Strength to Overcome

Ellen - La Grange Park, Illinois
Entered on February 19, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Devoted is a seven letter word a person could have used to describe my love for gymnastics. During my 8th grade year I practiced at my gym five hours a week with high school girls, to prepare me for my high school gymnastics season. My coach told me I had all the potential to make the varsity team my freshman year. Even though at the time I wanted this more then anything, my mind became altered or as the doctor said, “ill”.

At the beginning of my freshman year I began to lose a little weight. Nothing out of the ordinary, just a few pounds here, a few pounds there. But then something strange happened to me. I started to lose interest in the things I had once loved to do and it seemed as though all my energy was being sucked out of me by a giant vacuum cleaner. Slowly November came around and my first high school gymnastics season was about to begin. I was ecstatic when I made the team and could not wait for practice to start. But, when I went to practice it was nothing how I had expected it to be. I was weak and unable to do the tricks I had once been able to do. I did not understand what was wrong with me and why I was always mad, cold, and irritable. Then, one night my life was changed forever when I went to the hospital and they told me I was diagnosed with anorexia. They told me I should be an in-patient at the hospital for nine weeks. I could not believe what I was hearing. It was as though someone punched my chest and it went right through my skin into my heart. After many meetings, it came to be I did not have to be an in-patient, but I did have to be monitored by parents and go to Chicago every week.

I believe people have the strength to overcome any challenge in life. I believe this because although my life is not where it used to be, I have made a change. It has been a full year since I was told and I feel better then ever. I am back into gymnastics and enjoying my life. I feel as though one day my life will be completely back on track and this will be just a little side path I had to take to learn my true strength.