Do It B1G

Broken Foot

13 days post breaking my foot, I competed in my final Big Ten Championships as an Iowa Hawkeye. It was not pretty, and it was painful, but it got done. Did I train any of my dives before the meet? Not really. Monday I could hardly do a front jump, and only attempted my dives the day before the event.

Diving on a broken foot isn’t something I wanted to do. Coming second last wasn’t the plan. Scoring 225 point when the goal was 300 is not something I would typically be proud of. This is not the week I planned to end my Big Ten career on at all- but life happens. Shit happens and sometimes it has horrible timing and I was dead set on not letting a broken foot define my exit as a Senior student-athlete.

This is not some heroic story of how I rose above the pain and rose to the occasion- I cried every single practice I did anything beyond a front jump. During the meet warm up my coach called me over and let me know it was okay if I couldn’t dive. He was perfectly okay with letting this one go and letting me bow out, and I told him I couldn’t. I didn’t train for five years to NOT dive.

I will never make a Big Ten Final and that sucks. That’s probably the crappiest timing and luck I have ever experienced and I don’t get another chance at it. I’ve been looking for the rhyme or reason, the meaning behind it, and so far I’ve drawn a blank. I don’t know how or why I broke my foot and there’s a good chance I never will. I can also never say I didn’t give it my all. I used up all I had in me Thursday to get off six mediocre dives, and those six dives are more representative of me as a person than if I hadn’t broken my foot. I am most likely more proud of the dives I did Thursday, off of one foot, than if I had put together a great list and came 9th or 10th.

If I hadn’t gotten injured, the goal would was been Top 8 on both boards, without a doubt. Anything less than that would have been a “failure”. I would have felt defeated- I would have been devastated and furious and who knows what else. After breaking my foot, I can come 35th and walk away satisfied. Am I still upset and furious and just plain sad that I didn’t get the chance to make a final? YES. But sometimes the plan changes. Sometimes you have to roll with the punches and deal with whatever cards your dealt and everyone cliche in the book about going with it.

Friday was the 3m event, the event I’d been training for for years, and it went on without me. Eight girls made finals and eight girls made consolation finals, and I wasn’t any of them. There is nothing I can do about that and that’s okay. Not being able to dive all three events, or even any event well, on a broken foot isn’t a failure, or a definition of an athlete.

I am not a failure. An injury before my final conference meet does not make my career not worthwhile, or anything less than what it has been. To quote one of my favorite Olympians…

“I’ve always known you don’t accomplish all you set out to do in this sport, but it’s never made me afraid to try. It has never made me second guess getting back up after every knock down or putting the frailty of being human on display for all to see.

I signed up for this and it’s still the time of my life, therefore I choose to accept everything that happens during this formidable chapter in it.”

College diving isn’t over- we still have the NCAA Zone Meet in two and a half weeks to try and qualify for NCAA Nationals. Hopefully by then I’ll be a little more recovered. This has still been the best years of my life, hands down, and the immense pride I feel is giving the competition a shot is right up there with various other accomplishments other the years. No one can say I didn’t give it my all to come back for this meet. And yeah, my definition of success changed. It changed drastically, from finals to finishing, and I am more than okay to count this Big Ten Championships as a success.

Event Aftermath: I’m not allowed to dive again for a week. It took 6 Tylenol and 2 surgical painkillers to get me through the day (with my athletic trainer’s supervision nobody panic). I used 6 layers of tape in various patterns and a rubber wedge around the outside of my foot to dive in. The swelling came back with a vengeance, but calmed down after staying off it for a day. The bruising got darker everywhere it wasn’t taped. I was so sore the next morning you would have thought I did a marathon hopping on one foot, falling all over the hotel room. I only cried after one dive during the event, and then plenty of tears after- a mixture of pain and relief and happiness.

I’m a whole mixture of emotions right now. I am fine and I am going to be fine- I am sad but I’m proud. I figure all of that is normal (or maybe it’s the Tylenol). My biggest goals now are to rest, recover, and refocus. Oh, and be the loudest girl cheering on the pool deck. GO HAWKS! :)

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Life Lately, Ohio Edition

Blogging coming at you from another hotel room, another city, another state! Thanks for bearing with me through my biannual finals week struggle and the subsequent drop-off-the-face-of-the-earth! But I’m back, and after I write a conclusion for my last paper the semester will  IS officially be over and I’ll only have two classes left for both my degrees…whaaaat?

Here’s the rundown on what’s been going on recently:

I surprised my family for (American) Thanksgiving…again.

Like junior year I flew home for the holiday without telling a soul but my mother. With other thanksgiving plans falling through and a flight credit to use it turned out to be an easy decision! My grandma thought I was my sister, my sister was most definitely surprised, and my Dad was completely speechless too! Showing up unannounced was a blast and I enjoyed a chill weekend at home (before getting delayed flying through Dallas Fort Worth, grrrr…every time!)

My Senior Meet was two weeks ago,

and emotions were at an all-time high. Not only did my mother come down to celebrate the weekend with me, my sister flew down and surprised me this time!! Turns out they had it planned forever, weeks before I decided to surprise her. The weekend was full of highs and lows, great dives and average dives, and just a lot of weird feelings about it being my Senior meet. I can’t believe it went by this fast (even though our Senior meet was pretty early in the year!) and it meant the world to me that my mother and sister could be there with me.

We beat Iowa State for the fifth year in a row

Yeeeeeeeeah Haaaaaaaaawks!!!!!

And well now I’m in Columbus, Ohio!

Took all my finals early, classic. I swear every second or third semester I’m out of town somehow and have to take all my finals in a day or two. Last week I had a paper due Thursday, paper due Friday, one exam Thursday, two exams Friday, and one paper due this upcoming Friday. Why I like torturing myself like that is beyond me!! Despite the literal hell that was last week with minimal mental breakdowns, I survived and headed to Ohio State for the USA Winter Senior National Championships!

I’m looking forward to a great week of training here in Columbus and a motivational kick in the butt before heading home for Christmas, and then coming back to Iowa for training camp! This year has been flying, I’m borderline uncomfortable with the rate that college will soon be over. That’s a lie I’m not borderline uncomfortable- the thought of life after college makes me want to cry because of how amazing these last four and a half years have been. Those will be blog posts for another day…

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