The past 16 months, especially the last two weeks, have been extremely emotional, confusing, and heart-wrenching for all past and present gymnasts and their families. As of now, I would think every living person in the United States has heard about the life sentence that former Team USA Gymnastics doctor, Larry Nassar, has been ordered. Of equal attention, are the ongoing investigations happening at several other organizations that comprised his involvement.
I have not spoken about this publicly, and still will not. If you are here to read my story, turn back now. Yes, I was a gymnast. Yes, I had a relationship with Larry Nassar. No, I will not be sharing my personal story.
I want to talk about what gymnastics gave me. Like most girls and women who have shared their stories, gymnastics was my life. I know I am not alone in this. I know I am nothing special and I was not a “special” gymnast. However, I do still love the sport and always will. Gymnastics taught me some of life’s most fundamental lessons and made me into the person that I am today. Even after all the negativity, shame, and black eye fog that has settled over the sport, I wouldn’t change my experience for the world. I am forever grateful for the opportunities I was given as an athlete and for the wonderful relationships I formed along the way. I know every gymnasts’ experience is different; below I am sharing mine.
Most of my favorite childhood, adolescent, and teenage memories involve my teammates from gymnastics and diving, from level 5 to college. My teammates are some of my nearest and dearest friends. I am forever grateful gymnastics brought these wonderful people, relationships, and experiences into my life.
Allison Tropf, MS, RD, CSSD
Allison is a Sports Dietitian in Michigan. She enjoys helping others reach their nutrition and fitness goals through reliable and trustworthy recommendations.
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