Sunday, July 25, 2010

I Miss My GGC Team; But a New Journey With G+ Awaits Me!

A lot has happened in the past 2 years of my life.

Three years ago I sustained an injury that kept me out of the sport for over three months, and then a week before I was released to start training again, I shattered my foot in four peices. That was a difficult year for me. I missed out on State, Regionals and Western Nationals. I quit training at my home gym that I had been at for 16 years of my life, I transitioned to another gym that I stayed at for a few months and then I made the biggest decision of my life and moved three hours away from home to live with my aunt and uncle, to train at a better training facility. It was the best decision I have ever made in my entire life.

I fell in love with my team. It was everything I had ever dreamed of. Grace Gymnastics became my new home! It wasn't easy though. The first few months I had to prove to the coaches and myself that I was a capable gymnast. After not training for so many months, (a total of 7). I was in the worst shape of my life and re-learning skills was a difficult task in itself.

Finally, in mid-February I began making progress. I finally was almost where I had been a year before but God had different plans for me, and for many of my teammates. Two weeks before state I re-injured my wrist, in the exact same time frame that I had injured my wrist a year before. I was devastated. I competed one event at state and it was a disaster. Regionals and Westerns were out of the question once again.

I had high hopes of getting to compete at Y-Nationals with my team and began training way too soon. I re-injured my wrist and decided to take the summer off from training. It was gut-wrenching to watch my team come together as a family and win Y-Nationals in the level 8 and 9 divisions without me. I felt like I really didn't belong.

I could not wait out the summer and began training one month later. However, I was much more patient with my wrist and really avoided a lot of skills that would flare up the pain.

When school started up in September and I returned to Grace, all my patience was lost. I pushed my wrist way too hard too fast. I was stressed with college and my body was already stressed as it was. I got really sick and finally decided to call it quits. For once I really felt ready to leave the sport all behind. And maybe I would've had better luck doing so if I hadn't decided to start coaching 5 days a week.

It was an unbelievable opportunity that was rewarding in some aspects but I wanted to return to the sport of gymnastics. I kept thinking of how little I had ever accomplished in the sport. I was reminded daily of how my career was ended. So as I coached, I avoided becoming coaches friends because that would make me the same level as they were. I wanted to remain the gymnast in the situation. Due to this decision, I remained half way between lives. I no longer had any friends because my teammates now considered me a coach and I would not join forces with the coaches. I became extremely lonely. The only social life I had were my 10 years and younger level 4's... I was miserable and stuck in a place I didn't want to be in. That was another miserable 9 months of my life and I wanted out! I lowered my hours of coaching and began training.

I tried to start training with the team at first but I felt unwelcomed, especially by one particular coach. I felt I would not be allowed back onto the team so I began training elsewhere. For the first few months I kept wondering if I had made a mistake. I didn't feel like I belonged, I still felt burnt out and scared of many skills. My wrist still felt like it was not totally healed but I knew if I waited any longer, I'd never be able to come back. I felt like I was starting over again for the third time and I hated that feeling more than anything.

In April, my aunt I had lived with, died of pancreatic cancer.

I began traveling home more often, skipping classes and getting out of work. Coaching became a chore for me. And coming into the gym that I no longer felt I belonged with, (or maybe never belonged with) was agonizing. Especially when I was secretly training elsewhere. I realized it was a blessing I had not tried to return though, God had planned for this. For both of the optional coaches had made the decision to go elsewhere to coach. One coach had been there for more years than I had been alive, the other had been there for nearly a decade. Their leaving was a devastation to the team. Gymnasts began dropping like flies and I eventually quit coaching. It was hard to watch a team fall apart. I had seen it happen before in my lifetime and two times was more than enough.

I was not happy where I was. Returning home gave me such relief and joy that returning to college was like returning to hell. The days that I came home I spent with family and eventually got permission to train at my home gym every once in awhile. Being back at the gym where I was raised seemed so surreal and at first it surprised me that I loved going there so much. As weekends came and went, I continued to come into Gym Plus for a few days at a time. Before I knew it, I was training there more and more. My perspective on life had changed and everyone seemed to notice. As school ended and summer began, I really began to take my training more seriously but I loved every moment of it! This made me feel more confused though. Why would God bring me back to a place that gave me more joy than I had felt training for a very long time, a place I felt I belonged but likewise, a place that I thought would never let me come back to their team. I had no idea what to do. I knew I would not be happy anywhere else. Once again I felt I belonged somewhere but how long would that belonging last, it wouldn't be long before I was back on a road leading to nowhere. And then my prayer was answered.

I was invited back onto the team. I feel stronger, happier and that I'm right where I belong once again. I am so excited and honored to get to be on this journey with other girls my level, with the same dream as I have and loving the sport more than anything. It seems I've made a full circle. And no longer am I doing this sport to try to accomplish something unrealistic. Instead, I'm doing gymnastics because I love it, because I learn new things about myself everyday from the sport, because I get so much joy out of training, competing and being on a team full of strong leaders. I don't feel lost anymore, I feel right where I belong.

With that being said, I still miss my Grace family more than anything. They have left such a HUGE, positive impact on my life! I don't know where I would be today with out them. Since this post was inspired by this particular Grace montage, I decided to post it. You guys are sooo bizarre but I miss your crazyness sooooo much!!! Love you all!!!

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