One Door Down

Makenna - Altadena, California
Entered on January 29, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

I never really thought about loving another sport other than gymnastics. It took up most of my time, and gave me a new thrill every day. I spent hours and hours a year, 630 to be exact, to reach my goal of becoming an elite gymnast. I never thought about what I would do after gymnastics, that is, until I had no other choice.

It was in the beginning of July, and I was at Champion gymnastics. I had been at Champion for four years now, and the long hours of training really tired me out. I had been going six hours a day now that it was summer and my teammates/ competitors and I would tumble, condition, ice, and run together. Anyway, so it was July and my coach decided to have a relay-race to work on endurance.

The course:1) hold a handstand, 2) run past the rolling balls, 3) do 5 pull ups, 4) climb up the rope and back down, 5) and tumble back to the start. I was up, and the other team got ahead, so when I had to run past the rolling balls, the two coaches rolling the balls ganged up on me. The balls were not just bouncy balls either, they were big exercise balls. So, as I was dodging the balls, another side-swiped my ankle, and the snap of my ankle was heard by everyone.

The stupid thing is my coach told me to stop crying, stand up, and finish the race. I couldn’t; I just sat and cried.

I went to urgent care with my mom, and got my leg casted after we found out I had fractured my tibia and damaged my growth plate. I still went back to the gym, though, to condition, but my love for the sport was simply fading. 4 months after the injury, I got my cast off and decided to quit gymnastics. I contemplated what sport to do, wondering, if I would be as happy as I was in gymnastics; I decided to start volleyball.

When I started volleyball I soon began to realize that when one door closes another door opens. Even though gymnastics was what I had grown up doing, and I couldn’t think of a sport that I would love as much, I found volleyball; another opportunity that had never really occurred to me. I went to a try-out, and now here I am, loving a sport I had never considered. I now know that in the future, maybe if I don’t get the perfect job, or get accepted into my number one high school, that there is another opportunity that I should take.

There I was at my first tryout for volleyball and I could barely run. Now I am starting my third year, and coaches say, and they are being honest, that I have a future in high school and college volleyball. I never thought that I could love another sport after gymnastics, but when I started volleyball, I found a different love. I will still always love gymnastics, but I found that it was okay to love two sports. I know that when one door closes another door opens. This I believe.