I live in Boston. Well 1 mile from Boston. The bombing yesterday at the marathon has rattled me. I cried. A lot. Thankfully, all of my friends are safe and unharmed. But any of those that were injured could have been someone I knew and loved and cared for. A few of my friends were just blocks away. A close friend was just blocks away waiting for her brother to cross the finish line. They are both okay. Many are not okay though. Many are gravely injured and 3 people lost their lives. I don’t really have words to describe what I’m feeling, just sadness. I cry whenever I think about it.
I was just 14 when September 11th happened (I grew up 30 miles from NYC- it was my 5th day of high school, many of my friends parents worked in NYC) and I don’t think I could process everything that happened. I was sad then, but not like I am now. I wasn’t rattled like I am now. I wouldn’t cry whenever I would think about it. I’m sure age, experience and wisdom has something to do with that. Along with general maturity. And living so close, with so many people I know that easily could have been harmed, well… that’s really tough to think about.
And the pictures. Everywhere. Don’t look at them. They are horrible. Absolutely horrible.
I am thankful that in this age of social media and cell phones I knew within minutes that most of my friends were okay. They posted status updates on facebook and texted. I posted as well.
I teared up a bit at work but it wasn’t until I texted my mom that I really lost it. I told her that there was a bombing at the marathon and that I was okay and that as far as I knew, all of my friends were as well. She has NO idea what had happened. Her response was Omg. And then I really started crying.
So today, now, I’m not sure what to do other than keep on keeping on. I made dinner last night. I went on a date. I have work and my fitness class today. But I am a little kinder and more understanding. A bit more somber, too. And Thankful. So very thankful that all of my love ones are safe. Because there are over 100 people who were not. And I keep them and their families in my thoughts.
Nationals is over which means our season is officially over. But before I get to post-nationals plans, I shall recap the last 2 weeks.
The lead up to nationals went fairly smoothly. My last 6 practices were relatively productive and most importantly gave me some confidence in my routines, with bars as the exception.
Vault- I flipped some tsuks on to a resi-pit at NESA trying to get out of my headcase shenanigans when I go for the pike. I can get there, but it takes me about 10 vaults. The Sunday before we left I flipped close to 10 tsuks (5 tuck, 5 pike) and at vault 7 the pike felt acceptable. Considering you only get 3 warm-up vaults in a meet, I was a little worried about the pike.
Beam- In the days leading up to nationals, I must have done 100 back handsprings on beam. Maybe more. I did my series many, many times. I was certainly more confident. I also worked on my dismount, trying to be sure that I was straight enough to get layout credit for it and going for the stick.
Floor- I did some 1.5s, but I was not comfortable throwing that as my second pass in a floor routine so I took it out and only worked on front pike front layout, front handspring front full and back full as my passes. With my fitness class preparing me endurance wise, I just needed to clean up my landings and my dance.
Bars- disastrous in the days before nationals. 1 week before we left, after I had finished my bars rotation, my teammate said to me “you look so disappointed”. Then just 5 days out, I finished a bar rotation and 2 teammates asked if I was okay. I was on the verge of tears at that practice. Not good. Eventually I just got to the point of acceptance. Acceptance that I may not make it through a bar routine and that’s okay. Between my shoulder injury in the summer, my stress reaction in my foot, my break-up, return to full training, should acting up AGAIN, I just didn’t have enough time on bars. I became okay with that and accepted that whatever happened at the meet happened. As long as I put up a routine I’d be happy.
My last practice was supposed to be the day before we left for nationals. For some reason though, I was exhausted. Mentally and physically exhausted. Work had been nuts and I hadn’t had a rest day since the previous Thursday. So I took a nap instead of going to practice. At that point, practice is all about keeping your body moving and giving yourself confidence. That final 2 hours wouldn’t make or brake my meet. So I napped. And watched West Wing. And then packed and went to bed early.
A delinquent if you will.
I’ll just try to provide a general update on gymnastics first, followed up by posts on my future goals, fitness and nutrition.
Gymnastics: Our season is winding down and we leave for nationals in 10 days. AHH! Overall, I am good to go on 3/4 events. Let’s start with the good.
I’ve been flipping pike tsuks, good ones, on to a mat in the pit. No mental issues at all. This week I’m going to flip them on to competition surfaces. Hopefully it’ll go well. I don’t think the layout tsuk is going to happen, but my pike is excellent.
Beam is going great. I think my routine is looking more polished than it ever has. My mom even said that I looked really stronger on beam than I have in years. During practice, I’ve been working on polishing up some of my choreography. There are a few problem areas in my routine, mainly my series, my switch leap and my dismount, but all of them are coming along fine.
Floor is also coming along. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to add in my 1.5, but all my other passes are fine. I really need to work on my dance, but my hip is still messed up from that scary fall I took on bars about 6 weeks ago. It’s really unfortunate, but there’s not much more I can do about that. I’ve been massaging, stretching and resting, but it’s not quite back to normal yet. For the next 2 weeks I’m going to work on landings and dance.
Bars: oh bars. It’s been about a month since I started doing bars again. My shoulder was acting up, again. Routines… not even close. I’m just getting back all the skill I need in order to even think about doing a routine. I’m rapidly running out of time. A routine will be put together by nationals, but who knows what it’ll look like.
Overall, I haven’t been training at nearly the intensity or focus that I had last year. But my fitness level and skill level started far higher than they did last year. We’ll see what happens. I think my routines are still better, more clean, more confident than last year, but the numbers aren’t quite there yet so my consistency is… unknown.
My workout last night wasn’t as productive as I had hoped but it was still acceptable.
I started off on floor. My plan was to work on tumbling for a bit and then work on my dance.
Tumbling. Finally, I did my first pass. And three times in a row! The last one was wonky and low and I’m surprised I made it to my feet, but whatever, I went for it and I made it. I then did 2x my other 2 passes.
On to dance. My hips are still not totally recovered from my fall. Most leaps are okay, but I do turning straddle leaps/ jumps in my routine and those are the worst. I’m hoping that with rest and foam rolling they’ll be okay for the meet.
Beam. I warmed up each skill 2x before doing 3 routines. I think I made all three but I can’t be sure. I know I didn’t do my flight series, as my shoulder starts bothering me after about 2 back handsprings. I also only did front pike dismount. Regardless though, I got through 3 full routines.
And that was all I did. I wanted to do vault timers but my achilles/ calf is really acting up. I had a mild calf strain back in August and since then anytime I increase my intensity on leg stuff it comes back. This time though, my achilles is also involved. Feels like classic achilles tendonitis. Probably also doesn’t help that my hamstrings are really tight right now, plus the hip problem, the old calf strain and well, I guess it’s not surprising that I’ve developed another injury in that leg. Lame. Luckily, I’m going to my massage therapist on Tuesday next week. Hopefully he can help me out.
Today is the final workout before the meet!
Meet in 5 days! First meet of the season is in 5 days. Holy Crap.
What keeps me grounded and hopeful is that last year at this time I had been cleared to do gymnastics only a week ago. I could barely vault and tumble. I couldn’t do a back tuck on beam. I couldn’t do my leap series on floor. And by the end of that season, I was a rockstar (or at least felt like one).
Right now, I will be competing all the skills that I competed at nationals last year. And as the season continues, I’ll add a few new skills to my routines.
2 weeks ago I wrote how I hadn’t started full routines. Soon after that I did start training them. Let’s go event by event.
Vault- I’ve flipped both tuck and pike tsuks on to competition surfaces and I’ve flipped layout tsuks into a pit. My tucks are great, but I get mental when I try for the pike. I change my run and my entry, for the worse. I still make it around but it doesn’t have the block or the power of my tuck.
Bars- My shoulder has been acting up recently. Badly. Last Monday I could barely do gymnastics and ended up taking the rest of the week off. That helped. Yesterday at practice I didn’t do any bars and I will continue to skip bars this week, which means no competing bars this weekend. I’m okay with that. If it means a painless shoulder, then I am fine with not competing bars for a few more weeks.
Beam- Back handsprings on beam really bother my shoulder as well so I’ve been doing routines without them. Not a huge deal, but it means that I haven’t actually done a flight series since nationals last year. The rest of my routine is fine, though. I rarely fall during full routines. Some times I have substantial wobbles, but it’s rare that I actually come off the beam. I haven’t done dismounts either, so I need to work on that. Overall though, the interior of the routine is fine and I am completely comfortable competing.
Floor- I’m probably best prepared for floor right now. I can fairly easily get through a full routine. My tumbling is at about 80%. My first pass is giving me trouble. Again, mental trouble. I am 100% capable of performing front handspring front layout front tuck, but I get all crazy in the head when I think about going for it. My other two passes are completely fine. I didn’t mention this, but 2 weeks ago I took a bad fall on pit bar and messed up my hips. Leaps on floor really bother it so I’ve been doing my routines marking my leaps. It’s not a big deal endurance wise, I’m just a little nervous that my hips are going to continue to bother me for a few more weeks. Leaping with bad hips is pretty painful.
Plan for this week- I have only 2 practices before the meet, today and Wednesday. Today I am going to work on tumbling, floor dance, vault timers, full routines on beam combined with skills on beam. Wednesday I plan on an easy practice. 2-3 beam routines, 1 full floor routine and 2-3 competition vaults, then problem parts if I feel I need it. That should hopefully go pretty fast.
So that is basically all from me! Just plugging away at gymnastics, getting ready for the season.
I am behind in gymnastics. We have a meet in 2.5 weeks and I haven’t started full routines. I took yesterday off. And I’ll take today off. And I’ll miss workouts this weekend to go party with a friend in NYC. Strangely, it doesn’t really bother me.
Last season, all I wanted to do was get back into competition shape and compete. I was driven, almost obsessive about it. I lost 10lbs, started working out 6 days a week and pushed my body harder than I had at any other point in my life. I logged calories and weighed myself everyday. I felt great. Gymnastics came back fast. I was scoring high and beating most people. I dropped 3 dress sizes. I felt good in my body. It was a race to get my skills back in time, but at nationals I did amazingly well, qualifying for finals on 2 events and placing top 10 on vault and top 15 on floor. Certainly my most proud gymnastics moment.
Then I got injured from all that pushing. Twice. And was out of the gym for months. Shortly after resuming full training, I ended my 7 year relationship, which royally screwed up my training, my nutrition, my weight, my emotions, my confidence, my sleep. Then it was Christmas, with so many cookies and delicious meals, irregular workouts and 12 glorious days off of work.
It’s been almost 3 weeks since I went back to work and my life is still undergoing many changes. My ex moved out, I live alone, I’m dating for the first time in my life. All of this means less attention, drive and dedication to gymnastics. I’ve gained weight. If you asked me last year how I would feel about that, I 100% would have said Disappointed. No question.
What a little time, experience and perspective will do. I’m not disappointed at all! In fact, given all the sh*t I’ve been through in the past 6 months (mainly injury and a painful break-up), I’m remarkably proud of where I am today, even if it’s behind and ill prepared for our first meet. I’ve kept up with my workouts the best I could while I was injured and more importantly, immediately after the break-up when the very last thing I wanted to do was workout. Though my weight has increased (some of that is due to new medication) I still feel okay with my body. Not great, but okay, which I never though I would. I’m eating healthy and doing the best I can. Though I’m behind, I can now say that I am 100% okay with that. The world will not end. I will still me me. I will still be happy.
This post is going to be all over the place. Just fair warning. I am going to spew everything that is on my mind.
My roommate, boyfriend and partner in life for the last 7 years moved out last week. I ended our relationship about 6 weeks ago.
I am doing much better since my last post. I’ve been working out regularly, eating regularly and fairly healthily. I’ve been laughing. A lot. All good things. I am almost back to normal. The last 6 weeks have been… life changing, and that is not an understatement. Everything that I had planned (not that it was all that much to begin with) is no longer valid. My future is completely unknown and entirely up to me. It’s freeing and exciting but it’s sad, too. 7 years a long time. A lot of history. A lot of love. A lot of hurt. The day I ended it was the worst day of my life. But forward I move. And on to a new life.
I am dating, now, something I’ve never done in my entire life. I know it seems soon. It probably is too soon as I’m not ready to be in a serious relationship, but I am ready to meet some new people, have some fun, casually date, go out and just enjoy my newly single life. And so far, I love it. I love meeting new men and flirting and holding eye contact for an uncomfortably long time. I like putting make-up on and feeling pretty. I like wearing clothes that I would not have considered before. I feel like I’m paying attention to myself in a way I haven’t for a very long time. It’s a side of me that has been buried. We’ll see what comes of it. I’m just taking everything as it comes. Not worrying. Not stressing. Not over thinking. When I approach dating with that attitude, it’s awesome!
With all these dates comes lots of drinks. Alcoholic (read: caloric) drinks. My body is so messed up. Additionally, I just started oral contraceptives and they are seriously messing me up. I’m tired all the time, I have mad carb cravings and my body is retaining lots of water. In the 12 days since I started, I’ve gained about 2.5 pounds. The cravings are similar to the 2 days before I get my period. I just want to eat everything I see, especially cereal, pizza and cookies. Except this is almost all the time. It’s awful. And my fatigue and lack of energy is concerning. I can get through workouts and work, but I don’t feel like I did before. I don’t have extra energy. I’m not as peppy and energetic as I usually am. I am still undecided about staying on oral contraceptives. They really do simplify 1 aspect of my life. But these side effects are not great. Especially my appetite being all out of whack. The weight gain is really stressing me out.
Overall though, I’m doing quite well. I’m happy enough. As time goes on and I continue to adjust and figure out life, I expect I’ll even feel true joy and contentment again. I’m not quite there yet, but every day, every week, gets better.