Gymnast’s Honor


As the afternoon sun shined on my balance beam, I mounted with a tuck jump.

I was practicing my beam routine for an upcoming gymnastics meet.


I did a half turn, and then launched into a cartwheel.


When I landed, I leaned into a back-walkover.


Then I slid down into a split, raising my hands up in the air. I was breathing hard from the effort to pull off this run-through flawlessly.


I stood up an took a deep breath to calm myself. This was it. The grand finale. The dismount.


I took a step forward and stopped.

My music got louder. Dun, duh duh dun, duh duh dun, duh duh dun, dun!

And then it paused for four seconds.


I sprang into the air in that moment of silence, giving it all I had. I twirled around in a backflip.


The instant I hit the ground I started a series of three back-handsprings that would take me to the end of the beam.


I came out of the last back-handspring inches away from the end of the beam. I took two running steps . . .


and leaped into an aerial.


But I didn’t have enough height! I crashed down on the mats at the end of the beam, landing on my arm.

I let out a piercing scream. My wrist felt like it was on fire.


Seconds later, Tracy, Saige and Savannah, the only girls at home, dashed out to where I was.


Saige exclaimed, “We heard you scream! Are you –“


She stopped short. I was definitely not OK. I clutched my right wrist to my chest, tears streaming down my cheeks.


Tracy ran over to me. “Can you move your fingers?” she asked.


I grimaced as I tried. I could move my fingers — just a little bit, and it hurt like crazy when I did.


Tracy helped me up, and then she took me off to the hospital.


Saige and Ana waited anxiously for us to come home. They hardly talked — they were too scared for me.


Finally, just when they were about to burst from impatience, we came through the door.


Savannah and Saige jumped off the couch as soon as we came in.

“You broke your arm?” Savannah yelped.


“Yeah,” I replied as I sat down.


Tracy put a pillow under my cast to elevate my arm — doctor’s orders.


I lifted my hand up to show them my rainbow cast. “Anyone want to sign it?” I asked.


Tracy grabbed a Sharpie pen, and my sisters crowded around to sign the cast.


“So, when does the cast come off?” Ana asked as she wrote her name.


“February 21st,” I replied. “The day of our party.”


Saige grabbed a pen and ran over to the calendar. She flipped the page to February and circled the 21st. “Ivy’s cast off,” she said as she wrote.


It was cool how much I got pampered just because I broke my wrist!


It was like I had my own personal servants —  they brought my hot chocolate and magazines.


I even got to turn my brain to mush and watch movies all day!

But that didn’t change the fact that I was going to have to miss my gymnastics meet.


I called my coach to tell her. “Hey, Coach,” I said when she picked up. “Guess what — I broke my wrist. I won’t be able to be in the meet.”

“I’m so sorry, Ivy!” she replied. “I know you were super pumped for it. The girls will be disappointed; they all know how good you are at beam and floor. Hopefully Pine Valley Ridge Gymnastics will still stand a chance without you!”

“Thanks, Coach. Tell them I said good luck! So . . . bye.”

“Wait, one more thing, Ivy. Just remember — when you get that cast off, we’ll put it in the case of Gymnast’s Honor, if you want.”

20 thoughts on “Gymnast’s Honor

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