Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Dealing With Injury

Back in November R started complaining of pain in her knee when she did high impact activities like vault and some of her floor routine. We took her to the doctor, who put us in physical therapy. After a bit of rest, and conversations with her physical therapist, we opted for a plan that would get her through competition season and the state meet. Her diagnosis was patellar tendonitis, or runner's/jumper's knee. Basically, it's overuse, and while she won't hurt it more, it will hurt.

So we got through state, and met with PT again, deciding that we would give R the chance to work through the pain so she can compete in Chicago in February. Basically, the only real option is rest, and she didn't want to miss out on a big opportunity to compete. This was such a hard decision as a mom, trying to balance it all. After a week off at Christmas, and trying to go full force at practice in the new year, she was still having a lot of trouble. We talked with her coaches, and agreed that the best way to deal with this was to take the break that she was trying to avoid. 

We just finished week two of the break (still at the gym, only doing conditioning - her arms and abs are going to be insane), and we're following a strict ice and children's Motrin routine. She is definitely not the first gymnast (or athlete) to deal with an issue like this, but it's the first time we're dealing with something like this. It's been a long, frustrating journey. We're fortunate to have great coaches who have been really helpful and understanding, but she just wants to feel better and get back to work, so it's tough. We've got a knee brace now that I picked up at Sports Authority, and she's starting to feel better, but it's still a long process. 

Any advice or suggestions? How have you kept spirits up while dealing with injury? 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Baby Gymnasts!

For Christmas this year I decided that my kids had enough toys, and that they needed to choose "experiences" as their gifts. I know, I'm a mean mom, and trust me, they still got PLENTY of toys, but it's important to me to create memories. So A got to go to St. Louis with his dad to attend a 49ers game. R got a weekend trip to Des Moines for a weekend with mommy where we enjoyed dinner and shopping and a trip to the ER. E was a bit harder to decide on since it's a bit harder for him to explain (or know) what he wants, as a two-year-old. After some debate, we decided on rec classes at Success Gymnastics.

We started at the beginning of January, and he absolutely adores it. He's in a parent/child class, so he goes with the husband. They start with stretches, which he wasn't so sure about the first day, and then move on to an obstacle course! Easton loves the running and jumping, balancing on the beam, jumping on the trampoline, and practicing his forward rolls. After obstacle course the kids get a chance to do bars, tumble track, and "vault" into the foam pit. One of his favorite things has been getting the occasional glimpse of R while she's practicing! He's even made some new friends in class.

We originally thought we'd just sign him up for the month, but he gets so excited every week to go to class, we're trying to figure out how we can maybe figure out our schedule to try another couple of months. Since I coach during his class, J has to bring him, which means we all make the trek every Saturday to the gym.

If you're looking for a place that has fun classes, great coaches, and tons of opportunities to lead an active, healthy lifestyle for your child, we'll always recommend SUCCESS! You can always try a class to see if it works for you and your child(ren), and they offer classes at different times and on different days to accommodate lots of schedules (I mean hey, even my family found one that worked for us, and that's saying something!).

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

#GoalDigging - Competition 2015

Another competition season has come to an end. I can't believe how quickly it all goes once you get started. The hours and hours spent practicing in the off season seem unending, and the competition season is gone in the blink of an eye. R competed level 3 again this year while training level 4 (she competed one level 4 meet and will do another in February), and that was tough for her initially. She'd set a goal to compete level 4 - she told me she wanted to challenge herself; push herself to learn something new. I admired that, especially in a nine-year-old, but ultimately I'd say she got the best of both worlds. This season's team motto was #goaldigging. She had to reevaluate her goals, of course, but the focus on technique, and above all the growing confidence that I saw in my little girl, definitely made her initial frustration well worth it in the end - another reason I love our coaches. They definitely knew what was in her best interest in the long run. I'm so proud to say that this peanut, pictured here at the Chow's Flip For A Cure meet in October, trained two levels this year (along with two more #rockstar teammates), competed up a level against girls who had trained and competed that level all season (and podium'ed on vault), was a member of an undefeated level three team, and placed first on 3 of 4 events (she was runner up on floor), and first all around at the Iowa State Compulsory Championships in December. I can't wait to see what all the positive experiences this year will mean for her future! 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2015 in #OneWord - Experiences

Each year I try to choose a word to live my year by. I like it better than creating a resolution - it's a guiding principle instead of a narrow goal. Last year, for 2015, I chose the word "experiences." I wanted to experience new things, give my kids new experiences, appreciate the experiences I had, etc. Now that it's 2016 I can look back and say that I was VERY successful! We had so many new and exciting things happen in 2015!

I helped the kids participate in a ton of new learning experiences. We played with circuits and electricity, we designed and donated dog clothes, we planted our first container garden and ate some of our own vegetables! One of my favorite memories was doing our first big travel meet. The older kids and I took off for a long weekend in Chicago for IGI on Navy Pier, doing a Chicago style pizza taste test along the way! It was by far the largest meet we'd ever attended, and it was super fun to see gymnasts from all across the nation and take a road trip!

I had the opportunity to travel the country over the summer. I took some really exciting trips with the North Iowa Bloggers in 2015, getting to experience Chicago and Door County Wisconsin with some of the best ladies you'll ever meet. I experienced my first paintball guns, zip line, tour of the Chicago Skydeck, flight in an 8 seat Cessna plane, and of course, as you'd expect, #handstandsacrossamerica continued in fine form! 

I visited Philadelphia for the first time (a history teacher's dream), met some of my March Mommy friends, and attended my 3rd ISTE. I gave my first "1 in 3" speech on the big stage (which maybe was not the epic experience I hoped for, but at least I did it!) and presented a poster session with my friend and co-worker, Erin Olson.

I made it to Washington DC twice, once with the kids and husband, once with an incredible group of educators for the ASCD Emerging Leader program. We visited Smithsonians, I walked the monuments at night, I celebrated a birthday at a bar across from the White House, and ran along trails at Burke Lake Park. We mini-golfed and found a movie theater with recliners and tried our hand at a parkour course! 

I went back to Chicago to be trained with Code.org as an affiliate, which is DEFINITELY a new experience for me, and helped me lead an agency-wide Hour of Code initiative at work. And of course R and I spent a week in Lincoln, NE with the best group of gymnasts and moms you ask for. I'd never spent time in Lincoln (or Nebraska, except driving through), so that was a new experience in itself. I did my first wine tasting, spent time by the pool, and walked, and walked, and walked. R worked on new skills, we made new friends, and bonded on our car ride. 
Football was a big theme for us this year, as usual. We took a family camping trip to Anderson, IN for #ColtsCamp2015 that was full of... well, we'll call them interesting experiences. I went back to Lucas Oil with my sister for a Colts game (one of the few they won this year, thankfully) and got to wear my glittery Colts high heels and new jersey. Husband playing football with the Midwest Rampage was another new experience. I had no idea when he joined the team, while I was barely speaking to him, that I'd love it as much as I did, but here we are, January 2016 and I'm counting down the days til the new season starts! I even got a new lens for my camera for Christmas. We can pretend I'm excited about taking pictures of my kids, but we all know the lens is really exciting because I can't wait to be on the sidelines taking pictures again. 

We had a big year. There are so many things I missed - the birth of my first niece, all the different burgers I taste-tested in Ames with Jess, or as I traveled around the country, and then there were the day to day things - new skills, new camps, new games, new friends, and new challenges. Living my life with the word "experiences" as my guiding principle brought so many new and exciting things into our lives, I can't wait to see what 2016 will bring!