June 27, 2007

Hello Everyone,

So a lot has been going on with me since the last time I wrote. Unfortunately this past season didn't go the way I intended. During my freshman season, I had been planning on getting surgery on my ankle once season was over. My ankle had been bothering me for years and continued to get worse. Another thing that was bothering me during my freshman season was my right shoulder. My shoulder would bother me every once in a while in the years past so I didn't think anything serious was wrong with it. After a month of doing no gymnastics after my ankle surgery, my shoulder was feeling even worse than it was before. When I went home for the summer, I finally decided to get it checked out from my doctor back home in Chicago. I wound up having shoulder surgery 2 weeks later in which my labrum was torn, and my rotator cuff was frayed. This set me back another 6 months, but I was determined to get back and return to competing in the all-around before season was over.

Four months after my shoulder surgery I slowly began training beam again. I still kind of felt my ankle pain, but it was tolerable. Once I began tumbling and vaulting it continued to get worse and worse. Then in January I started flipping my vaults. My shoulder pain and range of motion was a day-to-day thing. The first day I flipped, my vaults felt like I hadn't taken a day off. Then a week later my shoulder's range of motion wasn't all the way there but I thought it just needed to be warmed up. I wound up landing just a little bit short, and my ankle started throbbing. For the first time since I hurt my ankle four years ago, I wasn't able to run at all and it hurt to walk. We had a meet the next weekend, so I stopped training everything else but beam.

This was at a time in which our team was really struggling with injuries and could barely make a beam lineup. I figured with time my ankle would slowly start to get better, so I continued to train and compete beam. Our first meet was at Utah, and my ankle was still hurting, but I wasn't going to put my team in the situation of not being able to put up a beam lineup, so I pushed through the pain and competed. After the meet I found it very hard to walk, but in a couple days it was tolerable again.

After 5 meets of competing, it continued to get worse and worse. By the time we competed at ASU, I couldn't run, land, and now I couldn't even push off my ankle. I just kept pushing it out of my mind, because I honestly thought I was being a baby. After I finished my beam routine at ASU, I decided it was time to go back to my doctor and figure this all out. Through many tests and visits with my doctor, they finally found a fracture in the lateral talus of my ankle. The reason they couldn't find it for so long, even in surgery, was because cartilage had grown over the fracture. We decided to see if putting myself in a boot and using a bone stimulator would help it heal, but it didn't because the fracture had been there for years.

The next and only option was surgery. Going into the surgery was a very iffy situation. My doctor was going to go in and try and remove that part of my bone that wouldn't heal, which would create a very rough space in my ankle. But with time cartilage would hopefully fill that space, and hopefully I would be able to return to competition. I had the surgery on March 21, and it went very well. The healing process is undetermined, because it is all a matter of how long it takes the cartilage to fill that space. I haven't begun running yet, but I have every intention of returning next year, and I am setting goals for myself as we speak.

This was a very hard time for me, because after a successful freshman year I wanted to continue to improve and accomplish more in my sophomore year. My parents, teammates, and coaches were very helpful to me in dealing with the fact that my sophomore season was over, but I still have the next two years of my college career to accomplish my goals.

Other than that, everything else is going very well. As of now, I am doing summer school, working out as much as I can, and doing tons of rehab, and that is pretty much it. I'll write again soon!


January 10, 2006
November 25, 2005
October 6, 2005
August 20, 2005
June 29, 2005
January 5, 2005
September 6, 2004
April 27, 2004

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