Friday, April 28, 2017

Gymnastics season has been quite a ride this year!  Over Christmas break, we went to the gym in Mt. Vernon and were pleasantly surprised because they got a new coach.  Ainsley was sick the first week we were there so she only practiced twice, but it was very impactful!  She got all of her beam skills back, got some great drills for her giant and found her love of gymnastics again.  She was pretty frustrated when we left because she lost her giant on bars and was not having much fun on beam.  We never thought she would be ready to compete when we got back, but she was, so they entered her in the first meet in January.  She didn't look too confident, but she didn't fall on anything and finished with almost a 36 all-around score.  Her giant on bars was hit or miss the next couple months and it was super stressful for her and us.  They changed her routine to make it harder and that actually seemed to help.
Before that change in her bar routine, we traveled to San Diego for her first travel meet and it was quite an experience.  We booked really late because we didn't know if she would be ready, so we ended up sharing a room with another family.  It worked out great, but the mom was a heavy breather and Ainsley had trouble sleeping which wasn't good since we had to get up at 5:30 to get ready for the meet which had a 7:40 report time.  Bars was her first event and she looked pretty good in warm up, but missed her giant 3 times in a row and didn't finish her routine.  She was devastated!!!  I felt so bad because there wasn't anything I could do :o(.  Then she went to beam and was competing her round-off back-tuck dismount for the first time and missed a foot and luckily she pulled it around, but it was a bit scary.  Floor and vault she had personal bests on, so she finished the day in a great way.  9.5 on vault....we were all happily surprised.  It was nice to get the meet overwith, so we could enjoy San Diego!  The girls went to the beach and swam in the freezing cold water and then went back to the hotel and swam and sat in the hot tub.  Then they played games until it was really late!  The next day we went to SeaWorld and had an amazing time there.  She loved hanging out with her gym friends and can't wait to travel with them again.
 I did touch that shark!

She had a meet the very next week and her back started hurting at the beginning of the week but because it was a meet week, she was told she had to complete her assignments, so she pushed through.  As I was watching her at the meet, bending over to relieve her back and grabbing her back, I didn't feel so good about what was happening.  She had her best meet by far, finishing 1st on vault and 2nd on floor and 3rd all-around with a 37.175.  I kept her home for several days and it improved a little, but even with acupuncture and guasha, she was still in a lot of pain.  She was doing very modified skills for at least a week when one particular coach made her do a skill that we discussed was not a good idea.  So, we immediately stopped going and thankfully, I had already scheduled a doctors appointment.  They took an x-ray and the doctor saw something suspicious, so ordered an MRI.  It was a very stressful couple of weeks and I had words with the coach and head coach about my disappointment in what had transpired.  I was pretty sure she had a stress fracture because after 3 weeks, it was still not better, but the MRI turned out negative.  This news was bittersweet....I was hoping to be done with this crazy, time consuming, injury causing sport, but Ainsley wasn't having any of it.  So...I had to be THAT parent and stay on top of everything she was doing to keep her healthy.  We started PT and she did a lot of cupping which seemed to help.  She is in the process of learning to use her abdominal muscles all the time to protect her back and hopefully, she can figure it out.  This process took about a month and she was still modified with only 2 weeks before state.  I guess she likes to cut it close!  Everything came back quickly but she lost her giant again (which is weird since that is the only event she could actually practice during her injury) and was a complete head case.  This sport has taught her a lot and this year she learned how powerful her thoughts are and what they can do to change a situation, for the positive or negative.  So, she has been working to train her mind as well as her body and she also prays often :o).  And, it has been really effective!  She had her best meet at state and qualified for Regionals.  We went to southern California last weekend to finish off her season and again, she had 3 personal bests there.  9.375 on bars, 9.35 on floor, 9.35 on beam and a 9.75 on vault, finishing 5th all-around with a 37.825 and 1st on vault!  She was over the moon with excitement!

Wonder what her vault coach was saying to her after she warmed up?????

Turns out there were a lot of other parents unhappy about a couple of the coaches, so the head coach strongly encouraged them to work on being positive coaches and it really made a difference!  One decided to resign and two others cut back their hours, so Ainsley won't be coached by them anymore.  She is sad about one, but super excited about the other changes.  Another life lesson about speaking up when there's a problem and luckily in this case, change happened :o).
We went to Universal Studios afterward and had some fun visiting the new Harry Potter land and riding the rides.  The kids were much more adventurous this go around!

1 comment:

Grandma Irene said...

so happy for Ainsley that her season and health ended on a positive note since she put in so much hard work!!!