Why I Quit Gymnastics
From a young age, I was a competitive trampolinist. You might not have known this as I haven’t even stepped foot in a gym for a couple of years now. This is a different blog than what I’d normally write, but hopefully you’ll find it interesting.
I started Trampolining when I was around 10 years old. I’d competed around England and Europe at various levels and spent the majority of time in a gym.
If you’ve ever done a competitive sport before, you’ll know that injuries are part of the package. Everyone gets injured and everyone just gets on with it. I think I got my first serious injury when I was about 12 and I tore a ligament in my ankle; that wasn’t great! I let it heal, brushed it off and got back on with it.
I’d say I competed for the next year injury-free. Then one day I was messing around, being a bit of a show-off and somersaulted off a trampoline. I ended up damaging all the muscles in the right side of my back. For between 4-6 weeks, I couldn’t walk straight. I didn’t have the support in my muscles to hold my body up straight. As a 13 year-old, I was terrified! Genuinely thought I’d not walk properly again. Thankfully it all healed fine.
Another year went by and this is where all the excitement begins. I was scouted to join a club in another city! It was incredible. Although at first, I wasn’t keen on the idea at all! I had a group of friends in my club and I didn’t want to leave them. However once the thought set in, I went down to trial and got a spot on the team! I was quickly learning moves I didn’t ever expect to be doing. My social life quickly disappeared and the sport became everything! I’d be there 4 times a week, whilst still studying for my exams and competing most weekends. Cut a long story short, I was presented with an ultimatum when I was 17: Sports or Academics?
It wasn’t easy! How can a 17 year old make that kind of decision? I was studying A-Levels and still spending most of my life training in another city. I weighed everything up: all the injuries, the lack of a social life, the constant sacrifices. I’d made my decision to quit the sport.
This didn’t go down too well with my family. I’d been training most of my life and had dreams of going to the Olympics. My thought process took me down the path of thinking “What would I do if an injury wiped me out and I had no qualifications to fall back on?” I chose academics and went to university to study Law.
When I was at university, I decided to train again! I went back and quickly picked up where I left off. It was a bit of a whirlwind: I was training new moves and getting ready to compete again. Then the inevitable happened; my hands slipped in the middle of a double somersault and I landed funny. I ended up damaging the soft tissue in my knee and couldn’t put any pressure on my leg. This solidified my thinking: I couldn’t take the risk when I didn’t have a degree. I quit competitive gymnastics for good.
Every now and again I go back, I still love the sport. I know that looking back on everything I’ve made the right decision. A lot of my injuries still play up today: I can’t run for a long period of time without my knee or ankle hurting and I can’t lay down in a certain way without my back aching. The joys of being an ex-gymnast, eh?
There you have it, the reasons why I quit gymnastics! I know this was a lengthy blog so thank you if you’ve read it all! Hopefully you enjoyed it.
Until next time,