Bad practice; really annoyed

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May 9, 2012
Ugh. Terrible practice. And super annoyed. Sorry in advance, this is gonna be REALLY long.

First, the practice.

So, I have pretty bad shin splints, so I had to sit out a bunch of the warm up. Then we had to climb the rope. I somehow managed to cut the back of my finger on it. I didn't notice until after I came down. I was about to do a plank hold, so I put my hands out in front of me, and freaked out, because there was a bunch of blood coming down my finger! So I went to the bathroom to wash it off and found a cut. No idea how that happened. And I got terrible rope burns on my upper legs. There's the burn itself, which is about an inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. Then, all around it, it gets really red and swollen. It is swollen about 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter, and it stings really bad. It happens every time, so my parents said next time I have to tell the coaches that I can't climb the rope anymore.
Then we did beam. I have been trying to re-get my cartwheel. I was working on the low beam, and doing them over and over and over. And then some more. I was so dizzy. Oh, and out of the 9 girls there, only 3 of us were working. And we were all on low beams. 5 other girls were sitting on the high beams talking. And the coach was talking with them. The last girl was attempting to juggle some balls she found by the beams. They kept flying over by my beam, so she would run over and get them. And it always seemed to happen right before I went, so I had to wait before every turn. One time it landed on the beam right before my hands touched, which is kinda dangerous. The coach never said anything about it. It was super hot today, and we were on the beams, which are high up, AND the beams are on a stage. So they are the highest point in the gym (and the hottest, since heat rises). My feet were really sweaty, so they kept slipping off whenever I landed. I stopped eventually, because I figured I was gonna end up hurting myself (and I was really dizzy).
Then we were on the tumble track. I couldn't do that, because even jumping on the hurts my shins. My coach gave us a on of conditioning on bars, which everyone else cheated on but me. Then, since I couldn't do anything on tumble track, she made me go on beam and work AGAIN. Ugh.
Last, we were supposed to be on floor, but the coach decided to make us go to the dance room and do ballet (we do that sometimes because we need work on that for floor routines). I couldn't do any of the jumps or leaps, which is pretty much all they were doing, so I had to sit in the corner for half an hour doing nothing. The coach basically forgot about me. I was SO bored. Oh, and she always plays music while we're doing ballet. Usually it's Taylor Swift. This time she was playing Yo-gabba-gabba (a really annoying show for little kids).

So basically, one of the worst practices I have had. Not. Fun.

And now, the reasons I am annoyed (other than the reasons listed above).

1. Shin splints SUCK
I have to sit out all the fun stuff! I have been doing strengthening exercises 3 times a day. I've been icing them after practice. As soon as I feel them hurt the tiniest bit at practice, I sit out and end up doing a ton of conditioning instead. And yet they still are here. Ugh. My parents asked why I have them and the other girls don't. Why? Because I work twice as hard as they do. And my reward? This. How fair is that? I know life is not fair, blah blah blah. But still!
2. I may not be able to compete
If these shin splints don't heal by August, I won't be able to join the competition team, which I have been begging my parents to let me do since I was 9. I have to join by August because that is when training season starts. Now I FINALLY get an opportunity to join, and I can't. I asked my dad what he thinks will happen, and he thinks that I will join but end up having to drop out because they will come back and I won't be able to make it through the season.
3. I hate rope climbs
For the reasons stated above. I have a scar on my leg from climbing the rope that will never go away. And I can't put band-aids over the rope burns, because anything sticky on my upper legs hurts more than the burns themselves.
4. My coach acts like a 5 year old sometimes
Which is okay when you're taking a break and don't feel like being serious. But when I'm trying to work hard, focusing on not falling off the beam, and having a super bad day, I just feel like yelling at her. It gets really annoying listening to her singing Yo-gabba-gabba (My name is Foofa! F-f-f-f-foofa!) and dancing around for an hour. And then blasting it out of the speakers.
5. None of my friends were at practice today, so I had no one to talk to while I was bored.

Overall, terrible day. Hopefully next week will be better. It seems to be getting less and less fun every week though. I don't know what I will end up doing. Hopefully it won't drive me to end up quitting, but I might. I love gymnastics, but if this happens every week, I don't know how much longer I can take it...

For those of you who read that whole thing, all I have to say is, WOW. I'm impressed. I probably wouldn't have read all that. :D


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Jan 4, 2008
It can be good to have a bad practice sometimes, it can help those good practices feel even more special. If every day was easy, everyone would do it. The top gymnasts are the ones who push through those bad days and never take their eyes off the goal.

If your shin splints are stopping you from doing so much, make sure you see a physio. They can often work out why you got them in the first place and help you to prevent them further as well as speed up the recovery of these ones. You do need to look after them or they can lead to actual fractures in the shin bones.

How are you climbing the rope, you should not be using your legs. Using legs changes the muscles that are being worked when you do it. Even if you can only do a little with no legs this is better than doing a lot with legs. Gymnastics is about training specific muscle actions. If you are hurting them climbing in straddle climb in pike. Or you could also wear pants to prevent it.

Your coaches choice of music does not make her immature. I know I have very strict rules about what sort of music is played in the gym because there are many young ears around, most of the current songs are not really acceptable. The gymnasts are there to learn not to bop to their favorite music. Some of those kids songs are better because they have a stronger beat.

The behavior on the beam is more concerning though, it doesn't sound like the group is too serious about their training. You parents could have a chat to the head coach or gym owner regarding this.

You are saying you want to work hard and you got frustrated that the others were chatting on beam, but also that your friends were not there so you had no one to talk to. You obviously have strong goals in gymnastics so it can be good for you if they are not there so you can work instead of talk.

If you have to sit out due to your shin splits, don't waste the time. Stretch, do some conditioning or practice some skills you can do on the side.
May 9, 2012
If you have to sit out due to your shin splits, don't waste the time. Stretch, do some conditioning or practice some skills you can do on the side.

I usually do that when we are in the gym, but I couldn't this time since we were in the dance room. It is pretty small, and there was barely enough room for me to sit down without getting kicked, let alone do skills or conditioning. That's why I really hate it when they are in the dance room and I have to sit out.

I've asked my parents about the doctor, and they won't take me. They say that I don't need it, they can't do anything to help it. They also said that most likely the shin splints won't ever go away. I hope they are not right, but I am afraid they are, because then I won't be able to do gym anymore.

I tried climbing with pants, and it didn't work. I kept sliding down. Well, I guess that was because I was still trying to use my legs. I suppose next time I will try not to use my legs. The problem is, I have to use my legs to come down, or else my hands slip off and I fall. I think a lot of the burns come from coming down. Is there another way to come down that it won't burn my legs?

I think my shin splints have a lot to do with the floor we have. It is a spring floor, but not a very good one. It is really hard and not very springy at all. I have been to other gyms with a real spring floor, and it feels really different, much more springy. Is that what is making them so bad?


I don't know what is causing your shin splints. I, personally, get them when we do some specific exercises in conditioning. We stand on one leg and hop up to a mat that is about hip-height. We only do this for a couple months out of the year, and I only get shin splints during this time. You should ice your shins every day before and after practice.

As for rope...I find that coming down without legs is much easier than going up without legs. Hold yourself up with your arms (like you would doing a chin hang on the bar, basically) and put your legs in a straddle. Then go down a step or two. You can rest on the rope if you need to. Not sure why you are getting rope burns from climbing down - are you sliding down with your legs on the rope? When we can't climb all the way down with no legs, we straddle in and out as we climb so our legs don't stay on the rope.
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