quit. But this ability to get through anything has kept me going, and let me accomplish my goals. I believe that training intensely for a sport has taught me perseverance and determination. I believe In Iudus Veritas.

The author's comments:
I wrote this and submitted it to the "This I Believe" radio contest.

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