Story Written by a Gymnast

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Ok so this was written by an 8th grade gymnast and its really long and has some mistakes but guys....this isn't just some sport you do for fun...this is the real stuff and in some way or another this is what every gymnast has gone through...including me.

All for A Dream

Holly bit her lip and looked away. She could feel her moms eyes burning a hole through her back. They had been arguing for the last 15 minutes about gym. Holly stared at her knee, it was wrapped up in a cream colored bandage. They were arguing over this. This wasnt the first time Holly had been sitting on the lightly green colored couch with ice and bandages on her knees or any place on her body. Neither was it the first time she had stayed up most of the night, only sleeping when her mom gave her painkillers to ease the pain. Holly was use to it by now, shes a gymnast and she is bound to get hurt every once in a while. She had been hurt many times before, but nothing like this. This truly hurt. The inside of her mouth was all cut up from biting it to make her not scream when her coach touched her knee. Holly had got hurt in front of her coach, doing a flip in the air and landing wrong. Before this though, her knees had been hurting for the past couple of months and they finally gave out. She remembered the look on her coaches face it wasnt the usual look of concern or o boy what now. It was a serious worried and fear look. Holly was lost in thoughts and it wasnt until her mom said something about taking time off, did she flash back.

What, take time off of what she turned her head and looked her mom dead in the eye.
Dont you dare say off gym, there is 2 months till level 10 nationals and I made it mom, I made it. Im not giving it up over a stupid injuries, Im not a baby I can handle it.

Thats the thing that worried her mom the most, she new Holly wasnt a baby. She once competed on a broken ankle and didnt complain about it until the end of her meet when her coach had to throw her over his shoulders because it hurt to walk. She still didnt even complain. Thats the thing, Holly did complain about her knee all night long. She had to keep giving her painkillers to make her have some kind of sleep. She knew Holly needed time off but she was so stubborn how could she ever convince Holly it was the right thing.

Holly stared at her mom, she looked tired and somewhat older. Her eyes had bags under them and her light dirty blonde hair was a mess. She was wearing the same cloths she had on yesterday, she had no time to changed. She had sat by Holly all night worried. A bit of guilt came over her, she had keep her mom up all night and so many times before. Her mom was working so hard to keep up with the financials to keep her in gym. She barley ever saw her mom anymore, only when her mom took her to gym and back. Sometimes on Sundays too. She had Sunday off of gym, it was her choice if she wanted to go or not but Holly wanted some life out of gym. She really had no time with her mom. Now that she thought about it she barley knew her mom anymore they rarely talked or hung out, there hasnt been a time in almost 2 years when they had spend a week just the two of them.

A pain shot to her stomach, had her mom just said doctors? She did. Holly hated the doctors, everything about them and how the offices are perfectly clean. The way you smell all kinds of different cleaners in the offices when you walk in and it makes you dizzy. She hates the way the doctors walk around saying big word in front of you like there so smart, and they know you have NO idea what they are talking about. How they talk to you like they know what youre going threw or how there always smiling when all they hear all day is how people are sick and hurt. Hollys only been to the doctors a couple times before. She should have gone so many times before but she refused to. They always tell her the same thing, either to quite gym or take a couple months off. I guess they dont get the sport, a couple of months is a whole season lost.

Mom I dont have to go to the doctors, Im fine really, its nothing, I have been through this before, Holly said, more like screamed. She was mad. Her mom knew how much she hated the doctors.

Holly listen to me, this is bad, very bad, this isnt just a sprained ankle or a hurt back that you can just ice and it will heal you can barley sit up with out shrieking in pain, her mom answered in a worried and husky voice. Chills ran up and down Hollys back. Holly felt the water build up behind her eyes, her throat tightened and her breathing became deeper. She didnt really know why but something told her, her mom was right and her career in gymnastics wasnt going to be much longer. She refused to believe it though, she could get through this, it was going to be ok right? Ok mom, Ill go, she answered as a single tear trickled down the side of her cheek. She wiped it away fast hoping her mom didnt see.

Holly sat there staring at the lightly peach painted living room wall. Her mom walked away to the kitchen to grab the phone with the look of satisfaction and confusion on her face. Had Holly really agreed to go to the doctorsshe didnt have to fight with her for the next hour. She was shocked; Holly had never done that. She thought she saw a tear on Hollys face when she was walking away, and that shocked her too. Holly wasnt the kind of kid that cried, the only couple of times Holly had ever cried was when she had just got hurt but it only took her a few seconds to calm down and she would stop. Sometimes she wished Holly would cry and show her emotions, but Holly didnt. She hid when she was hurting or when she was upset; she was good at it. Hollys mom picked up the phone, and dialed the doctors office. It rang twice and a sweet womans voice answered

Hello this is Houstons doctors office can I help you?

Yes, hello, this is Sadona Cartines, Hollys mom and I was calling to see if you have any appointments open today my daughter has hurt her knee badly. There was a silence and Sadona could here the women on the phone flipping threw papers to find the schedule book. She could her the background of the doctors talking and rushing around. The women startled Sadona with a loud

Yes we do around 5:30, is that alright with you? Sadona smiled,

Yes it is perfect thank you and hung up.

She walked back into the living room and looked at Holly. She was in a daze staring at the wall. You could tell she was thinking and wasnt paying attention to anything around her.

The appointment is at 5:30, we well leave at 5:15 you have 2 hours, do you want me to go grab you anything Im going upstairs?
Holly turned her head fast and looked at her mom startled.

No Im fine mom.

Alright, well Im going to go get dressed are you sure youre ok? Hollys mom answered.

Mom you are just going upstairs, Ill be ok, dont worry Holly answered with a little bit of sarcasm. Hollys mom just sighed and went up the stairs.

Holly hadnt realized but she has drifted off to sleep. She awoke to her mom shaking her telling her it was time to go. Holly awoke hoping that she was just having a really bad dream, but knew she wasnt. She sat up and put her hair up, it was smooth and silky , and she always had the piece of blond hair down in the front of her face. Her mom helped her stand up and Holly jerked in pain. She couldnt do anything with her knee it was like she had no control over it. She felt another hand lift her up into their arms, she hadnt even noticed her coach, John was there. She just smiled and looked at him.

Hey kid, how you holding up he said in a loud strong voice.

Im ok I guess, Hate the doctors though Holly answered

Dont worry it well be all right John said in a kind of shaky voice. Holly couldnt help but think if it was really going to be ok. John has always been there for Holly, through everything. Hollys mom had called him wondering if he would come along to help Holly get into the car and into the doctors office. She knew she couldnt carry Holly and she knew John would help. John carried Holly to the car and carefully set her in the backseat. Holly was tired from the painkillers, they had worn off numbing the pain in her knees but she was still tired. They drove for about 15, 20 minutes and they pulled in front of the office Holly hated the most, even the look of it made her want to gag. She slid over on the seat next to the door garbing her knee gently and gilding it with her. She was shaking. Hollys mom opened the door and John grabbed her carefully and cupped her in his arms. He had a smile on his face but his eyes twinkled with sadness.

They all sat in the doctors office. Holly was biting her nails, her mom was in the seat to the left of her holding her and John sat in the chair to the right of her, silent. Holly looked at the doctors in disgust, what were they going to do for her she thought, nothing. Holly didnt know how long they sat there but she heard her named called. Her mom stood up and helped John pick Holly up. Holly felt like a baby being carried into the doctors office for a shot, helpless and scared. They sat her down on the long seat with the smooth paper over it. They were in room 4 and it was a small room. It was painted a baby blue color and smelled like baby lotion. The curtains were an ugly red and blue mixed color and the floor was white tile. Holly sat there while the doctor talked to her mom. Her mom told her how Hollys knees had been hurting for a while. The Doctor was a girl and looked to be only a little taller than Holly. She was short and had brown hair that curved around her face. She, like all doctors, had a smile on her face as if nothing was wrong. Her name was Cindy.

Cindy looked at Holly and then at her knee and shook her head. She had seen Holly only once before and had told her to take time off gym. Holly had walked out on her and seeing Holly back must of made her think she was right to tell Holly to take time off. She asked her how it happened and Holly explained how she hurt it in gymnastics when she landed wrong. Holly made her voice sound strong as if she wasnt in pain. Cindys facial expression showed she wasnt surprised how Holly had done it. The doctor asked to see if she could remove the bandages. There was a silence and Holly answered with a yes but would prefer if she removed it herself. Holly reached down and undid the top part of the bandage with a tug and pain shot up and down the side of her leg. She stopped to let the pain linger away. She continued to remove the bandage and she looked at her mom. Her mom had an expression on her face as if she was the one in pain taking the bandage off her knee. It took Holly some time to take the bandage off, she stopped every couple of seconds to let the pain settle some what. When it was off Holly looked at her knee. It was like she was staring at a strangers knee. She has seen swollen things before, ankles, wrists, toes, arms, fingers and even her other knee but she had only pulled a ligament. She had seen so many things swollen and hurt on her body but nothing, compared to this. The doctors faced showed it all. Holly was hurt bad this time. Cindy brushed Hollys knee gently to find where it hurt the most. Everywhere she pushed it hurt but as she got behind the knee on the inner part it hurt so bad Holly jerked with pain. The doctor looked worried.

Holly the doctor said, This is bad, we dont even need x-rays, you need surgery, you have cartilage and ligaments broken in there and they need to be fixed, you have No control over your knee the doctor sighed knowing Hollys reaction was not going to be good. Holly looked at the doctor; complete silence haunted the room. Holly swore everyone could hear her heart beat. Tears swelled into her eyes,

Surgery, what are you talking about, I dont need surgery Im fineI have 2 months till nationals and Im not giving it up because some stupid doctor told me I needed surgery Holly screams and swung her arms; she was furious.
Ive gave up everything for this, to make it to nationals and work my way to the OlympicsI have had novocaine put into my ankle to compete and worked till I could barley walk up the stairs to my room. I gave up everything to get were I am and Im not stopping, Im not giving up. Holly heard something like a cry and looked around the room wondering who it was. It took her a second to notice it was her. She sat there and her mom walked over and held her in her arms. Holly couldnt stop, how could this happen to her she thought, why know. After she had calmed to a slower and silent cry the doctor continued.

Holly, this will stop hurting, as much, in a about 2 weeks and you will be able to walk, it will still hurt if you move it wrong, everything inside will not heal, you need this surgery but if you get it you cant continue with gymnastics. I know this is hard but Holly you have a full life in front of you and there is other things you can do other then gymnastics. Once again the room went quite, as if someone had hit a switch turning off the sound.

Holly if you dont get this surgery and you continue to do gymnastics and you get hurt again you may not be able to walkIt is your choice the doctor said in a gentle voice. Hollys face went white, as if she had just seen a ghost. Her voice cracked as she began to speak.

Mom lets go, please.
Hollys mom didnt say a word and stood up. John walked over and picked up Holly. Holly had almost forgot John was even there, he had been so quiet. John held Holly and walked out the door of the office, down the stairs and out the door to the car. Holly cried silently in his shirt and as he set her down into the backset of the car. Holly saw her mom coming out the door, and thought she must have stayed to talk to the doctor. A bit of guilt came over Holly, she hadnt even said goodbye or thank you to the doctor but why would she want to do that if this lady was trying to ruin her life.

Hollys mom started the car and backed out of the parking lot. She had one arm on the wheel and her elbow was on the car door, hand on the side of her head holding it up. Holly had stopped crying in the backset and was reviewing what had just happen in her head. It had happen so fast. They drove what seemed to be an eternity but it startled Holly when her mom stopped the car and she noticed she was home. She tilted her head to the side and closed her eyes making it seem as if she was sleeping. She really wasnt in the mood to talk. John opened the door carefully thinking Holly was asleep. He grabbed her gentle and walked into the house, setting her down on the lightly green colored couch. Holly felt him walk away and heard the footsteps of her mom and John walking into the kitchen. Holly listened, as she heard them start to talk.

John, I dont know what to do, I cant force her to get the surgery and quite gym she has worked her whole life for thisbut it kills me to see her hurt Hollys mom said on the verge of crying. John looked at her,

Sadona John said It is her choice on what she wants to do, whether to continue doing it or to stop but we know what she will choose.

Holly couldnt help but think he was right there was no way she was getting surgery and give up gymnastics, she was to close to her dream and she loved it to much. Holly listened more and must have drifted off to sleep because she awoke to the sound of birds outside. The sun wasnt up all the way and it was early morning. Everything that had happened the night before hit her like a ton of bricks. She thought about it almost all morning and was once again in a soothing sleep. When she awoke it was around 10 in the morning and her mouth was as dry.

Mom, can I have some water please, her mom turned around, surprised not knowing she was up.

Yeah one sec babe she answered.
Holly gulped the water down and was about to ask about gym when her mom interrupted her and told her she was to stay home for a week, no gym. Holly was stunned.

But mom, what am I suppose to do with her mom once again interrupted her.

In about two weeks I will take you in so you can have a light work out and we well see how you are doingbut until then you are to stay home and if you want ill get some 10 pound weights to lift while you are sitting. Holly couldnt argue, she knew she couldnt do anything else at the moment.

The next two weeks went by slow and boring. Holly had the same routine every day she would wake up late, eats breakfast and watched TV while she lifter weights. Her body became restless having worked out everyday to sitting on the couch watching TV all day. Her knee became better over the week she could use crutches now and somewhat control it. Her mom couldnt help but smile she walked into the living room and saw her on the crutches standing. By the end of the two weeks Holly could gently slide her foot on the ground and was walking slowly. It was Monday morning and Holly woke up early, excited to be going to the gym. She slowly walked to the bathroom and got into the shower. The hot water from the shower on her skin felt good and she thought about the rest of the day and how it was going to be. She missed the gym and all the girl in it, but she missed her best friend Jess the most. It was around 8: 00am when she got out. Her mom had got up while Holly was in the shower and she didnt even notice when Holly walked into the kitchen. Sadona was in a daze worrying about how the rest of the day was going to go; if Holly was going to understand she wasnt going to be able to do tricks right away.

It was around 10:00 when Holly and her mom got into the car to go to gym. Holly had taken some Advil before leaving to make the pain in her knee ease. The ride to the gym in the car was weird. The car was silent, no music was on, the windows were up and it was 80 degrees out side. Her mom just stared out the window at the road not saying a thing to Holly and Holly stared out the window to the right of her. She saw the same thing she has seen on the way to the gym for the last 7 years. The wide-open desert with the beautiful the bright sun. They pulled into the parking lot of the gym and Holly gently got out of the car. She walked to the door slowly with her mom behind her. She could smell the chalk from the gym and she could hear heather screaming,

Point those toes, chin up

Holly couldnt help but smile. She missed heather, heather was another coach at UGE gymnastics and they called her the Drill Sargent. Shes hard and notices everything and well, condition the crap out of you. She wasnt mean she just knew what she was looking for. Holly opened the door into the gym and her mother followed. The door creaked loudly and everyone turned and looked. It was eerie and silent. Finally Heather broke the silence,

Blondie! she screamed
Holly couldnt help but smile; Heather had called Holly that sense the day she walked into the gym 7 years ago. Heather walked over and hugged Holly and then Hollys mom and looked at Holly and then at her wrapped up knee.

You never take it easy do you Blondie? Heather said with a bit of sarcasm.

How could I you have always told me never to quite, to keep going couldnt disappoint you now could I? Holly said as she looked as Heather with a smirk. As all of this was going on most of the girls were staring at Holly, trying not to jump off the beam or bars and run over to say hello to Holly. The gym was like a family, they cared for each other, and helped each other when they needed it. It wasnt until Heather yelled,

Alright girls come on over, and you heard all kinds of thumping as the girls ran over.

Be careful girls dont kill her Hollys mom screamed and laughed at the same time. Holly hugged them all and her heart felt warm. Then she saw Jess, Jess ran over and everyone moved aside.

You could have came to the gym sooner to tell me you were ok I was worried sick Jess said, sounding as if she was Hollys mother. Holly and the girls laughed,

How would I have found out you cared about me so much if I didnt worry a soul like yours Holly giggled. The girls talked for about 5 minutes and was broken up when the girls heard,
Back to work girls, you have had your time, back to work. It was John, and all the girls scattered back to what they were doing before Holly came. Holly turned around and looked John right in the eye. He looked serious as he told Holly to go to the tramp and do some jumps but to be very careful. Hollys heart was jumping for joy, she was back in the gym. She didnt care what was happening she was just happy to be there. Holly took off her cloths and had a light purple metallically colored leo on. The leo was her favorite, it fit her perfectly. It looked just like a bathing suit but much prettier. You really couldnt tell the difference.

Holly walked across the floor and up the stairs slowly onto the tramp. Her mom and coach followed. Holly could feel all the eyes on her as she stepped onto the tramp. It made her feel weird and scared. She didnt know what was going to happen when she jumped. She took a deep breath and looked at her coach, he looked at her and said,


Holly was so use to following what she was told, she was good at it. When she was told to point her toes she did, or to straighten her leg, she did. So when her coach told her to jump she did. At first it didnt hurt so she jumped higher and higher. She looked around and she could tell they were all holding their breath wondering what was going to happen. She heard her coach yell,

Ok now only do a flip and land, then stop

Holly did what she was told, she didnt flinch or show a sign of weakness, and she flipped and stopped. She then heard again,

Flip and twist, only a half her coach said firmly.

Holly heard her mom say, that doing that may be too much and her coach said not to worry Holly was strong. Holly jumped 123 and she flipped and twisted a full and landed. She saw the smile on her coachs face and a feeling of pride sweep into her. Hollys mom looked at her terrified,

He only said a ½ and you just did a full

Mom dont worry Im ok, see Im standing Holly answered. John broke in fast alright Holly I dont want to put to much pressure on your knee for the first day back go put your grips on and ill help you on bars. Grips are cloth that go over your hand to help you grip the bar. Holly walked down the stairs onto the floor. She could hear everyone whispering and heather yell,

Nothing to see girls! you have seen her do things like this before, back to work and she winked at Holly. Holly walked into the girls locker room in the gym the tile on the floor was cold and it send shivers up her spine. She opened her locker number 24 and grabbed her grips. Her locker was decorated with all kinds of different things, ribbons metals, pictures of her on trips with the gym girls and newspaper clippings of her winnings and her team. The room was quiet and Holly could hear everything happening outside. The sound of the feet running down the runway pounding on the spring board and the sound of girls clipping the bar and the chains holding the bars up rattail. Holly didnt know how long she had been in there but she heard the door open and she turned around fast to see Jess standing there.

You ok Holly, you have been in here for a while, Jess asked

Yeah Im fine I was just getting my grips and I got lost in thoughts Holly answered looking at Jess with a look like, mom sent you in here to talk to me, didnt she?

Yeah your mom did send me in here to talk Jess answered. She was good at that, she always new what Holly was thinking by her facial expressions.

Come on we better go out before they think we got lost Holly said and walked out the door and Jess followed. Holly wasnt in the mood to talk about what had happened with getting hurt and everything, she just wanted to work out. Holly chalked up her grips so she wouldnt slip off the bars and made sure they were tight around her wrist. She called John over and told her she was ready. John told her to only do basic things like kips (swinging and pulling up on the bar) and giants (doing a handstand and swinging around the bar). Holly went to jump for her first kip and it was good, she jumped off to go for another and her knee gave out and she fell. It hurt her, and she sat there for a couple of seconds worried she wouldnt be able to get up. Her throat tightened and her stomach twisted. She stood up slowly as her mom ran over.

Are you alright sweetie, are you ok Hollys mom asked her.

Yeah mom Im fine I just fell, no big, Holly stood up with her moms help and got on the bar to jump to the high bar to do giants. John was over by the bars know telling Holly to point her toes and to suck in. Giants were a piece of cake. Holly continued on bars for a while doing different things not big things just little. Every once in a while though pains shot up her knee. She didnt want to show it hurt, worried her mom would make her leave. It was around 2:30 when Holly had finished with bars. Her arms were tired and her body ached. John just looked at her and said go to beam and do small jumps and turns. The beam is a 4-inch piece of wood with fabric over it to make it a little softer for a landing. Heather watched her carefully making sure Holly didnt fall. Holly did little jumps she tried a couple big ones but almost fell straight off the beam when she landed. Her knee was killing her. She was starting to worry now, what if her knee didnt heal by nationals what would she do. Then she thought about it, the doctors had told her, her knee was never going to truly heal. Holly felt like she had just split the beam, her heart hurt. She hadnt even noticed she had stopped and was standing on the beam looking like a complete idiot, thinking, until Heather freaked and was like, OMG are you ok, to Holly. Holly slid off the beam and looked at Heather and said,

I think Im going to stop for a while. Heather just looked at her a nodded. Hollys mom walked over and asked what was wrong and she said nothing she was just tired and wanted to go home. Holly hugged everyone good bye and told them she would be back tomorrow. She walked out the door with out turning her head to wave good bye. She sat in the car and starred out the window as they drove from the gym. Holly had a headache and her knee burned and stung with pain.

When they got home Holly didnt say anything to her mother; she opened the door to the house and limped straight up to her room. She laid in her bed and she felt warm tears fall down her cheeks staining her sheets. She hugged the pillow and fell asleep. For the next 2 weeks, Holly had it pretty bad. She had the same routine each day. She would get up in the morning take a hot shower, eats breakfast, and gets ready for gym. Her mom would drive her to gym and they wouldnt talk the car was full of complete silence. Holly wanted to talk but she was too scared her mom would bring up the issue of her being hurt and that she should quite gym. She struggling in gym and is taking dangerous painkillers to numb the pain. Shes worked out all-day and conditioned almost all night to make her knee stronger. She did a skill over and over again to make it perfect. She pushed and pushed threw everything, blocking the pain out of her mind, like it isnt there. Hers hands are full of blisters and are raw from working on bars to long. Her feet burn with pain from the beam and her toes hurt to bend. She is trying so hard and isnt getting very far. Her coaches are there for her helping her every step of the way but it just isnt working. She comes home from gym and fills the bathtub of ice and sits in it. It numbs her body so she can have some kind of sleep. Then it all begins all over again.

Hollys mom is getting worried. Holly can barley get up in the morning and make it down the stairs. She caught Holly taking 5 Advils so her knees wouldnt hurt. A feeling of guilt came into her stomach. She should have stopped Holly from taking them but she just couldnt see Holly go through the pain in gym.

Holly woke up one morning to a sharp pain stabbing the side of her knee. She didnt think anything of it, it was normal now, she was use to her knee killing. She got up and limped to the bathroom and started the shower. Her knee hurt a little more than usual but Holly just looked past it, thinking it was because she worked extra hard on it the night before. On the way to the gym Hollys mom noticed Holly keep grabbing and rubbing her knee more than usual.

Holly is your knee alright, her mom asked Holly. Holly looked at her mom and smiled.

Yeah mom its fine, better than usual!

They pulled into the gym and Holly got out of the car and walked slowly into the gym. She stretched for an extra 10 minutes in the beginning before working out. She made sure she stretched her knee out before going to floor to flip. She had a weird feeling in her stomach, like the one you get right before you go on a hug drop on a roller coaster. Her leg had a slight pain in her knee as she tumbled an easy round off backhand spring. She was starting to worry if a simple backhand spring was hurting her, how badly would other things hurt. She got ready to run, took a deep breath and sprinted down the floor. Round off backhand spring and it happen pain struck Hollys knee like a lightning bolt. She hit the floor fast. She tried to stand up but she couldnt do it. All of her body trembled; her mind was racing with thoughts. She only had 2 weeks till nationals. John came running over with Heather and the girls. Heather screamed for one of the girls to get ice as she held Hollys head in her lap. Holly felt the girls foot steps as she ran across the floor and back. Hollys knee stung when they placed the ice on it, she flinched. Holly didnt know what to do, she was scared but worst of all she knew her place in gymnastics was over. She felt like she had just swallowed a rock.

They laid her down and iced her knee for a while. She heard John Pick up the phone. She knew who he was calling, her mom. She could hear John tell her mom what had happened and to settle down Holly was going to be ok. In less then 10 minutes Hollys mom came sprinting through the door. She sat next to Holly, and looked like she was about to cry. She held Hollys hand and asked her what had happen. Holly looked at her mom and told her exactly what happen. She told her how it was hurting her in the car and how she had lied to her about it. Hollys mom looked at her and then at the gym. It was quite and all you could hear was the sound of the chains rattling from the girl who had jumped off the bar to see what had happen.

Holly her mom said as tears fell down her face, It is time you stop this sport, you cant do this any longer and be in this pain taking pain killers and over dosing on Advil isnt the way your going to live the rest of your live. There was silence again.

I cant bare to see you hurt anymore and to think it is my fault for letting you do it. There was a faint cry and Holly closed her eyes, she knew who it was with out even looking. It was Jess. Heather hugged her as she cried.

Were going to the doctors tonight Holly and scheduling the surgery, it is time whether you agree to or not, your doing it.

Holly laid there in shock. Her head racing in circles trying to find a way to escape this but there wasnt. How could she leave this, how could she leave a life she has known for so long. She didnt know how to live a life with out gym because she had no life out of it. Her moms words rang in her ear. Hollys mom was right and Holly knew it but accepting this was harder then she thought. She couldnt keep living in pain and she knew she wasnt going to get better. She wasnt giving up it wasnt her choice. She laid there on the gym floor and she opened her eyes and looked at her mom.

Ok mom, Ill go but let me do one thing first. Holly answers with a croak in her voice. John picked her up and carried her out the door. Holly looked and watched the inside of the gym as long as she could. That gym held almost all of her. She waved at Jess and the girls. The girls waved back and Jess began to cry harder, Holly saw Heather hug Jess and then the door shut behind them. John Placed Holly in the car and shut the door. Hollys mom and John talked and John got Sadona to stop crying. They both got in the car. Hollys eyes were red and streaks of tears flew down her face. This had happen so fast. In a matter of 10 minutes her life had changed. They arrived at the doctors office and Holly new there was no turning back. John once again lifted her out of the car, into the building and into the doctors office. Cindy the doctor was waiting for Holly. John carried her into the same small room she had been in only a couple weeks before.

Hi Holly, the doctor said sounding upset. Are you ready to talk about the surgery now? Holly starred at her, she wasnt sure if she was. She felt like she had no control over anything and the truth was she didnt. It didnt matter if she was ready to talk she had to, or if she was ready for a surgery, it wasnt up to her. Then the doctor began to speak again.

The surgery is urgent and you need it quick so it well take place here at the Houston hospital on August 25 only 2 days from now. Holly bit her lip trying not to scream at the doctor how badly she didnt want this.

You will be given a Iv to put you to sleep during the surgery, when you awake you well spend the night here and be released home the next day. The doctor said. Holly looked at the doctor hard and answered,

Will I hurt like I do now after it, well it make the pain go away. Holly felt her mom flinch as she said this.

Yes you will feel better, it will take about a week for the pain to go away from the surgery but after that you will be fineyou cant continue gymnastics though. The doctor said in a shaky voice. Holly began to cry and she didnt know what to say, she wanted to hit the doctor but before she could say anything John interrupted.

Doctor we well discus this later, I dont think this is the time Holly no matter what you are a gymnast, and you will always have a place in my gym, his voice sounded as if he was about to cry. Holly had never felt so sad and happy at the same time, the way john said it made her feel like even though she couldnt flip or work out after this, she would still be a gymnast to him and at heart. Hollys mom looked at the doctor motioning they were leaving. John picked up Holly and carried her out to the car. Holly sat in his arms feeling like she had just been hit by a bus. Hollys mom stayed behind to get the information at where to go and what time to be for the surgery. The ride home was a drag. The car was to silent, leaving Holly to think about everything that had happened. Holly drifted asleep in the car and awoke to the sound of her mom making dinner. She was sitting on the same light green couch. She didnt remember being brought inside and being laid on the couch. Her mom had noticed Holly was up and she sat on the end of the couch and looked at her.

Holly are you ok, do you want to talk?

Yes what time is it? Holly asked with a bit of a laugh. Her mom looked at her and said she had been sleeping since yesterday night. Holly was amazed she couldnt believe she had been sleeping that long.

Its good though, that you slept you need it babe, your surgery is tomorrow, Holly stared at wall and said to her mom in a sweet voice, I love you mom, I think Im going back to sleep. Hollys mom sat on the end of the couch looking disappointed but stood up and walk away. Holly felt kind of bad not talking to her mom but she just wasnt in the mood. She didnt think she ever would be in the mood. Holly rolled over on the couch and closed her eyes and found her self, falling into a deep dream.

Holly was woken up by her mom telling her it was time to go, Hollys hands shook all the way to the hospital, her heart was beating like she had run the mile and she couldnt stop biting her lip. Everything after that happed so fast. They laid her down on a bed and told her not to worry. All Holly could think when they told her this was your telling me not to worry when Im about to have my knee sliced open, it made her laugh. She awoke to her mom holding her hand and them pushing her into her own little room with her own little TV. The room had paintings of Pooh and Tigger on them, with word saying not to give up. The wall was a baby blue color with pink Pokka dots. Holly felt comfortable and safe.

Holly sleep the whole time she was in the hospital the IV made her sleep. Holly barley remembered going home she was so drugged up. She remembered being hungry though and they gave her crackers before she left. They gave her a wheel chair and pushed her out to the car. Holly slept the way home and almost a full day at home. Holly awoke to little pains in her knees. Her mom was sitting next to her reading and when she saw that Holly was awake she got all excited. Hollys mom was so worried about Holly. Holly told her mom about how her knee hurt and her mom gave her a big white pill. It tasted gross on her tongue. The doctors had told her to give them to Holly for the next 3 days to ease the pain and then Advil would be fine. The next couple of days Holly slept and only awoke to take her pills or to eat. After about a week Holly was standing up and walking around on crutches.

After about a week and a half after the surgery Holly had been sleeping and she awoke from someone shaking her gently. She looked up and it was John, Heather and Jess. John picked her up and took her out to the car. Holly was amazed and so happy to see them. Jess looked so good she had her hair up tight in a bun and had her team leo and warm up suit on. Then it hit her. It was Saturday, nationals was today. They were taking them with her to go and watch. Hollys heart was full of joy she was speechless. She sat with Jess in the back set for the hour drive there. They talked about gym and the surgery, Holly thought it felt like she was going to compete. It was her and Jess doing what they both dreamed of. They had made it to nationals and were going together.

When they arrived, Jess opened the door and Holly stepped out using the crutches. They walked in together. Holly didnt know what to do she was confused. As they headed for the gym holding the meet, Holly looked at them and asked
So were do I sit in the audience? They looked at her like she was crazy, John looked at her and smiled,

Youre going to be sitting with us, silly, John said with a bit of surprise.

Holly thought she could run and flip in the air she was so happy. Not that she would try it she was still on crutches. Holly sat down on the chair in front of floor. The other girls arrived all excited giggling and happy to see Holly. Some looked sad though like they new she deserved to be here. Holly watched the girls compete. Holly felt a little hurt watching she missed gymnastics. She missed the fear you get when you flipping on beam and the adrenaline rush you get as you run head on into the vault. She knew she missed it but she was glad to be were she was. The girls did well; Jess was looking to take first place at nationals, as long as she got a 9.4 on floor. Holly held her breath the whole time Jess competed floor. When she finished Holly new the gold was hers, there was no way Jess didnt win. Jess and Holly held hands and held their breath as they flashed the score. A 9.7, she did it she had won the gold. Holly was all smiles and was so proud of Jess.

As they were announcing awards Holly stood on the side of the floor next to John. As they called the all around scores Jessicas name was called for first. Holly screamed and cheered with everything she had left, but Jessica didnt go to the podium to get her metal instead she walked over the announcer and asked to use the microphone. Hollys heart beat what was she doing. She then turned to ask John what she was doing but he just said,

shhh and just listen.
Jessica started to talk. Holly closed her eyes and listened.

I am so glad to have won this metal and to be here tonight, silence filled the room.

But there is someone who should have won this and she didnt have the chance to. You see my best friend Holly Cartines couldnt compete here today because she had surgery about 2 weeks ago. This surgery was mandatory and she had to give up something she loved the most; she had to give up gymnastics. She gave up what she has dreamed for and worked her whole life for. Holly worked hard; she worked her self-day and night to make it here even when she was hurt. She pushed through it, pushed the pain awayand tonight I think she truly deserves this metal, Jessica finished saying and tears rolled down her face. The audience cheered and roared. Holly couldnt believe it, she busted into tears. Then she felt John pick her up and carried her up the stairs to the floor Jess was standing on 1st place on the podium holding the metal in her hand. Hollys mind was racing in crazy thoughts, she hadnt been this happy in what seemed like forever. John placed Holly on the podium as tears fell down her cheek. Jess turned to her and wiped the tears from Hollys face. Place the metal around her neck and hugged her, and whispering in her ear

I love you Holly and you deserve this more than anyone I know,
The room was full of applause and cheering and Holly wouldnt have wanted to be any were else in the world other then standing on first place at nationals with her best friend, hand and hand. Jess leaned over and kissed Hollys cheek and said,
Your dream came true.
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I ♥ this story. It is amazing. It reflects on so many young and old gymnasts.
you know what's crazy?? i CRIED. how sad is that... i guess its just the thought of having to quit gymnastics. and that i have a pretty bad injury right now too. that, and i cry super easily lol.
Actually gymnaSTICKs..

Everyone that I have ever had read this story has cried so don't feel bad. It relates a lot from all the injuries I've been through and having to retire from gymnastics so I definently cried as well. All of my teamates who read it could relate in some way or another as well and it's hard not to at least get teared up about it.
Thanks a lot I almost cried. Thats like so true though. One of my teammates got hurt at the "whatever" meet. Its her senior year and now shes out for all the meets that do count.
Thank you so much for posting it!! It is an amazing read for sure - a great story that reflects all sides of things imo.
Oh Wow:)
I cried as I read this.
I don't think I can imagine my life without gymnastics. Its that love-hate relationship I just can't live without.
omg i loved it u could write stories for gymnast cus i always want to reade about gymnast and stuff licke that and frome a former gymnast it would be grate.:):D:):rolleyes: almost cried...i never cry at movies and good.
Thanks for sharing! I'm all teary eyed now. The bonds my daughter has at gym with her teammates are stronger than than the girls bodies! Great story.
this made me cry ! i can relate to this. I got a fracture in my back , and had to get surgery . the doctors said that this was my third sugery in 10 months , and i would have to either take a couple year break , or quit. I am back into it. training my self cause i got a OKAY ! from the doctors !
thank you so much for posting this ! !
That was so good!
it almost made me cry, like...that was really really good!
i can't even imagine haveing to give up gymnastics because of an injury...omg!
i am an 8th grader and can''t even imagine writing something that good!
like, i didn't want the story to end!!
great job!

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