WAG Update on my DD (VERY LONG)

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Staff member
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Proud Parent
Jan 24, 2013
It’s been a LONG time since I’ve posted anything about my DD and the last year has been long and very complicated with some highs but also the lowest lows that I never imagined I’d personally experience in this sport.

If you’ve been following my DD’s journey, you know that two years ago she had 3 stress fractures in her back. It was during her recovery from this injury that my DD realized that not only did she want to make a full comeback, but she also wanted to compete in college…a lofty goal for a L9 sophomore trying to comeback from a significant injury! She came back and qualified for Westerns last year. She worked hard on the upgraded skills needed for collegiate gymnastics last summer/fall while also connecting with coaches at a handful of D3 schools. The feedback she received from all coaches she met was remarkably consistent regarding where they saw her strengths and how she might fit into their program. She fell in love with 2 teams, with one school/team being a better fit and I’m pleased to say that she committed to a D3 team a couple of months ago!!

While all of this was going on, there were also some drastic changes in her gym which honestly, almost broke my DD – physically and mentally. Last spring, DD’s HC abruptly left the gym and is now on USAG’s suspended list. Athletes and staff were safe but this happened during the post-season and received some media coverage where I live. As you can probably imagine, it was a sad, emotional and stressful time for everyone in our gym family. A new HC was named and the gym rallied to get through Westerns/Nationals.

The new HC was promoted from within and since then there’ve been some growing pains as the new HC has different thoughts on how to run the team. Not bad, just different and definitely a change from what had been a very specific and established gym philosophy. With the leadership change, there was also coaching changes. A few left and some were re-assigned. The coaching changes and new philosophy were not a good fit for my DD. I won’t get into specifics on what all happened but she lost skills and she never competed all around this season. She was *this close* to quitting. Even more surreal was that this all happened as she was touring schools and meeting with D3 coaches. The contrast between the positive, yet realistic feedback from the college coaches and the attitude of her coaches was genuinely messing with her mind.

There’s more though! Injury reared its ugly head. A couple of years ago, my DD was one of several with a back injury. The gym changed their conditioning/strength program and as a result, the girls were free of stress injuries for a while. With the more recent staff changes, also came changes to conditioning/strength and seven months later the gym once again had multiple back injuries. A new round of back injuries was predictable and I encouraged DD to increase rehab on her own and I even had her start PT again for some additional support. My DD is used to back discomfort. She’s learned how to work with her body and manage her training when it flares up. Last fall she would tell me that her back felt good but in light of the new back injuries in the gym, I wasn’t so sure. She ended up tweaking her ankle at a meet in early February and when I took her to the ortho for this, I also requested an MRI for her back. Her original back injury remains healed but she was well on her way to developing a new stress fracture on the other side. A sprained ankle and the back issue meant she needed at least a month off. She was hoping to come back for state as an event specialist and qualify for Regionals but you know how this played out.

This has been the biggest parenting challenge I’ve ever faced. I am so weary and have several regrets but will admit that this forced time off from the sport has been restorative and I’m looking forward to supporting my DD through more gymnastics. My DD is doing well too. The gym closure has been good for her. She’s been in more frequent communication with her new coach and teammates and she’s getting to know the other incoming freshmen on the team.

If you are still reading – THANK YOU!! I’ve been wanting to share all this for a while but didn’t’ know how, especially when we were still in the moment of it all. I’m simply so proud of my DD!! I’m in awe of her grit and determination. Thank you for letting me share this all with you.
Amazing! I love reading stories like this. Grit is everything, and I admire her ability to work through all of those challenges! Best luck to her in her freshman year!
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Love the update! congrats to her for finding her path to college gymnastics. And this extended break will help to heal those nagging injuries - at least that's what we are hoping. It's great that she is able to connect with her college teammates so soon! This didn't happen for dd until after all the incoming graduated high school. I guess it was the school's policy.
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