By Jessie Graber
As she landed her final back-tuck while warming up for her final Coaches Invitational Meet, senior Samantha Forrester heard her ankle pop. Upon learning that her ankle was broken, Forrester was devastated that she would not be able to participate in the meet. She said, “I believe that everything happens for a reason, and even though I am not sure what that reason could be, I have to assume it was for the best.” Forrester was nervous that this injury would ruin her passion towards gymnastics, but instead, it has made her appreciate the sport even more.
Since the age of four, Forrester has used gymnastics as an outlet for all of her built up energy. Throughout the years, she has experienced many injuries and ups and downs, but her teammates have always been there to lend support. Forrester has learned to not let one fall hold her back from competing in the sport she loves. “Today,” Forrester states, “my inspiration definitely stems from my teammates and coaches. They inspire me to persevere and to not become discouraged after a bad practice.”
“At first, being on the school team was all about putting a varsity sport on my resume for college, but as time progressed and my relationships with my teammates and coaches began to grow, going to gymnastics practice began to feel less like a chore and more like being with a family that I could not wait to spend time with,” said Forrester.
Forrester’s injury has taught her not to take each day for granted and to take everything she does in stride. Her teammates have made an effort to include her in their pre-meet activities, such as doing each other’s hair the night before the meet. Additionally, Forrester was even allowed on the floor during the meet rather than having to sit in the stands. Although she was not able to compete, Forrester is very grateful for her teammates and friends who have helped her through her recovery.