3.18.2012

For the Love of Cartwheels

Sooo.... a few weeks ago I wrote a post called Obsessed, in which I listed the top 10 things I currently love.
For Obsession #6, I zeroed in on my love of Adults Behaving like Children,
specifically my love of my new Adult Beginner Gymnastics class in which I am mastering such skills as running into vaults at high speeds.
Yes, well, I'd like to retract this statement of love. 
Or rather, not retract it, but add a slight disclaimer to it before I get sued.

Stay-Off the Tumble-Track.
And here's why...

There I was at gymnastics class a few weeks ago.
I had successfully made my rounds on the vault exercises when I headed over to the tumble track
(read: the Trampoline of Death)
We warmed up with pike jumps and straddle jumps, and I felt really cool because I was leading the line.
The next exercise was my specialty, the cartwheel.
Well, let me clarify- the cartwheel is my specialty on the FLOOR.
NOT, it turns out, on a bouncy trampoline.
Without fear I went for the whole shabang~ the running hurdle (whatever the heck that is) into my cartwheel, and in that same instant my right leg may or may not have grown a full two inches in length.
Because as my entire body flung itself in a rapid motion forward, my right leg decided to go in a rapid motion downward and absorb the bounce of the entire trampoline.
It literally felt like the back of my right thigh had snapped straight in two.

And do you know what I thought?
This is just awesome~
I am that girl who gets hurt doing a cartwheel at her Adult Beginner Gymnastics class.

YES I probably shouldn't have gone into my running hurdle with so much gusto.
And YES Katie and I were late and missed the stretching portion of the class because we were drinking.
But a cartwheel injury? Come on~ that's embarrassing. 
And because it's embarrassing I didn't tell anyone but Katie.
And because I didn't tell anyone but Katie, I ended up participating the rest of the hour in exercises such as leg raises, handstands and lunges (which feel great when it feels like your leg's dangling by a thread). 

When I got home that night I joked to Chris that I had sustained a small injury at gymnastics, but from the look of horror on my face he gathered that I was actually in severe pain. 
He immediately ran to the store and purchased every form of Icy Hot paraphernalia in the entire establishment, which, by the way, is reason 1,374 that I'm marrying him.
I went to bed thinking that my leg would be fine in no time.

Well, cut to a few days later when I am sitting in a restaurant with my mom and my brother and finally just burst into tears.
The pain from the back of my leg had spread through my hips and thighs and felt like a horrible, dull ache that was just radiating from my bones. 
I realized that all of the Icy Hot patches in the world weren't going to cure my cartwheel injury, so the following Monday instead of going to gymnastics (sad face), I went to the doctor to get it all checked out.
After poking and prodding and X-Rays and blood tests, the doctor told me that my overzealous acrobatics had actually torn one of my hip flexer muscles.
You know, the muscles you use to do, well, everything.
No wonder I was in so much pain~ and all for the love of cartwheels.

After taking 2 weeks off from gymnastics, I returned this past Monday with slight reservation and just sat out of any activity that I thought might aggravate my leg.
Before heading over there, Chris and I had the following conversation:

Chris: Jess, be really careful tonight. 
Do you know the number one injury among athletes in their sport

Me: What is that?

Chris: Re-injuring themselves after returning too quickly from their initial injury.

Me: So you're sayinggg gymnastics is my sport!

(I mean, clearly.)
The moral of my story is if you are an adult and you want to behave like a child, put the wine glass down long enough to stretch out your muscles, and get as far away from a tumble track as humanly possible.
Then, and only then, is it safe to let your inner gymnast shine.
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