For the past two weeks or so I have had wrist pain, right wrist. It started out with a tingle, sometimes numb feeling. My ring finger and index finger would sometimes fall asleep randomly. Yesterday I figured it out. I have agitated yet another old injury. After taking almost a week off of anything involving landing on a wrist it went away. Yesterday I went back to PIYO which involves putting weight on wrists and tricep pushups, all was fine, just wouldn’t put as much weight on my wrists and more in my legs. I use PIYO as more of a stretching/flexibility class than anything. On Thursdays I do back to back with athletic conditioning and PIYO and I felt it. I knew exactly what it was. I am 100% certain I aggravated it while doing burpees a few weeks ago. Yesterday we did many exercises while in a plank and I could feel it just like I did when I was a cheerleader and gymnast.
I never did have any broken bones while I was a gymnast. I saved all that for cheer-leading. I just knew that I had weak wrists and ankles like the majority of gymnast do, which is why you see them taped up from almost head to toe. When I reached 7th grade, my coach and I came to the conclusion that I had “peaked” and was basically too tall to really pursue a gymnastic career. At 5’6″ that is super model height for gymnastics. So I saw a flyer in middle school for cheer-leading tryouts and took interest in it. I talked to my mom about it and she said I could try out.
I had never been a cheerleader before except for peewee football and that was a joke. This cheer-leading wasn’t so much a joke. They stunted, tumbled, danced, and competed…and won national championships. They had tryout clinics and taught the same cheer and dance to everyone for the big day. I had no knowledge of all these motions and their names but learned it quickly. When it came time to tryout I tried my best…and then it came time to show tumbling ability, and that right there is the whole reason I made the squad. I had always been a power house tumbler. Floor was my favorite in gymnastics, having the power to twist and turn in the air has always been a rush for me. So began my cheer-leading career. After making the squad I also learned that I was one of the smallest and would be on top of pyramids, people, and flung high up in the air!
Regional Champs, securing a bid to Nationals. (Bottom row, second girl on left)
I was a cheerleader from 7th-11th grade. Along the way I had 13 casts on my wrist and ankle. My doctor finally told me that I needed to “retire” otherwise I would be in a wheel chair in my old age. My file was about an inch thick. So after that conversation and getting into a fight with my coach about going to a concert for my birthday instead of a practice, I quit.
One of my scariest injuries was a basket toss gone bad. I dreamed about it last night. I think the dream was triggered by my wrist woes over the past week. We recorded our practices so we could review and see what we needed to improve on. When we did our basket toss I was thrown up and out, instead of straight up…I landed on solid concrete, directly on my wrist, followed by my tailbone. They never let us see the tape, but in my dream last night I was at Houston High and the video was on display. In my dream I remember thinking what in the heck?!
Next comes the ankle, I chipped my tibia not once but twice. Not only did we have cheer practice but we would also have conditioning classes and tumbling classes. I loved the tumbling classes especially when we got to return to my old gym! I was working on a full twist and landed with my ankles together and feet pointed outward which is incredibly bad for ankles and knees. So began my ankle troubles. I was on the tumbling track working on a round-off, back-handspring, full twist, punch front. I landed the twist, felt the crack, and fell to the floor and immediately turned green. I chipped my tibia in my right ankle and was out for a very long time, even in a wheel chair, the pain was excruciating.
About a year later, I was stunting, and we had switched around bases (bottom people) and I had never stunted with them before. You get really used to your partners and how you work together and everything just flows together well. I was trying a liberty heel stretch from the ground, got to the top and everything was wobbly, so I fell down, and same spot felt the crack. My principle carried me to the car that night! I was out again.
As soon as I recovered from that one, I was back out and tumbling again. Unfortunately with cheer-leading, the tumbling was done on concrete. We had two long mats that we rolled up for practice, but that was for stunts during routines. We were going through a routine and I did my tumbling pass and landed hard on my right heel and fell to the ground. That was by far my most painful injury and still haunts me to the day. The x-ray showed 1 3/4″ fracture straight across my heel. I was done.
Everyone knows Michael is a runner, so when they ask if I run, Michael usually says not really, she’s broken. I’ve started running more and more and have been working on issues with that. I have had a really bad shin splints for about two months now and after wearing a calf sleeve and changing up footwear, I haven’t noticed any foot/shin pain. I am researching trail shoes for hiking/backpacking in regards to my heel/foot pain…hoping to get that resolved before our next adventure.
As far as the wrist, I have it taped today. Hoping that help with that. Michael said maybe you should just quit working out…I said, and then do what? I am the fittest I have been since “retiring” from cheer-leading. I can’t let these pesky old injuries tear me down now! I will just have to work around them!
I dropped the kids off at school today and on the way home was thinking about that dream, and that stunt gone wrong. Cheer-leading is such a terrible sport for your bodies. One of my bases, in middle school, had a severe back injury. She wore a pack on her hip that would send some sort of pain medicine to block nerves in her back…all from holding, throwing, and catching people…in MIDDLE SCHOOL. I never encouraged my kids to try gymnastics or cheer. I want them to have their bodies, to not fight injuries, to not be broken when they are in their 30s. Michael is going to take EK trail running on Tuesdays when the time changes. She loves being on trails, mountains, and nature. So we are looking forward to seeing how that goes!