<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/209675376″>Life of an Injured Gymnast</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user43506384″>Alison Zywicki</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
Samantha (Sami) Lewis is a Central Michigan freshman gymnast from San Antonio, Texas. Lewis got injured around November and originally thought that it was just a muscle injury. So, Lewis continued to practice in the rigorous and intense training for the collegiate sport. Around January, Lewis started to experience severe semi-paralysis an ticking in her legs. It hurt to walk and there were days when you physically could not move. There were fears that she might never be able to compete, which is huge for a collegiate gymnast in her freshman year. After an MRI and multiple x-rays it was concluded that Lewis has, basically, two vertebrae connecting to her bones in her back snapped off, thus putting her out for 8-months and forcing her to not compete in the 2016-2017 MAC season. CMU is one of the top MAC schools for gymnastics and Lewis began to think that her freshman year was over.
“Not competing has been hard, especially as a freshman. Like you come from a club gym where every meet you compete no matter what you wanted to do or you didn’t have to fight for a line up spot. It was just, if you were there at practice, you could compete, that is just how it was. So, I guess it was a really big let down knowing that I wasn’t going to be able to compete so early in my freshman year…I am very hopeful for next year…The hardest part was just facing the fact that I was not going to ever put on the maroon and gold leo for my entire freshman year,” Lewis explained.
For a gymnast competition is everything. When you train all-year-round, it is hard to recognize when an injury can be pushed through or if it is something serious. Lewis continues to go through physical therapy and work her way up to being close to 100% again for the next season, while being the biggest cheerleader in the stands for her team. This is not uncommon for gymnasts to get injured or be out for the season, a majority of their team is struggling with injuries and Lewis was willing to share what the life is like for an injured gymnast in the video above.