The 2024 Competition is underway...

The 2024 Competition is underway...

This weekend was the big one! Just kidding - it was a qualifier for Nationals here. Since I’ve been back after Christmas, my shins have been killing me. I’ve had shin issues since I was probably 14, but doing Trampoline only here has exacerbated the issue.

When I was in Canada for the holidays, I met with my Canadian trainer to start a new shin-specific program. So far it hasn’t done much, lol, but it hasn’t even been a month. I do learn more and more every day about them and little gaps we can fill, so that is exciting after years of the same cycle.

I decided two weeks ago, for the first time in my life, that I was going to stop before my shins hurt (too much) to prevent me from training the next day. This might sound like, I don’t know, common sense, but it always felt like I was giving up or wasn’t being tough enough - a tip of the hat to Gymnastics culture.

I have been tracking the amount of bounces I am taking when I am pushing at full force, and wildly enough, I could take even less turns than I thought. Training these last few weeks have been mentally less taxing because I am in significantly less pain, but I wasn’t getting the amount of turns I was expecting either.

This weekend was really going to be a toss up. My intention going in was “healing” - as I noted last week. I always tell my therapist that Gymnastics seems to be the last place, always, where I can implement change. Day to day, I feel like I have been able to pick up on bad habits and when I am getting ahead of myself, but my training and Gymnastics habits feel so ingrained they are hard to even recognize.

A couple things I noted ahead of time is that when I show up, I am always scared of getting hurt. I am hardly a daredevil in terms of Trampoline and generally make good decisions, so I knew this was my habits talking and not logic. It was something good to look out for to catch. Another thing I do is put my entire self-worth on the performance - so when I would catch myself comparing, or tracking points, or focusing on a result, I knew to check myself.

Healing at a competition, for me, was about doing a performance I was proud of. Last year, at French Team Champs, I did an easy routine for me and I was mortified. I knew I had to shift something. My one warm up turn was awful, and my first thought was - who the hell am I if I can’t even do this routine well? My next turn went well and I realized - oh, what I’m actually looking for is a routine that I am proud of the quality.

I noticed this a few times since, but could never really apply it in real time. I think for years, especially on Double-Mini, I could never hit a great meet. I could finish routines at an adequate level, but I can’t think of a time where I went all out for all of my passes. I always played it safe. My intention this meet was to do routines I was proud of, and whatever the result was, I would be ok with it.

My compulsory, the easier of the two, was giving me troubles all week. On Tuesday, I fell on three out of four - a ridiculous stat for even my worst day. I did a compulsory that I felt like I went all out on. Was it great? No, but I did 7/10 very well, and I am proud of that. My first optional was also fine. Nowhere near my best, but better than I had done at training and I felt like I “went for it”. We get a second optional at these meets, and I fell on that one. The highlight? I feel like I went even harder for that one - another internal win.

My habit at training, and in Gymnastics, has always been “finish the routine”. My intention has never been “do a great routine”, even in training. I am consistent, and if I NEED to finish, I know I can. But I want to do great things now. It is no longer about survival.

I practiced the attitude at training last week - hence the three out of four incomplete compulsories. This is a turning point though - this is a hurdle I have never been able to overcome. Life, training, outside forces have always felt so burdensome, I never could actually show up and do work I knew I could - and that’s on me. Now, I see a crack in the clouds a little bit. I am noticing these errors and habits, I am starting to be able to check them in real time - which again, is hardest for me to do in a Gymnastics context.

I spent yesterday, Sunday, talking to my Canadian coach and my trainer about some shin things, and I really think we are on the right track. There is a feeling of renewed excitement or optimism in me right now - I have waited and worked so hard to get to a point like this.

I write this today, a couple hours before training, and I’m ready to be all out even more than this weekend. Who knows where we can go from here…

TTYS,

RS

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