Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Thick and Thin with This Girl

For the last couple months (and especially the last couple weeks), I’ve been receiving all these “Back-to-school” emails for athletes—forms to fill out, dates to mark on calendars, and emails from coaches and captains, making sure that we’re all keeping in shape.  Every time I get one, my eyes secretly roll into the back of my head, or I just scan right over them.  At this point, I wondered when I was going to be removed from this email list, but for priority registration purposes, I had hope it would be later, rather than sooner.  I definitely didn’t expect it to happen today.  After all, is UC Davis compliance really all that organized?

So to say the least, it was a surprise for me to get the email from compliance.  Straight and to the point,  it said that I had been “removed from the roster… Reason: Quit team.”  There’s probably few other ways to put that, and the thing is, it’s the truth.  But seeing in writing that I’ve not only been removed from the roster, but I’ve “quit,” kind of freaked me out.  I started to panic, and it officially felt real. 

I received the email at work, so it really wasn’t appropriate for me to react to it.  I didn’t know what to do, but I knew I was upset.  So that’s where real reason for this blog post comes in.  Kailyn Ono was my roommate last year, and our situations are very similar.  Long story short, we have both “retired” from gymnastics.  She was forced to medically retire because of an injury in January of this year, and I had my 4th gymnastics-related surgery just a few weeks later.  While I wasn’t officially done with gymnastics until this summer, the doubts of my comeback began back then too—and not just by me.  Now, we’re both trying to figure out what we’re going to do next.  And I’d like to think I’ve been (and will continue to be) there for her, just as much as she’s been there for me.  Especially lately.

KO and I. We will ALWAYS be Aggies at heart.
That's all that matters, right?
Today she calmed me down.  Significantly.  I feel so much better than I did before I texted her.  I was trying desperately to be okay, and for a second there, I couldn’t seem to do it.  So this is my long, drawn out “thank you” to her.  Cause she’s amazing.  And unbelievably strong.  And through thick and thin, we’re going to figure out what to do next.  And be amazing at whatever it is we decide.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Seven Month Hump

It’s been almost two months since my last entry.  Back then, I couldn’t decide if I was going to make that post my last one, or if I was going to continue writing.  Well since, I’m yet to start a new blog, I might as well keep going here.

I meant to write a blog post at my six month “anniversary,” but to be honest, I didn’t have a whole lot of time, and there really wasn’t a lot developing in terms of my knee, gymnastics, my “comeback,” etc.  But today’s special too.  Today I am seven months post surgery.  And I could’ve never imagined this is where I would be today.

Ever since I called my coach and emailed my teammates, I felt like I’d been handling the change pretty well.  I felt confident I made the right decision, and I felt ready for whatever else I would be doing in life.  Not to mention, my knee was almost constantly hurting, so it seemed like I made the obvious and right decision.

But these last few days have been different.  I’ve been able to start working out more, and for some reason, that’s what’s making the difference.  All summer my knee was hurting. It was so hard for me to convince myself to work out, because simply the thought of exercise, made my knee hurt more. 

And of course, now that I’m working out more, my knee is hurting less.  It’s getting stronger, but that’s almost more disappointing than the pain.  If I would’ve tried and fought harder, would my situation be different now?   I told myself that no matter what, my inability to continue gymnastics wasn’t because I didn’t try hard enough, and now I’m just struggling to convince myself that that is still true.  Maybe it’s because the Olympics are over, and I’m really starting to miss my teammates back at Davis, but I really miss gymnastics.  A lot.  I don’t think I regret the decision, because there’s still a high change of me reinjuring my knee, or worse, getting healthy and just not being good enough.

Up until recently, I thought I was doing so well.  Handling the whole situation with my head held high, and looking at the bright side of it all.  But every once in awhile, I just catch glimpses of what I used to have, and how it used to make me feel.   I’m having a hard time figuring out what I’m going to do next.  After all, it’s who I was, and right now, I not only feel like I can’t get away from it, I also can’t seem to move on.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

"The Comeback Kid"

I started this blog in December with the intention of using it to clear my head.  It was a way for me to figure out exactly what I was feeling.  And when I found out my ACL was fully torn, the blog kept me hopeful.  It gave me a place to write about an optimistic future in gymnastics.

This was far from my first injury.  And because of my history, people had seen me as that (crazy) girl who never stopped, never gave up.  It didn’t matter what injury was thrown my way—I kept fighting.  I kept coming back.

So the blog became a place to track just another comeback.  I thought, “How cool would it be, if in 6… 8… 12 months, I’d have videos and blogs marking each step of the way, as I started doing gymnastics again?”  Then one future day, I would post a video of myself, wearing Aggie Blue and Gold, proudly competing for my team in the UCD Pavilion.  That wasn’t just my goal—it was my plan.

But time passed.  And things changed.  The winter and spring quarters were harder than I thought they would be.  Gymnastics wasn’t exactly living up to expectations I had created.  Sure, Conference Championships was a lot of fun—but I was still on the sidelines.  And I was starting to get discouraged.  Not to mention, my body has been through a lot.  I could only ignore pains for so long, and I couldn’t ignore the risks anymore.

Now that I am home, I’ve thought about things.  I’ve thought about my position on the team next year, and I’ve had a chance to experience a little bit of a life without gymnastics.  But no matter the scenario, I can’t come up with an outcome that would ever be worth getting hurt again.

Eventually everyone’s got to walk away, but honestly in December, I didn’t think that I would be walking away now.  After everything I fought through, I didn’t think it would end with such a disappointing injury, having felt so close to actually competing.

However, that doesn’t mean this is the wrong decision.  Actually, I’m more confident than ever before, that this is the time to retire.  Gymnastics was my whole world; sometimes it’s scary when things change so dramatically.  But I feel like right now, I have so much potential in a life outside of gymnastics.  And because of that, I know this is the right decision.

I think I’ll always kind of be “The Comeback Kid.”  Things will never be easy,  but I’ll never stop fighting.  This time, my “comeback” will just take me somewhere new. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Reflecting with Erin #1

What a year it has been.  Before I came home for the summer, I realized that this last quarter flew by… but at the same time, this school year feels like it started forever ago.  Last September, when I think about where I was and what I was doing, it feels like ages ago.  I was moving into my first apartment, taking my first digital design studio class, and my first classes for my minor.  I was missing Erin #1 (freshman year roommate), as she was abroad in Paris, and I was trying my very hardest to be the strongest gymnast I could be.

The quarter was fun, and I was working hard: in the gym and in my classes.  Then I remember Thanksgiving break.  I met up with my parents, my sisters, and the majority of my dad’s side of the family for a “Wine Train” Thanksgiving lunch.  I was happy to see them and tell them about all the progress I had been making in the gym.  Then I got hurt less than a week later.  Everything else seemed to happen so fast. 

Just this past week, I hung out with Erin (1) to get breakfast one last time before we left for the summer.  In general, we just reflected on the year.  I told her how much I missed her when she went abroad, and of course how jealous I was of her and that whole experience.  She asked me if I felt good about this past year, and practically without hesitation, I said no.  It felt like a no brainer to me.  How could I feel good about it, when this knee surgery feels like it’s messed everything up?  It’s been so much harder than the first one… and I can’t seem to forget how amazing I felt just a seven months ago.  It’s hard for me to think about it sometimes, because I wonder if I did something wrong, if I went about it the wrong way, or if I should’ve done something different.

But in these last couple days (and after a conversation or two with my sister and other friends), I’ve decided to give you a new answer, Erin (1).  Maybe I’m not “happy” with this year, but I now know that it’s been really good for me.  In my classes, I’ve learned a lot—especially about design and what I may want to do with my life.  Not to mention, I’ve enjoyed the majority of them! Pretty valuable, right?  Then as cheesy and cliché as it sounds, I honestly feel like I’ve learned a lot about myself.   I’m stronger than I ever thought I could be.  I think I have a better idea of the person that I am and the person I want to become—the friends I want to have, the friend I want to be, and the life I want to lead.  That’s definitely valuable.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Good News; Bad News

Officially, one final is done.  Check.  In 12 hours, my next final is due, but technically I already finished it!  The good news is I’m very happy with this project, and I’m even happier that I didn’t finish it at some ungodly hour. Check it out here :) 

In about 45 hours, I have my final assignment of the week due—a paper for Art History.  I’ve only written about a page, but for the first time all week, I realize that I actually have more time than I thought.  I think I may be relaxed?  For that, I thank all my decent time managing, and definitely all the prayer.  I was significantly more stressed  out at the beginning of this week, and I’m happy to say that I’m more relaxed now.  Maybe I can handle all this work after all…

In general, gymnastics gets put on the backburner a little bit during finals week(s).  I’m still trying to do my best right now, to keep up with at least a little exercise and rehab, but at the present, I can’t seem to find a good block of time.  Not to mention, every time I even think about working out, my knee starts hurting.  As soon as all  this is over, I’ll get on a new schedule, and see what I can figure out.

Missy wanted me to see my doctor one last time before I went home for the summer, so I saw Dr. Lee on Monday afternoon.  I was expecting it to be a standard, fairly uneventful check up, but unfortunately it was a little bit more discouraging than I was prepared for.  When I talked to my coach about my summer plans the week before, he became about the third person to tell me that I need to be cautious.  Everyone is forcing me to approach this comeback very slowly, and everyone (including myself) is afraid of what might happen if I comeback to gymnastics just a little too quickly.  More than I want to be back in the sport, competing, etc.—I don’t want to go through this again.  I don’t want to get hurt.  John warned me that when I come back in September, I’ll be gymnastic-ally behind everyone else.  He told me this so that I could be mentally prepared, and so that I knew that know one would be disappointed in me.  But then when I talked to Dr. Lee, she told me that she would prefer my bars workouts stay as they are now—practically nothing—until late September.  Basically, I can’t do anything that even has the possibility of me falling… my knee just wouldn’t be able to handle that kind of impact. 

I’m pretty disappointed.  I was prepared to be behind everyone come September; but the thing is, I wasn’t prepared to be THAT far behind… I wasn’t prepared to be still doing practically nothing.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Last Week and a Half

It’s winding down.  That time of the year.  I am so excited to be going home.  I had breakfast with my old roommate this morning, and we just started talking about going home.  It never really occurred to her how different  California is from North Carolina.  There is a little bit of a culture shock from coast to coast.  People act differently, food tastes differently—but it’s not like I’ve decided that I like one more than the other.  I go back and forth.  One thing I will admit is that I underestimated how far away I actually am.  Traveling back and forth can be exhausting.  Actually, even trying to get in touch with friends or my parents can be exhausting.  But it’s all what I signed up for.  And regardless, I get to go home in two weeks.

In the meantime, this next week especially is going to be extremely difficult.  I’m not going to lie, I’m a little bit afraid.  My final projects are scaring me, and the only two classes that I have real finals in, are the two classes that I am most concerned about.  If you think of it, say a little prayer for me over this next week and a half.  Pray that I can get through this, focused and strong.  And pray that I survive without stressing too much or pulling any hair out.

And unless something extremely eventful happens, I’ll post again on the other side of this massive tornado of schoolwork. 

Friday, May 18, 2012


It has almost been a full month, since I’ve last posted.  And I partly blame my whirlwind of school work.  Projects, midterms, papers, I feel like I’ve had them all lately.  But for the first time in probably two or three weeks, I finally have a chance to breathe.

But another reason why I haven’t blogged in awhile is probably because, to be honest, not much has happened in terms of my “comeback.”  Time has passed, but I kind of feel like that’s about it.  Technically I guess that’s something.  And poof, I think it hit me today that next week, I will reach my four month milestone.  Seems crazy—I feel like I just got hurt last week.  But on the bright side, four months feels big.

In terms of gymnastics and my physical progress, it’s been pretty stagnant.  (Other than me running a decent-ish amount.)  Every time I ask my trainer about what’s next for me, when I can start doing bars, etc., I usually got disappointed.  I kept needing more time, more strength.  But now.  I’m almost at 4 months.  And I can’t wait to start swinging again.  It’s been too long.  And I think they miss me too.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Give A Girl An Inch

…And she’ll take a mile.  But actually.  So after I saw the doctor on Monday, she gave me the go-ahead to start jogging.  Tuesday at practice, I just ran around in circles at the gym—pretty much because I could.  Then Tuesday night, I cranked it up a notch.

My roommate, Christy, convinced me to do Insanity with her.  So after moving the dinning room table, I went for it!   Don’t worry, I’m not completely stupid.  I didn’t do the jumps or anything; I just did squats, etc.  Nevertheless, I don’t think I’ve ever sweat so much before in my life.  What do they say about that?  I think it’s something like, Sweat is your fat crying.

Then at practice yesterday, I decided to run around the field behind the gym.  Five minutes running, two and a half walking—four times.  Haha it was so slow, but considering it was my first time really running, I won’t judge myself too harshly.

Notice: I did not do these jumps in my workouts.
Now I wake up this morning, with every intention to go to rehab.  However… my legs are so sore, I can’t really walk normally.  Mostly it’s a good kind of sore.  My calves, etc.  A little pit of pain in my knee, but that’s to be expected.  Maybe today will be my day of rest. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012


So this blog post is seriously overdue.  But oh well!  Lately, my sister, Samantha, has tried out this new thing called, “working out.”  For her opinion on the situation, check this out.

A couple weekends ago, when I went to go see my sister, she was telling me how sore she was from working out.  She told me this multiple times, and she believed that she was never going to stop being sore.  It was just going to last forever.  Me being the encouraging sister that I am, I just kind of rolled my eyes and kept saying that eventually it’ll go away.

Little did I know what I was going to be experiencing the following week.  When I got back to Davis, I started my new rehab program for my knee.  I was breaking a pretty gross sweat doing these exercises and could barely make it through all of my exercises in less than two hours.  Then for the next four or five days, my whole body from the waist down was so sore.  I didn’t want to move in the morning, and I couldn’t even stand flat footed because it hurt my calves too much.  I knew how Samantha must’ve felt.  But sure enough, I eventually stopped being so sore.  At the time, I believed I was just going to be sore for the rest of my life—but it did go away.  So Samantha, if you’re still sore, I’m sorry it’s lasting so long.  But I still believe that eventually you will stop feeling sore!

Also, in terms of my knee’s recovery, I have officially passed the three month mark.  And I finally see my doctor tomorrow for a check-up!  Fingers crossed, I may be able to up my activity soon.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Help Wanted. Please!

So I have plenty of blog ideas pending in my mind at the moment... including one for you, Samantha! Get excited.  However midterm season is coming up, and I'm beginning to feel overwhelmed!

In the meantime, I have a favor to ask of my blog readers.
I'm applying for an internship this summer back in Charlotte, and I've made it to the final cut.  However the company, Boone Oakley, has decided to put all of us applicants against each other... Hunger Games status.  Not actually.  But anyways, there is a contest now.  And the winner of the contest gets the internship.  So here’s where I need your help.

Just call me Katniss.

The winning applicant is the person with the most amount of combined facebook friends and twitter followers! Pretty shallow, but I don’t really want to lose this internship because I’m too lazy to make some new friends.  So if you aren’t already, become my facebook friend and follow me on twitter (@ernmariesays)!  On April 30th, the winner will be announced, so if you don’t want to be my friend anymore, feel free to unfriend me in May!  And tell all your friends to do the same!  I would greatly appreciate it.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

In Honor Of National Sibling Day on 4/10/12

Last weekend was the first weekend of Spring quarter. But it was also Easter weekend!  And because I had a job interview in San Jose on Thursday night, I figured I might as well spend the night Thursday, skip my class Friday, hang out with Samantha… and then play it by ear.  Especially because I was desperate for some (of my own) family time, and I figured, “What better time than Easter?”  I told Kailyn when I left Thursday afternoon, that I had no idea when I’d be back.  Maybe Friday, maybe Saturday, maybe Sunday… it would be a surprise!

Starting with the group interview on Thursday night, I was about an hour early because traffic was non-existent.  Better safe than sorry.  I was applying for a Teaching Assistant for the GalileoSummer program in the Bay Area, and the interview was a fairly relaxed group environment.  Personally, I thought I did pretty well, but I found out this past week that they’re no longer considering me for any position.  I’m bummed.  I was really looking forward to the job and potentially living with Samantha this summer.  But back to last weekend.

Post-interview, Thursday night was spent catching up with my sister and watching Law and Order: SVU. And going to bed before 11 o’clock for probably the first time in weeks.  Because S had to work Friday, I spent the majority of my day reading my Economics book, watching Hunger Games interviews (etc.), attempting to rehab my knee, and doing laundry. 

Dinner: On the Border, courtesy of Samantha via Mom and Dad! Thanks, it was delicious, and I actually tried something new!

After dinner, I showed Samantha the two “Call Me Maybe” music videos: the official one, and the Justin Bieber/ Selena Gomez one.  We decided that we would reenact it, and make our own.  It was so much fun.  But know that Peeps are disgusting.  I cut out the parts of the video where Samantha and I made that very clear.  Enjoy J. It’s pretty entertaining—maybe one day it’ll be a viral hit. I’m kind of hoping not…

-U-Jam Fitness: where I learned that I’m super uncoordinated.  But eventually, I kind of figured it out.
-Road trip to Sacramento
-Hunger games (again) with C, S, and Ben.
-Burgers and Brew. Bacon cheeseburger!
-More Law and Order.  And my sisters falling asleep before 11 o’clock.

I decided to stay in Sacramento that night, so I could spend Easter brunch with my sisters.  It was one of the best decisions I made all weekend.  I missed them both and hanging out with them was exactly what I needed.

As for the job search, I’m taking an unofficial vote.  If you want me in California, and hear of a potential job, let me know!  Likewise, if you vote I go back to North Carolina for the summer, and hear of a potential job, let me know as well!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Spring quarter. 11 weeks.

It’s the start of spring quarter.  The sun is shining.  New classes.  More free time.  You know what that means? Plenty of time for rehab!  Not actually, given my class schedule—but  I’ll make it work.

Still slowly making progress.  Today marks eleven weeks.  And I’m celebrating by playing hooky from class and hanging out with Samantha in San Jose.  (Technically the “hooky” is a reward for my interview last night.)  A weekend away from school and at least hanging out with family—it’s exactly what I need.  Spending my spring break at my roommate’s house in Long Beach was really nice, but at the same time it made me just home and my own family.  Hence, my weekend here in San Jose.

But back to my rehab.  Eleven weeks means it’s time for a new program.  Thanks, Missy.  One with additional exercises, and “cranked up cardio.”  Starting next week, I have three days of rehab and three days of 90 minute cardio.  (Leaving one day of rest.)  My trainer told me that if I try doing my rehab and extra cardio in the same day, I’ll probably end up over training.  So my goal is to find a good balance between getting stronger, but not overdoing it.  And my scars are already stretching.  Gross.

My most immediate goal is full range of motion.  I have good extension, but it doesn’t quite bend all the way.  Comfortably, at least.  But cranking up these exercises is only making me realize that I’m significantly weaker than I thought.  I’ve lost muscle in my thighs, my calves, and my butt… but I’ve also lost strength in my arms.  I think I’m just faced with the fact that this is a long road back.  And unfortunately, it’s going to be longer and even tougher than I originally anticipated.  I always figured that since I’ve done this before, I can do it again.  No problem.  But circumstances are different here, and I know now with 100% certainty that this won’t be easy.

One day at a time.  Staying strong, and I’ll just keep hanging in there. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

MPSF Championships!

Wow.  This is a seriously overdue blog post, but once I got to this point in the season, and waited so long to update, I figured I might as well wait until conference, which was today!  The 2012 season had it’s ups and downs, and to say we were plagued with injuries is probably an understatement.  We had a fair share of season ending (or pre-season ending) injures, as well as serious “bumps and bruises” that either led to more serious things, or forced people to train and compete through pain.  And while it took us awhile to hit our stride, we eventually figured it out.  Starting at the meet at Sac State on March 11th, we started on bars, and for the first time all season, we hit all 6 routines.  Then we went to beam, and again, for the first time all season, we hit 6 for 6.  Before we knew it, we were on floor, hitting all our routines, then finishing on vault, with SIX STICKS.  It was incredible.  Just thinking about that moment, I got chills because we were on fire.  But it wasn’t like we were doing any out of body gymnastics, we were just doing exactly what we were capable of.  It was pretty cool.

Then the next week, we went to San Jose State, and had another stellar meet.  Hitting 23 of our 24 routines, we hit a season high 194.15.  It had been a long season, and a long preparation up to this point, but we were definitely peaking at the right time.  With the next meet being MPSF Conference Championships, and all 4 teams (U of Alaska Anchorage, Air Force Academy, Seattle Pacific, UCD) peaking at the right time of the season, the meet was going to be very competitive.  Throwing a wrench in the situation, because UC Davis was on the quarter system, we also had a week of finals leading up to the meet today.  Most of us finished our tests Friday, but Maddy had her last one this morning.  After a week of tests, studying, and as much gymnastics as possible, we were sleep deprived and still pushing through pains and injuries.  Nevertheless, I witnessed firsthand (again) that I am on a team of the toughest people in the world.  I was so proud of them and what they accomplished!  They are fighters, they are strong, they are committed, and they did not and will not give up.   And because of all that, they/ we are the 2012 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Conference Champions!  You guys are the best and congratulations! 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Lucky Number Seven (Weeks)

Today in rehab, one of the head trainers asked me how far out of surgery I was… “Two and a half months?” she asked.  To be honest, I couldn’t help but smile and laugh.  I wish.  Haha two more days, and I’ll be seven weeks!  Wow, I really thought I was only six.  Look at that. Time’s flying.  Not really.  Still, it was encouraging to know that even to the ATCs, I’m looking like I’m doing well. 

Anyways last week, I asked my trainer a question, even though I knew she was going to get mad at me for even bringing up.  (But technically, I gave her a warning, saying she wasn’t allowed to be mad.)  I flat out asked her when I could starting swinging bars.  She kind of rolled her eyes, but I really wasn’t expecting the answer she gave me.  Four months (from January 20th, not from now).  I’m pretty sure I’ll be running before I can do a giant on the bar.  I guess I just keep forgetting that this is a twelve month process.  And while I’m on the “fast track,” the idea of this comeback taking the full twelve months scares me just a little more than I’m comfortable admitting.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Dumb Tests

You know that feeling, when you’re studying for a test? You’re using the study guide, looking over the lecture notes, studying for hours and hours. Sometimes even days.  But then you get to the test, and it’s nothing you’ve prepared for. You wasted hours and hours studying, and the test just doesn’t resemble what you were expecting.  It’s not really that you underprepared, or didn’t have enough time—because you probably still wouldn’t even know the answers to the questions on the test if you had studied longer.  You really just didn’t study the right things, and really didn’t understand it as well as you thought you did.  Plain and simply, it was a frustrating, stupid test.

When I get in that situation, part of me panics.  Part of me wants to rip the “cheat-sheet” note card (because it’s not helping me at all… after I crammed about 7 lectures on one single 3 by 5 card).  Part of me is just annoyed.  And one last part of me refuses to give up on the test.  After all this work, all these hours, there must be something I know—I have faith that deep down in my brain, I might be able to reason through some of the questions and find (or guess) the right answer.  I have faith that the studying will at least pay off a little—even if it’s for only a few questions.

That was my Sustainability midterm on Thursday.  In the test’s defense, I didn’t study for daysss.  But I did go to every class.  I paid attention.  I did (most of) my reading.  I was decently interested in the class. So when it came time to study, I really thought I knew it.  I went to the review session.  Made a ten page study guide.   Studied the study guide. Made the most impressive 3x5 notecard I’ve ever made.  And still got a good nights sleep.  But then during the multiple choice midterm, I found myself getting stuck on a lot of the questions.  Narrowing it down, but then having no clue from there.  It was details we barely talked about, concepts I had barely heard of.  I think I looked at my notecard once, and it wasn’t even helpful.  Then despite my frustration, I kept going back through the test—hoping that the right answer was just going to make sense to me all of a sudden.  Nine out of ten times, it didn’t.  And I found myself doing “eenie meenie miney moe” to choose an answer.  I’m praying that by some miracle, I escaped with a B on this test. 

So anyways, that feeling that I got on that test (and the one that I got again today), is actually one I can’t seem to shake in other areas of my life.  And I realized it’s gymnastics.

I’ve spent years and years “studying”: training, growing, learning, and fighting.  It’s been probably close to sixteen years.  How many of them have I spent injured?  Probably too many, but that’s not important right now.  I will say that no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to avoid the injuries or reach (what I believe to be) my potential.  Even in high school and club, I was never extraordinarily good or anything… maybe because I was fighting with injuries.  Regardless, I kept working hard, because I thought it was fun.  But I couldn’t seem to get that “good grade”: make it to the National meet or have a good, healthy season. 

Unfortunately, sometimes I still feel like my “studying” and hard work hasn’t paid off.  Maybe I missed something, or misread the question.  I don't want this to sound too depressing, because it's not supposed to be.  In fact, it's the opposite.  I'm going to keep going back through the test, trying again and again, hoping that the right answer will jump out at me.  And now I’m just holding on to that faith that the hard work will pay off—because there’s no way I’ll just accept that I failed at something that I’ve worked this hard for and for this long.

And that’s my epiphany. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Erin 1 and Erin A

So let me just say that I love my occasional hang outs with Erin 1.  And they definitely do not happen enough.  For those of you how didn't know, she was my roommate in the dorms last year.  And yes, both of our names are Erin.  So in order to keep us straight, we decided to refer to ourselves as Erin 1 (her) and Erin A (me).  We couldn't have an "Erin 1" and an "Erin 2" or "Erin A" and "Erin B", because that would imply that one of us is better than the other!

Fortunately for me, today I got to hang out with Erin 1.  And just like every other time, she knows how to make me feel better.  We talk about life, in all its shapes and forms... or usually I do most of the talking.  But she's a fabulous listener.  The details of our conversation and my recent epiphany will come soon! Hopefully tomorrow after my midterm (that I should be studying for)... a little bit of foreshadowing? Ha never mind.  You'll see.

Anyways... in the meantime, you should read her blog from studying abroad last quarter in France.  Because she's awesome.  And her blog is pretty cool!
Last year she borrowed my computer and left me this friendly message.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My One Month Anniversary

Whoops. I meant to do this yesterday, but I did have a midterm today.  So I decided to be responsible and study for my midterm last night, instead of blogging about my one month anniversary.  But now, I’m supposed to be studying for my midterm on Thursday, and I’m blogging.  Of course.

And it’s official.  One month (and  one day) ago, I got a new ACL :). So far our relationship is pretty decent… hopefully it’s with me for the long haul.  (Also side not, today, 2/21/12, is my half birthday. Woo!)

Anyways, these last couple days in the gymnastics world of UC Davis has not exactly been the best. I got to travel with the team to Air Force on Friday, even though I wasn’t competing.  But still, I was so excited to travel—to even be allowed to go.  I felt like I really needed the pick-me-up, considering I was reaching a little bit of a lull in my rehab journey.  Right now I’m at the point where I have pretty small, stupid looking exercises, that I do lots of numbers of… and they still hurt.  Not to mention I’m still losing leg muscle at an alarming rate.  Which is frustrating.  Especially considering how much I could actually do, and how strong I felt when I didn’t even have a functioning ACL.

But back to Air Force.  I just really enjoyed being with the team, and being seen as a part of the team to everyone we encountered—from the airport to the hotel to the restaurant—I was proud to be a UC Davis gymnast.  The meet itself wasn’t our best.  We kind of had some mishaps.  Some that were pretty uncharacteristic; others that we can’t seem to get rid of.  But at the same time, I saw so many things that I was proud of.  Just like every other meet and every day at practice, I saw people fighting through pain and injuries, showing that they are tough and want to do everything they can for the team.  I watched my teammates make smart decisions on doing what was best for their bodies, and I watched some of them do what they needed to in order to stay on their feet.  I even saw some people do their best routines of the season (even though the scores definitely didn’t reflect it).  And most excitingly, I saw us pick back up the energy during a really tough event.  And when things could’ve easily continued down the rough road we were on, we finished the meet with two very strong beam routines.

Sure there were things we could’ve changed, and our coaches have definitely pointed them out.  But I still believe in every single one of them.  I believe that they can hit routines.  And I believe that they can hit them pretty well at that.  And of course, I’m still proud to be an Aggie.  I can only hope that one day, I can represent this school with just as much passion and determination as they do. 

In the meantime, it’s back to the grind.  If you can even call it that.  One month down…

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Proud Aggie

After the less-than-satisfactory meet at Cal in the beginning of February, we all felt the kick in the butt.  We knew it wasn’t our best meet.  The overall energy was low, and even some of the audience members noticed something was up.  What that was, we weren’t exactly sure.  Nevertheless, we knew we were capable of so much more.

The next week of training was a real testament to our character.  All week, I noticed the team was fired up, ready to turn the season around, and ready to do what they (we) were capable of.

So Friday came, and it was extremely helpful that we were at home.  Sac State was our main competition, but they’ve been really good this year, so we knew it’d be tough.  Oregon State, ranked #9 in the nation, was coming too, but they were going to be a little out of our league.  Let’s be honest.  Ha, we were just trying to be realistic.

Personally, I thought our goal should be to try and keep up with Sac State’s scores, and make sure that we were the loudest team in that gym.  I figured Oregon State would be very loud, but there was no way they were going to out cheer us in our gym.  No way.

Friday night’s meet was so much fun.  Even from the sidelines.  I couldn’t help but be happy for every one of my teammates, because they all did something they should be proud of.  In the end, we got 3rd, but Sac State only beat us by around four tenths.  Andd we improved our season high by over 2 points.

The best part was that Friday’s routines weren’t super human for anyone.  They just did everything they did in practice and showed everyone (including themselves) what they were truly capable of.  

Thursday, February 2, 2012


I’m going to be honest.  If I wrote this six hours ago, this would be a totally different blog post.  With a totally different mood and tone.

The beginning of this week felt absolutely crazy.  With a photography project and an Econ midterm on Monday, then a design and nutrition midterm on Tuesday, I felt absolutely brain dead by Tuesday night.  Just ask my teammate I was studying with for my last midterm Tuesday night.  I combined the words “vernacular” and “phonetic”: phernacular.  That’s not a word. JSYK.  But now that it’s Wednesday (technically Thursday).  I’ve had a little bit more time to rest, and my brain has also had a little bit of a break… at least from thinking about school.

My knee has been healing really well.  And I’m also officially walking without any crutches!  My mom saw me last week, so she can attest to the fact that I’m bouncing back from this surgery significantly better than the last time.  Maybe it’s because I was in better shape and I’m stronger than I was going into the 2009 surgery.  Or maybe it’s because I didn’t have to re-drill holes.  Or maybe I’m just tougher.  Whatever the reason, I really feel pretty good.  And I’m extremely thankful for that.

But here’s how my mood made a complete 180 in about four hours.  When I was originally started writing after practice, I was discouraged.  I won’t go into too many of the details, but I was disappointed in myself and in the thoughts (mostly of doubt) that were going through my head.  But after my night class got out, I met up with my teammates, Taryn and Kailyn, and my mood already started to brighten.  Just being able to talk and joke with them, I felt like I didn’t have to worry about all the thoughts running through my brain.

Then the three of us went to AIA, where the speaker talked about the fruit of the spirit, specifically joy.  Perfect, right? If I ever needed a reminder about where joy comes from, it was right then.  The speaker encouraged us to protect our joy, because in life, struggles and hardships will try and steal that away from you.  But God is still good, and our joy can still be found in Him.  He will protect me.  He will protect us.  And in Him, we can hold on to the joy in our life.

John 16: 33 “I have told you these things,
so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Saturday, January 28, 2012

My Current "Emoji" :)

The UCD "SWAGGIES" before warm-ups tonight!

Again, I feel like it has been awhile since I last blogged.  But really it’s only been a few days—this has just been an extremely long week.  Every time I start getting discouraged about the pain I might be feeling or these dumb crutches, I remember that I had surgery just a week ago.  One single week.  Seven days.  When I think about how short of a time that is, I decide that I’ve already come such a long way and progressed so much.  And considering how recently I had all this, I’m doing really well.

Now on to the more important stuff. J Today was the second home meet of the season!  UC Davis vs. California and Seattle Pacific.  Last Sunday, I refused to miss the first home meet of the season.  I was excited to be there and it was a lot of fun, but it can’t even begin to compare to what I felt today.

The only thing worse than standing on the sidelines, is not even being able to do that—sitting and cheering and watching, but still feeling too far away.  However today I forced myself to be on that sideline.  But don’t worry, Mom and Dad—I sat when I needed to.  I wasn’t completely stupid.

Still, back to tonight.  It was, plain and simply, FUN.  It was still annoying being on crutches, but I loved watching every single second of the competition today.  I loved seeing teammates step up and do what I KNOW they can do.  I loved seeing them fight for every tenth they could and put their whole heart into their routines.  And I loved seeing them having fun.  I’m so proud of them and at times, I found myself literally jumping up and down on one foot with excitement.  Now while I’m currently up at 2 o’clock in the morning, thinking about the fact that I have three midterms and a design project due on Monday and Tuesday alone… I’m noticing that my knee is actually hurting pretty badly.  But if I could do it again, I wouldn’t change a thing.  Because I’m happy.  Genuinely and truly content right now.  I wouldn’t trade that for (almost) anything in the world.

So way to go SWAGGIES! A tenth and a half behind Cal, we’ll get them next time.  I hope they’re ready for an upset at home next week!

Oh and p.s. Any of you iPhone or Smartphone users out there, if you send me an “emoji,” it will show up as a box on my phone!  And Kailyn will make fun of me!