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new adult gymnast

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dannolynn

Guest
Hello everyone!
I posted this on the general introduction page, but I wanted to introduce myself to the adult gymnasts out there, because I'm so glad to see so many adults still doing gymnastics! You're very encouraging. Sorry if you already read this in the general introduction forum...

A little bit about me... I'm 26. I started doing gymnastics on a regular basis when I was 23. I had done it off and on when I was younger (only rec. level), but my parents couldn't afford to keep sending me. So I've been doing it for 3 and a half years minus the time I've taken off for the 3 major injuries I've had, which totals about a year.

I broke my right eye socket after slamming my knee into my eye landing a front handspring front tuck into a resi pit. I had to have surgery to repair it, and now have a mostly metal eye socket! Then I sprained my ankle pretty badly doing a round-off off of a panel mat. My most recent injury, which I'm currently out for, is my back, which I hurt doing a front handspring vault over the table. Not sure exactly what I did to it... bruised, hyper-extended, strained, etc.

I'm on a prep op team in NH. I am currently only novice! Every time I push myself to get to another level I get injured, so I haven't advanced very far. I have only competed 2 times, so I'm not sure yet how I feel about it, but I love doing gymnastics, especially routines! I'm hoping my body doesn't completely give out on me, and that I will be able to do it for a long time.

Anyway! This introduction has become very long, so I will close for now. Bye! :)
 

nicci1999

Active Member
Gymnast
Dec 21, 2008
799
NH
There are plenty of crazy adult gymnasts floating around, no worries!! Hope your back gets better soon and you get to get back to class soon!!!
 

kyliesmith1

Member
Jan 2, 2009
155
Myrtle Beach, SC
We're always happy to have another adult gymnast. Welcome, on board. I understand your situation completely. It wasn't really because of money but I also loved gymnastics all my life but only got to do it on and off and only on the recreational level. I'm 28 and am about a level 6 in most things so I still have a lot of ground to cover. Just don't try to rush it. Take care of yourself and listen to your body so you can keep it up for years to come. A lot of us have been talking about conditioning since we can't get into the gym as much as we'd like, so that might help you to keep in shape while recovering from your injuries.
 
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dannolynn

Guest
Hi Kylie,
Wow that's awesome that you're level 6! When did you learn most of your skills? I couldn't do anything but handstand, cartwheel, and roundoff before I started 3.5 years ago. My ultimate / wildest dream goal is to be level 7, but I don't know if that will ever happen. I'm probably about a level 4 in most things. Level 5 in others. It is encouraging that there are lots of adults on here that are still keeping with the sport. It's given me hope that I don't have to rush so much or feel like my time is way past up!
Unfortunately I can't condition or stretch at all. I was doing really basic conditioning stuff at my gym - just to keep going as much as I could, and it still hurt my back a lot sometimes during, and always after each practice. After making no progress at PT (I had been going for a month) my therapist finally said I can't do anything 'til I start improving. The only exercise I'm authorized to do at this point is walking and the elliptical. :( very discouraging and depressing. If / when my therapist tells me I can do some more exercises I will definitely be looking on here as to some good stuff to do. Thanks for the reply!
Danielle
 
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Catya

Guest
Hi and welcome, dannolynn! I've been injured a lot too. Have you heard of Rolfing? That'll help push your body back into proper alignment. Your back may still be hurting because it tightened up in an odd position while you were injured and resting. That's what happened to me. While I was injured and unable to move, my muscles got weak and my body stiffened up in an anterior pelvic tilt position. Of course you'll have to make yourself strong enough to maintain good alignment after you get Rolfed, but it's really something to think about. It seriously helped me.
Can you manage gentle stretching?
Well, take good care of yourself and get well soon!
 
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dannolynn

Guest
Hi Catya,
Thank you! I have not heard of rolfing. I just looked it up online. It sounds interesting. Maybe some sort of misalignment happened when I was first injured, I don't know... My physical therapist has been doing some massaging, but told me not to stretch. I think I am going to the doctor this week. The problem might be that for the first month after I was injured I still went to practice and did what I could. I would hurt my back accidentally during practice, and also it would be sore afterwards. My therapist said that the time I was practicing was time my back wasn't healing. So maybe it's just that I need more time (non gym time since the injury is 2 weeks. It was supposed to take 6-8 weeks to heal....). Thanks for the suggestions, though! I will see what the doctor says.
I can't wait 'til I'm healed and can enjoy this site more. Right now it's more frustrating, because I'm reading about things everyone else is able to do, and I can't do anything!
Danielle
 

nicci1999

Active Member
Gymnast
Dec 21, 2008
799
NH
You will come back good as new though, and be able to do things better than before, because you will be all healed!! And those are my good thoughts to you today as I sit here, looking out the window, at the icky snow that is again falling
 

kyliesmith1

Member
Jan 2, 2009
155
Myrtle Beach, SC
Sorry, I didn't respond until now. I had quite a few skills on floor from doing acrobats in dance school over the years but I actually had to relearn a backhandspring because I always undercut my backhandsprings. I think this took longer than learning them from scratch. I guess dance & acrobats helped with beam a little but to this day beam is my worst event. I'm very flexible but have a little trouble with the balance element. The only reason I think I'm good at bars is because it was my love from the moment I walked into a gymnastics place at 14, so even though I didn't get a lot of official training on them I kept working skills and asking for help from whoever was there at open practice and then worked on my strength until I could do about 10 pull-ups and stuff. What's funny, is I can do free hips, kips, almost a cast handstand but still can't do a front hipcircle for anything. Oh and vault actually isn't too good. I didn't get a whole lot of work on that until I was in my 20s so I still sometimes struggle with my front handspring and can just do a half on but nothing off yet. So I guess really its just the passion for gymnastics that has helped. I'd like to get to level 8 myself but I don't know if that will happen in this lifetime and actually to tell you the truth you've inspired me to perhaps see someone about my leg that I injured, like 2 or 3 months ago. I keep trying to do what I can but instead of getting better its getting worse so I'm thinking I should follow your lead and layoff gymnastics all together for a few weeks. Then hopefully come back and get back to tumbling on the floor.
 
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dannolynn

Guest
Kylie:
That's cool that you've got an acrobatic and dance background! I'm sure that helps. That's funny about the front hip circle! How weird. I can do one, but it's not always very consistent or pretty. I've always been a bit afraid of bars, but at the same time, when I actually can do a skill, it's a really fun event. My biggest problem in general is confidence and fear. I have the same vault trouble. I've never actually tried a half on, because I'm still trying to get consistent FHS.

It's funny, I love doing gymnastics more than anything, but it doesn't seem to matter how much I want it or how much I try I can't seem to get there! RO BHS is one example. I think perhaps my problem is I always think I'm racing against time, and that (as an older gymnast) I have very little time left. The second I put pressure on myself to improve asap I get hurt, and I'm out for awhile. Then everyone around me seems to be progressing so fast I feel like there's something wrong with me. I have a problem with comparing myself to my teammates and others in the adult classes I go to. It's so discouraging to work on something for so long and work so hard and not be able to get it and then see someone else try something a few times and get it right away. Augh!

Anyway, thanks for the reply. I hope your leg gets better... what happened to it? definitely get it checked out just in case!! Sadly, sometimes taking a break is the best way to heal something.

Nicole:
Thanks for the good thoughts!! I'll try to be encouraged by them.. :)
 
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Hattie

Guest
my biggest thing is fear too! I left gymnastics on a bad note after basically a confidence meltdown and several injuries from riding, but now i've realised how much I loved it I'm starting to overcome my fears, and although i'm not half as flexible as I used to be i'm not as scared of getting hurt (i've been knocked unconcious and put in hospital several times from riding so i now know that i can come out the other side still in one piece!) as we've got very good spotters and coaches who i asked to take me back to the beginning and so i could work my way up in baby steps and properly get my confidence back! honestly if i can do it then anyone can! :)
 

kyliesmith1

Member
Jan 2, 2009
155
Myrtle Beach, SC
Dannolyn,
I understand your frustration so completely. I want to get to level 8 so bad and I can even picture skills in my head, like backwalkovers backhandsprings on the beam, giants on the bar and roundoff bhs back full on the floor but then when I try them they don't work. My giant ends in a baby giant, my backfull doesn't even make in around sometimes off the tumble track and i fall off half the time even on my backwalkovers. Sometimes I have to force myself to step back and realize, I only get to train a maximum of 3 hours a week and I've definitely progressed since I started back about a year ago. I think doing this, instead of comparing yourself with someone else or trying to push yourself past where you feel comfortable, think about your progress so far and be happy with this. Anyway, I hope your back gets better soon, but remember if you let it heal you'll have many years to get back to gymnastics. Oh and I pulled an adductor muscle in my right leg and its been 3 months and it should be healed but instead its worse and I think its because I'm not letting it heal. Here I am telling you to take in easy and realize you'll be able to get back into it when you're better and I'm not taking my own advice so I think I'm going to lay off mostly for a couple weeks and hope it actually heals. :)
 
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dannolynn

Guest
hattie,
thanks! i'm hoping to gain confidence somehow. my coach often asks me "what are you afraid of?" "what's the worst that can happen" and usually when i think about it rationally, it's not that bad. it helps that i really trust her spotting me. i have to take baby steps, too! it's good to know there are other people out there who are afraid and have overcome it.
 
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dannolynn

Guest
kylie,
yikes, maybe you're right and you need to take a break! it's hard to do, but hopefully it will improve! my back seems to be slightly better the last couple of days... it doesn't hurt quite so much to sit for long periods of time.
it is hard to not compare myself to others, and to think i'm treading water and getting nowhere, but that's a really good way to look at things. i'm going to try that in the future when i get discouraged. i only trained a few times a week, took lots of time off for injuries, and am taller, heavier, and older than the girls i'm training with. all that considered, though, i guess i have made a lot of progress since the first day i walked in the gym. actually that's something my coach encouraged me with one day when i was feeling down. she listed all the things i've been able to do since starting, and it did make me feel better. so thanks for that advice! rest your leg, and i hope it heals soon and completely so you can get back to practicing!
 
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Catya

Guest
Hi Catya,
Thank you! I have not heard of rolfing. I just looked it up online. It sounds interesting. Maybe some sort of misalignment happened when I was first injured, I don't know... My physical therapist has been doing some massaging, but told me not to stretch. I think I am going to the doctor this week. The problem might be that for the first month after I was injured I still went to practice and did what I could. I would hurt my back accidentally during practice, and also it would be sore afterwards. My therapist said that the time I was practicing was time my back wasn't healing. So maybe it's just that I need more time (non gym time since the injury is 2 weeks. It was supposed to take 6-8 weeks to heal....). Thanks for the suggestions, though! I will see what the doctor says.
I can't wait 'til I'm healed and can enjoy this site more. Right now it's more frustrating, because I'm reading about things everyone else is able to do, and I can't do anything!
Danielle

Not resting enough; that'll do it. I reinjured my ankles countless times because I just couldn't wait. And then finally, I just couldn't walk and that forced me to get some much needed rest. It was frustrating just sitting around wishing I could be running around, dacing and tumbling but resting was the right thing to do for my body. My ankles haven't been hurt in a good 4 years. Don't feel too bad that you can't do anything for now. When you're back in the gym doing the awesome-est tricks, all the resting will have been totally worth the wait. ;)
I wish you all the best on your hopefully speedy road to recovery!
 
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dannolynn

Guest
Not resting enough; that'll do it. I reinjured my ankles countless times because I just couldn't wait. And then finally, I just couldn't walk and that forced me to get some much needed rest. It was frustrating just sitting around wishing I could be running around, dacing and tumbling but resting was the right thing to do for my body. My ankles haven't been hurt in a good 4 years. Don't feel too bad that you can't do anything for now. When you're back in the gym doing the awesome-est tricks, all the resting will have been totally worth the wait. ;)
I wish you all the best on your hopefully speedy road to recovery!


Thanks Catya! (I just figured out how to do the quote thing!)
I was going to try to be ready for my meet on April 19th, but I realize that it would be better for me to wait and rest, so I've decided to not compete for the rest of this season and let my back heal. My therapist said today at therapy that I've made some slight progress, so that's good. I go to the doctor tomorrow for an evaluation. I'm hoping I will be as good as new soon. You're right, it will be totally worth the wait when I am healed completely and able to do everything!
 

nicci1999

Active Member
Gymnast
Dec 21, 2008
799
NH
Glad you figured out how to do the quotes, I have tried and failed miserably!

N-E way Slight progress is better than no progress at all! And it is probably for the better you aren't aiming to make it for April 19th(Hopefully I will know about nursing school by then!), as much as it sucks. We want you back in tip top shape! And Kylie, take it easy on your leg too! You got Savanah coming up before you know it!
 

GikiGirl

Member
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Feb 21, 2009
372
Region 6
Country
USA
Danielle, as I think you know I had to take off three months last winter entirely for health reasons, and then four months this summer. I hated it, but I wasn't able to make progress and take care of myself by pushing through. Maybe when you come back you will more appreciate just being able to practice, as opposed to feeling bad when you are not progressing 'fast enough.' I have. Also, don't worry about running out of time, cause I am 2 years ahead of you in age and I plan on doing gymnastics forever, or as close to it as I can :)
 
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dannolynn

Guest
thanks for the support everyone! i will definitely appreciate being in the gym at all after this! x-rays tomorrow. hopefully everything is fine and i'm on the mend!
 

LittleLady

Member
Feb 3, 2009
215
Vermont
All these posts are great! So much encouragement. We all need that. Being injured is really a hassle, especially when you are an adult because I've heard so many times that it makes my head spin, "Kids heal faster than adults." Back in '96, when I was 36, I injured my back and had to scratch after marching in at State Championships. (I at least deserved a balloon for qualifying! chuckle) I was so depressed! You all know the hard work it takes as an adult to make progress and I had no support from coaches or fellow gymnasts. My only support came from my husband, bless his heart! For over a year I couldn't even open the refrigerator or bend over to put on my socks! The thought of doing a cartwheel tore my mind apart. I thought it was OVER. After all those years, the traveling and blood, sweat and tears... UGH. Talk about depressed. But, here's the thing. You can't give up! It took over a year and baby steps to get back into shape just to do the simplest skills like handstands, cartwheels, back bends. I never gave up and at age 38 I was back to where I was at 36. You all impress me with your love for gymnastics. Never let that love become just a memory!! You are NOT too old! I'm 48 now and my love for this sport is stronger than ever. Anyone who tries to stop me from competing again better think twice and get out of my way! :)
 
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