These are the hands of a gymnast. Clearly, they don’t belong to me. I mean, whipping that American Express card out of the wallet might result in a paper cut, but there would be no where near this kind of collateral damage. No, these are the hands of a serious athlete.
This is the life of your average competitive gymnast. Amanda’s certainly not alone. These girls are tough. They are, essentially, warriors. They train at the gym 20 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. They are off only on New Years Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Years Eve….fewer days off than your average banker. To paraphrase from the prolific movie….. Stick It, “There are 2,000 Navy Seals, and only 200 Elite gymnasts.” Amanda is training for Level 9. The next milestone for a gymnast is Level 10 (many of these amazing girls will go on to compete at the collegiate level, after having competed as this level for years and years and years……). It is my very limited understanding that Elite gymnasts are the girls you see on TV, in the various Cup’s…the Tyson Cup, the World Cup (I seriously should invest in Gymnastics for Dummies, and Hockey for Dummies for that matter, now that I am certain that my people have a true passion for these sports. Wink, wink. Amanda started gymnastics over ten years ago, and Nick has been skating for thirteen years. I would have hated to waste any of my precious brain cells on information that I might not require in the future.).
Like all of these dedicated girls, Amanda comes home from gym battered, bruised and bleeding. They are the walking wounded. Limping, hobbling, icing, swelling, taped, splinted, booted, bloodied. When we pick Amanda up from practice, dried blood on her palms and wrists, we ask, “Did you tell your coach that you were bleeding?” To which scoffs, “No. I don’t want him to think I’m a cry baby.”
Well, last evening my gal came home from gym with her left hand and wrist all taped up, with quite the scowl on her face. I immediately assumed that a trip to the Emergency Room was in order, thankfully it was not. It’s an embarrassment, really to continually visit the Orthopedists office. We have had enough combined family visits to warrant our very own reserved parking place. Ugh! Amanda proceeded to remove the tape and band aids to reveal nasty blisters that have left pieces of her skin literally ripping off of her hand, with pools of fresh and dried blood in the palm of her hand and down her wrist. Yuch! Where is my cousin, Nurse Terri, when you need her? I got all week in the knees when Amanda removed her bandages (which says a lot, because nearly three years ago, when Chuck ripped his thumb completely off of his hand, I had to retrieve his severed thumb from the angle bracket that held up our garage door opener, and this was way more disgusting and gross.). She had this very creepy loose piece of skin, flapping around, that needed to be removed. I snagged a pair of scissors (and slugged back a glass of wine, which was really just an excuse, because I would have done that anyway while we watched the latest episode of the Real Housewives of New Jersey.), cleaned them off with rubbing alcohol and trimmed back her skin. A Hannibal Lecter Delight!
Amanda is such a brave soldier. Me on the other hand, I’m still a little bit queasy. I suppose that is why she is the competitor and me, as the More is More Mom®, I just get to marvel, more and more, at her talents and her bravery……