Gymnastic Short Story

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Jan 26, 2008
This is a story i wrote for school. It had to talk about and an accident and how it can change your life so this is what I wrote. There might be mistakes that I forgot about.

Live Your Life

''Live your life.'' That’s what I always told her to do. And she did it every time, perfectly. This story is not about me, it’s not about you, it’s about someone who’s life changed dramatically in matter of seconds and defined with a broken heart, forever.

I met Anastasia when she was six years old. A little girl she was for sure, running through the gym’s entrance door with a huge smile on her face that I will never forget. ''I want to become a champion'' That’s the first thing she told me. Little she was, she still had big dreams. That’s what made her different, so unique.

I immediately saw huge potential in Anastasia. She was never a natural, that’s for sure, but she did have something I couldn’t see in the others little girls, and that thing was determination. She did gymnastics everywhere she could. Walking through the levels faster than anybody I ever coached, actually she use to tumble them.

Beside gymnastics, that magnificent little girl, had other dreams. One of them was to become a nurse, just like me. Each time there was an accident at the gym, I use to run to the gymnast injured to help her, and I could always see Anastasia, right there, by my side. I use to tell her stories about what happened at the hospital that day and I could literally see sparkles in her eyes. '' I want to help people''. That was her response when I asked her why she wanted to become a nurse.

Through her life, I met with her once a month to talk about her objectives, short and long term goals. For me, her forehead was stamped with the word Olympics.

Anastasia made it to the elite level at age 14. She was training 23 hours a week to become what she first told me when I saw her, ''A champion''. Her first elite meet was coming and she placed high expectations on herself, more then any other gymnasts in the gym. She worked harder than ever with little time left for herself. She came to the gym 7 days a week to be as prepared as possible.

One week before the meet, we were working on her new bar dismount, a double layout, which she needed to get perfectly before the meet. She did couple in the foam pit and I saw that she was ready to try it on the hard competition surface for her first time ever. The pressure was high, all the gym watch her get onto the bars. ''I’ll help you for the first one '' I told her while I could see she had tears in her eyes because she was so afraid. She got all her body and soul ready for this.

Anastasia hit her handstand, continue through flawless giants. ''ONE…. TWO……'' I cried to her while I was getting myself ready to help her. ''THREEE''. She let go the bar and everything from that moment felt in slow motion. Her head was held backwards because of the force of gravity but as she came down her body wasn’t the way it was supposed to be. She was at a feet from the floor and her head was still not at a normal place. ''AHHHHhhhhh…'' I screamed as I was getting forward to catch her. But it was too late, she was now laying on her back, eyes closed, barely breathing. I knew all the gym was in shock but nothing else then Anastasia mattered anymore. The nurse in me took over even though, I had tears rolling off my cheeks. After checking her pulse, I put both hands on her head to immobilized her fragile body. ''CALL 911 Lydia!'' I told my assistant who looked paralyzed by the fact Anastasia wasn’t moving anymore.

''Don’t worry! I am here honey!'' I whispered in her ear. Her eyes open delicately like it seemed practically impossible to do. ''Don’t move!'' I told her softly. She lift her eyes to look at me, right in the eyes. She saw that I was crying and seemed terrify just by this fact. ''I can’t feel my legs anymore!!!'' She cried with such and intense voice, that it made me cringe. I didn’t realise the gravity of the accident until she said that she couldn’t feel her legs. ''I’ll be there for you no matter what!''. That was the only thing that could come out of my mouth. This made her face lit a little with a fake smile that seemed so painful. I tried to see where it hurt by touching every vertebra carefully, but everything I touch put her in such an extreme pain that I had to stop.

Few seconds later, it seemed, I heard the paramedics coming with the stretcher. ''She’s been in a serious spinal cord injury, her heart is beating at a normal rate, I’ve been immobilizing her head since the accident'', I told the paramedics like it was a normal case that I’ve seen many times at the hospital. But it wasn’t normal. I was talking about someone I’ve known, someone I’ve actually cared about, someone I loved. ''We’ll take over madam’!'', they told me. I moved rapidly from their way.

Moment later, I was in the ambulance, with Anastasia on the stretcher, eyes closed. I was there holding her hand tightly and talking to her with such a calm voice that I don’t even know how I did it. Inside, I was screaming. I couldn’t believe why it happened. Everything seemed perfect that day. I was hoping it was just a bad dream, but unfortunately I could remember the accident fully, with every of it’s details.

I was the one who had to tell her what happened, after her surgery. The one who had to tell her that she wouldn’t be able to use her legs anymore. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to do it. She was still my little girl, the one who was supposed to go to the Olympics two years from then. Tears rolled down my face as a came from across the hospital room to her bed. I sat on the chair that was beside the bed which was usually the place where I watched parents crying. But now, I was sitting there.

''What happened?'' she asked me with a voice that seemed broken. ''You were doing your double lay’ honey…'' I had to stop. I try to look more confident. '' ….and you came stop in the middle of it and…. And… fell on your head''. It seemed that it took hours before she spoke again. '' I…. I am paralyse… now?'' Right, I said in my head to respond to her question. But the word didn’t come out like I wanted it to be, so she figured it out by herself. Tears were coming down her face like rain in April. Her parents who watched her from a distance, were destroyed. Their little girl who was the best gymnast of this quad would probably have to be in a wheelchair for the rest of her existence. They had trouble looking at her, with all the tubes and IV’s coming form her body. Just to watch her parents, must have been the hardest moment I have ever lived in my entire life.

Memories from when she was little ran through my head like a movie. From the time she came to the gym, with that huge smile on her face that seemed to cover her eyes and nose. To the last moment of her career. The last breathing of her gymnastics carer. The end of her life. Because gymnastics was her life, and nothing more.
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