Gymnastics Practice This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

Every day I come to practice with
legs so sore I'm surprised I'm walking.
Limp arms hang at my sides.
The slightest pull at a tendon
feels like it will rip off the bone.
I don't show pain.
I look around as other girls smile
And try my hardest to smile, too,
but I know I'm breaking.
Waking up at 6 in the morning,
wouldn't be so bad if sports
didn't take over seven hours
of each and every afternoon.
I am a zombie; practicing floor routines
for more hours than sleep,
the only girl in my school
who spends more money on hospital bills
than shopping for white sheer shirts at

the mall.
And I never get a French manicure;
it would be chipped in a day.
I don't bother doing my hair
it'll be pulled back in a hair tie
with dozens of knots after school.
And those off-the-shoulder tops
look bad on broad shoulders.
School work is done as quickly as possible -
quantity before quality. Social life
is too difficult to keep up with.
I spend two hours icing and heating my legs,
my back, arms, shoulders, neck and abs.
I ask myself:
Is this what I really want to do?
Clouds of chalk and dust permeate the gym,
the scent of old floor routines.
Sounds of a perfect practice return:

cheering and laughter
The reasons why I love this sport
flood back to me, as I salute
to end another routine.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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loveagymnast96 said...
Jul. 29, 2011 at 11:59 pm
I completely agree with you. I have had a back injury for years and i cannot stand to be in the gym some days. the competitions and hard work pay off and make it all worthwhile. Nice writing :)
PerfectMGymnast This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 19, 2011 at 5:49 pm
so relatable!! i love how you wrote this!! it really does show the hard life of a gymnast!! :)
RachelAndersen96 said...
Nov. 22, 2010 at 6:19 pm
This is deep. I can relate to this. It's very hard for being a gymnast. 
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