Parents It's over :(

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Cloe Forner

Proud Parent
Nov 30, 2021
Y'all she quit. She thought about it (and I mean thought about it), weeks and weeks of Deciding. For those of you who don't know, she has a stress fracture in her back and this is why she quit. She was so good, she tried so hard at every practice, and she got so far. And shes so sad. Gymnastics was her sport. She was so passionate about it and loved/loves it so much. She didn't want to quit and if it wasn't for her back she's still be in it. She feels lost, alone, and sad. I tried talking to her but she just doesn't want to talk. She coaches so when she goes in and see "her" team laughing and having fun, it just hurts her. I'm sad for her. She wants to do volleyball but is afraid it won't get rid of that huge hole in her heart. Does this get easier? What should I do? I just feel hopeless...
It does get easier...for you and for her. It may take few things to collectively fill the hole left - gym is super all consuming and leaves a huge gap. My kiddo quit at age 11, level 8, 22.5 hrs/week practice, modified school schedule, etc etc. She really knew nothing else and it was truly a loss that we mourned.

I gave her one week to give me a list of 5 sports she was willing to try, in order of preference with the caveat that some sports will be seasonal and that "trying" did not mean just one practice. We started at the top and made it to #3 before she had found two that she just loves. But, like I mentioned above, it took more than one thing to fill the void.

That said, she plays volleyball for her school in the fall 4 days/wk and then rec volleyball for a club from November through May (off for summer) 3 days/week, dives for a club team with 5 day/week practice all year except August is off, and plays drums in a rock program that is 2 hours one day a week and then 45 minutes a second day, all year.

So essentially, our scheduling and driving duties (and cost!) have gotten more intense, but she is truly truly happy. Like happy happy. Your girl will get there!
Yes it gets easier. And perhaps she needs to step away from coaching.

Because instead of just quitting once she is essentially quitting over and over, every time she goes and then leaves.

She needs to try new things And she needs to do it by opening the new door and closing the old. Keeping one foot in the old is just prolonging the sadness.
It is so hard when they are not quite ready to give it up (injury). I'm so sorry she is going through this. Curious Cate's recommendation of getting her to right a list of other activities she might want to try - doesn't have to be sports if she is still healing. And I also would encourage her to find another job for now. She may be able to go back to it eventually but right now a clean split will help her move on. Also, she is not quitting. She is retiring - moving on. Use of more positive words can help in the change of mindset.
Of course time and trying new things will help, but she needs to make sure she rehabs her back and does any and all pt her doctor prescribes. Simply quitting gymnastics will not magically make her back better. It may be more difficult to get her to do the pt exercises now that she has quit, but remind her that she needs her back for a lifetime, and that she needs to be healthy to start a new sport. Coaching (spotting) can also take a toll on the body, and I agree it may be harder for her to move on if she keeps coaching, unfortunately. Best of luck to her and keep us updated.
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We had a girl who had to retire as a Level 8 after a 2nd stress fracture in her back. She was 15. She had started track in 8th grade and when she wasn't injured, she was either in the gym or working with a trainer on pole vault.
She did her rehab as directed, but made the decision to step away from gymnastics.
She graduated this past spring and is attending college on a track scholarship.
I was going to suggest track and field. The warmup most gymnasts do every day are easily translated to track. She of course must heal her back first. Stress fractures are common in runners, especially distance runners but usually in their feet and lower limbs. Just about every college has a track team so just think about that compared to about 80 college gymnastics teams. Our family is unfortunately in the same boat as you, but my daughter is older. Her last meet was in 2020, which was cut short by covid. Then in 2021 she broke her ankle and for a variety of reason it is still not right. She took a gap year hoping to get one more competition season in, but I don't know if that can happen since she is still not training at 100%. She may try for a D3 track team, I know she can be a good runner, but first we need to make sure her ankle can handle running. I am sorry, it is very sad to see young athletes retire due to injury, but she is not the only one who has to make this adjustment and it is hard. Remember there is a great life out there without gymnastics, but it does take time for them to adjust. I recommend giving her space and if she is willing, she could talk to a good sport psychologist/therapist to help her transition into something new. Good luck and I hope everything works out for the best.

Also, another sport is rowing, a friend of mine's daughter had never rowed before but as you know ex-gymnasts are strong and she made the rowing team at a college that accepts beginner rowers. Rowing is not a common sport, but you never know. It is also very hard!
This sounds so hard for both of you. And coaching sounds like it may be making it harder.
One of my daughter's old teammates has moved to synchronized swimming. She's using all the grace, strength, and precision she brought to gymnastics, without the impact on her joints.
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If she is on the shorter side and good at speed stuff/explosive she might enjoy Olympic Weightlifting. Also optimal GPP program for volleyball players.
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Coaching can be very healing and help in the process -- but probably not at the gym she competed for, where her own team trains. She needs to go somewhere else and be assigned a fresh group of L2s to pour her passion into.
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DD is 14 and is still doing g gymnastics part time but has joined a climbing and bouldering team and is excelling there! In her two months of trainin she has surpassed all expectations. Though I can see her putting her mind back into gymnastics properly soon, her skills have translated so well I believe she could get a climbing scholarship if she went that route
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