Gymnasts of Liberty
October 4, 2019
Student-athletes undergo the stress of the physical work at practice, the pressures of a school day, tackling their homework, and handling social and family life on top of that. Gymnastics is demanding, and many athletes of this sport are required to fill the hours at the gym while balancing being a student. Schools find it easy to highlight school sport athletes, but the athletes behind the scenes that aren’t specifically repping Liberty don’t always get recognized for their efforts as well.
Gymnastics involves tumbling, beam, bars, trampoline, and much more. Gymnasts spend countless hours perfecting skills that they use in competitions to win meets and become better athletes. Goals like a college scholarship and even Olympics are on the minds of gymnasts while they train.
Kyden Martinez, Addison Fishman, Isabel Jimenez, Gracie Carr, and Paige McPherson are just a few gymnasts here at Liberty that shared about their lifestyle.
“I spend about 30 to 35 hours a week at the gym,” said Carr, junior.
Some athletes can’t remember a time when they weren’t in the gym practicing.
“I started gymnastics when I was five. My mom put me in it because I was always climbing counters and jumping off them [and] thought it would be good for me,” said Martinez, senior.
Injuries also tend to have a big part in a gymnast’s high school career.
“I have broken my hand, foot, toe, and arm doing gymnastics. I [recovered] by just coming in to the gym every day and doing everything I could,” said Carr.
Because gymnastics is so demanding, some gymnasts might continue to perform with broken bones.
“When I broke my hand at a meet, [I] still competed floor with two broken bones in my left hand,” said Carr.
McPerson, junior, also attests to injuries as a part of the sport, but not letting it get in her way.
“I have gotten injured multiple times, but the key to coming back is to take it slow and don’t give up even when it seems like the best option,” said McPherson.
Fishman, freshman, loves her gym and the aspect of being part of a team.
“I love the teammate aspect and being around a great group of girls all the time is really fun,” said Fishman.
McPherson also loves her team and the benefits of the skills she learns.
“My favorite part about gymnastics is the memories I make with my teammates and being able to do flips,” said McPherson.
A usual daily routine for Fishman involves many hours spent at the gym.
“I go straight to practice after school, eat on the way, usually I don’t get home until 8:30 or 9,” Fishman continued.
Students like Fishman know the demands and how much they do behind the scenes.
“I feel like not that many people know that much about how much [gymnasts] have to do outside of the gym; eating healthy and time management is so important,” said Fishman.
Some athletes undergo the stress and time as limiting to other areas of life.
“I quit coming into freshman year [because] I didn’t love the sport anymore; I didn’t want to compete. I was raised in the gym and looked up to my sister but I almost broke my ankle when I was 12 and broke my finger when I was 14,” said Jimenez, junior.
“My goal for gymnastics is to be the best I can be while having fun. I don’t have any desire to be in it after high school, but I will definitely miss it,” said McPherson.
“I would spend five hours a day at practice. If it was a competition week, we would spend more time. Making up tests and homework was hard, [and now] I have more time to watch school events,” Jimenez said.
This year’s gymnasts are putting in the hours to perfect their skills for their upcoming season this December.