Growing up I had to make many sacrifices in order to be able to pursue the sport I am very passionate about. Power tumbling has always been a part of my life and has taught me dedication, strength, commitment, and passion. I dedicate most of my time to training at the gym. Tumbling is a huge commitment and develops many sacrifices.
At the age of eight I was presented with a choice between dance and tumbling. I was devastated. I had been invited to be on the competition dance team, and I was super excited. One day my mom asked, “Hannah, do you want to quit tumbling or do you want to quit dancing? You have to choose one or the other”
I replied with, “I want to quit dancing, I want to focus on tumbling.”
As I made my decision I could feel the distress and frustration flood through my body because I loved dance. I hated the gut feeling of quitting something that I loved doing.
At the age of eleven I always turned down hanging out with my friends.
“Hannah, do you want to come over today?” my friend Leeah asked.
“I’m sorry I can’t tonight I have tumbling.” I responded. I was forced to adapt to my busy schedule and make tumbling friends. I wanted to be done so badly because I was missing out on all the fun things that my friends were doing. I quickly realized gym relationships are a special type of friendship. They see all your ups and downs and support you through both the rewarding and tough times. When working on double pikes all you can hear is “Let’s go Hannah, you can do it!” and “Go strong!” They are so supportive. Most of my friends that I have today I have met through tumbling. Friends and my passion for the sport are two of the things that always kept me from quitting. I was still loving every second of it and I wasn’t ready to throw that all away.
At the age of thirteen I had progressed in tumbling to the point where I was going to practice six days a week for two and a half hours. I would have to miss family dinners, and when they went over to my grandparents house to visit with them. When I got home I would have to eat dinner by myself at night. I was spending more time at the gym than I was with my family. It was hard on me but I wasn’t ready to give it up.
At the age of fifteen, I had accumulated so many injuries and could just feel the weight of the world come down on me. I have sprained both of my wrists, broken my arm, back and both of my ankles. I was at a breaking point and was ready to be done. All of my injuries happened while I was tumbling. I watched everyone else tumble in disenchantment as the younger kids worked on new skills. Everytime I tumble I sacrifice my body and run the risk of damaging it permanently. Currently, I suffer from severe tendonitis in both of my ankles but it has been worth every minute of it. The feeling of accomplishment when I step off of that competition floor knowing I had just won first place is far greater than any injury that tries to take me down.
Now, at the age of seventeen the end of my tumbling career is approaching quickly. After fifteen years of sacrifices I am seven short months away from retiring from the sport that has been my entire life. I have created a second family there, and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. It has been very rewarding and worth every sacrifice that I have made.