Chapter 1: Exactly What It Says On the Tin
At my old gym, we had something called a blood wall. And before you ask, no, that is not a metaphor, nor is it an Academy Award-winning slasher movie.
It was, disgustingly enough, exactly what it sounded like. You see, some people have scrapbooks with commemorative photos. Students have yearbooks, so they will always remember and be remembered by their classmates. The girls gymnastics team? We had a flipping blood wall.
“You can always tell a vault specialist by her thighs – poor child looks like an East German powerlifter who wandered into a midget ballet recital.”
— gymnastjess, chalkbucket.com
After going to four doctors to avoid a 12-week casting of her leg for stress fractures, Shawn had had enough:
“I want this off, please,” I said sweetly. I was hoping he might not realize that it had been on only a week.
“Nice try,” he said. “I want you to participate as much as anyone, but you have to realize that our bodies heal on their own schedule, not the Olympics’ schedule. Your leg hasn’t had time to properly heal.”
“If you’re not going to get this off me, I’m going to have my dad cut if off,” I finally blurted out. “And he’s going to be using power tools in the garage.”
The doctor reluctantly agreed under one condition: that I promise to wear a boot and rest for a little bit. Though this was a minor injury, it sobered me. It had looked like an Olympics spot was right there for the taking. But again I was reminded of what a fickle sport gymnastics can be.
“When you forget to pay attention in gymnastics…”
Ouch. We’ve all done it, but still, that’ll ache for a few days…