She is a level 8 this year...officially upper level!
Because of the situation with the new gym they are practicing, and with hurting her wrist this summer, Mary was more nervous than I have ever seen her.
The morning of the meet, I couldn't find Mary. Sam told me she was outside.
"Huh?" We had just had a huge storm the night before, and it was FREEZING cold outside as well.
Sure enough I looked outside, and there was Mary.
She was in her competition leotard and winter coat. She was on the trampoline that had about 18 inches of snow on it, and she was shoveling the snow off with our shovel.
I opened the back door and asked her what on earth she was doing.
"I am shoveling off the snow so I can get one more practice in before my meet!"
I wish more than anything I had taken a picture of her at that moment.
My little girl out there, in a competition leotard, shoveling snow off the trampoline in order to squeeze in just one more practice.
THAT is some serious dedication.
She just didn't feel ready for the meet, and that was a very new feeling to her. She has always gone into her competition season feeling confident and ready.
It broke my heart to see her struggling so much with her confidence in not only her tumbling, but in her coaches, in her wrist, and in herself.
I wish I could say that the meet put all of those fears aside, and that she just blew it out of the water.
It was not the case, in fact, it was just the opposite.
Mary was a pile of nerves for double mini. She actually pulled off her passes beautifully, but her landing on of them was off, and she not only took a step, but took a step out of bounds. Mary is great at sticking her landings, this was a confidence thing for sure! She came away with 5th place, which was great, but not was she is capable of, and she knew it, so she was frustrated.
Next up was floor.
The floor was extremely hard, and several upper level tumblers were falling, hurting their wrists, and not able to get much height.
That was a bad recipe for Mary, with a wrist that was just recovered from an injury.
To make things worst, the judges wouldn't let her wear her normal wrist brace, because it is black, and they have to be nude color for the meet. (don't get me going...don't even get me going)
So, Mary did her warm up pass, with cold muscles, because she waited two hours in between events, on a hard, floor, with a crappy brace and a tender wrist.
After her warm up pass, she immediately grabbed her wrist and looked panicked. She glanced up at me and started crying.
Now, Mary does not cry much, at least with tumbling. I have never seen her cry at a meet, or at a practice. Neither has her coach. So, the fact that she was crying was a big deal.
Her coach was nowhere to be seen, which only added to my fury, and her nerves and confusion with what to do.
I told Mary to just scratch the event, but she just kept saying she could do it.
So, she did it.
And she actually did dang well.
The only problem is that she could not do her full twist at the end of her second pass, because she did not have enough power because of her hurt arm.
After her second pass, she completely fell apart. She was shaking, pale, and in tons of pain.
I was madder than a hornet. Coach wasn't anywhere to be seen, judges made her take off her brace, and the meet was so behind that she had to tumble on cold muscles.
I am a momma, hear me ROAR!!!
Mary ended up with 4th place, which is amazing for not even doing one of her skills. She was still discouraged though.
We got home that night, and talked and talked and talked. She thought about quitting, she thought about trying All Star Cheer, she talked about switching to a different gym, she thought about sticking with it, and so on.
She was really upset.
She is finally an upper level tumbler, which was a big goal of hers. She is finally doing the tricks and skills she has wanted to do for so long, and she is almost at the peak of her tumbling.
It can be really frustrating to move to a smaller gym without the equipment to accommodate upper levels, have three weeks off tumbling right before a meet, due to the move, have a coach is seems to be getting disinterested, and to have an injury to top it off.
Ben gave Mary a blessing, and I told her to just keep on keeping on and see how things unfold.
I told Mary that it is up to her to decide where to go from here, and to look deep and see what she really wants, really loves, and really wants to do.
She took it seriously.
She came to me a few days later saying that she wants to "keep on keeping on," and try to overcome the obstacles and see what comes of it. She wasn't ready to give up, not yet.
That's my girl!
So...she is in physical therapy 2-3 times a week getting her wrist worked on, she is busting her bum at practice, doing everything she can on the double mini and trampoline to perfect her skills that don't require her wrist, to get her form down, and to just keep moving forward.
|the "wax dip" at physical therapy is her favorite. It is a deep tissue heating strategy.|
He has seen this injury before, and he knows what to do for it, how to help it heal faster, how to wrap it, and how to help Mary learn to push to a certain point of pain, but then back off when it is "bad" pain.
She is quickly learning healing pain versus injury pain.
She is quickly learning all about tissue massage, stem machine, ultrasound, wax dipping, range of motion exercises, and so on. She is being a champ through the whole thing.
Mary is definitely right in the middle of a big learning moment in her life.
One of the reasons I love sports so much, and really hope my children will all get involved with one sport or another, is because of all of the learning, discipline, self esteem, confidence, and sometimes keep on keeping on when the going gets tough.
That is the most important lesson. When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
Those are life lessons that are so valuable.
I am proud of Mary for fighting through this rough patch, and I pray every day that she can pull through, be stronger for it, and fight her way back to the confident, powerful, and beautiful tumbler that she is.