January 14, 2011
It’s the last practice. The last shot. The last opportunity. I only have one more tumbling pass to complete before I feel prepared for my Level 5 State Gymnastics meet. It’s finally my turn. I step up on the floor where my feet fit perfectly in the corner. I take one deep breath because I know this is my last chance to get it right.
One, two, three, four steps are all I have. My feet smash into the floor as I begin to sprint. My hands finally collide with the floor. First flip accomplished—only one more to go. My head throws back more than normal this time, but it should be okay, right? Snap. Everything around me converts to a blur. I can no longer hear the music or my fellow teammates. I discontinue my routine to find my teammates staring at me and my coach dashing towards me.
When I come home, I notice my dad waiting…ready to flee to the emergency room. I spent the entire car ride trying to bend my finger, but all I could get was a jerk and small clicking sound. Something was wrong.
Chipped bone. Snapped tendon. Surgery. I didn’t care about my finger…I cared about gymnastics. But now it was all over—my chance to achieve the state championship was long gone. I was devastated.
“Three months,” the doctor said. That’s how long I had to wait. But that didn’t matter to me…I just wanted to be back in gymnastics.
Most people may have stopped at this point and thought what’s the point? Not me. I went to every single practice to cheer on my teammates and strengthen what I could that didn’t involve using my hands. I went to the state meet and sat on the sideline, wishing I was up on the beam warming up with everyone else. Instead, I was encouraging them to keep focused…what I would say to myself if I was in their shoes.
Three months later, I was back in the game—more determined than ever to start practicing again for the next state meet.

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