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Dreams Can Be Created but Destoryed Within Minutes

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Submitted By amandastopinski
Words 2053
Pages 9
Amanda Stopinski
Dr. Shillock
English 108
September 14, 2009
Dreams Can Be Created but Destroyed Within Minutes
As we go through life we come to face many decisions, or events, that will shape who we are today and change our lives forever. I am a gymnast and have been for fifteen years, and the sport has consumed my life. I have competed for two clubs as a gymnast. At first I was competing for Parkettes and trained with top level gymnasts who have gone all the way to the Olympics. After nine years there I decided it was time for change and I needed it right away. When I arrived at 1665 E. Race St. in Allentown, Pennsylvania, I knew that Lehigh Valley Sports Academy (LVSA) was my new home. As I walked in the doors to LVSA all I saw were orange, blue, and green walls surrounded by people and future teammates ready to greet me with a friendly smile. The gym looked like an old airplane hangar that was emptied out with four, full-size spring floors, 16 balance beams, three sets of uneven bars, two bars over a foam pit, and two vaults just sitting there waiting for me to start flipping on. The gym was quiet, cold, and had that morning dew feeling to it, but as we sat there waiting to start our workout, nice and early, I met my coach, a former world champion, Natalia Yurchenko. It was an honor to be in the presence of such a great gymnast who has had so many high level skills named after her, and to know that she is my new coach.
At the close to my summer in 2007, I was chosen to be a part of a team that was well known around the country, Gattaca. Our gym picked up the sponsor and we were no longer known as just LVSA we were now known as Lehigh Valley Sports Academy Gattaca Training Center. To me that was the longest name for a gym that I have ever heard of, but with all the great opportunities that the deal offered to me, I decided that I couldn’t pass it up. Part of the deal was that, as a member of their team, we would get all new uniforms and have our competitions paid for. Since about age seven I have dreamed of going to a Division One school on a full ride scholarship, and this new sponsor offered me the chance to make that dream a reality. Gattaca then came into our gym and took over giving us everything that they had promised us, and at that moment it seemed like all my dreams were coming true. As our season started and finished, our gym was on the way to the top with Gattaca, and we were known all over the country. We had many camps held at our gym and brought in gymnasts from all over the world. We had Olympians such as Courtney Kupets and Darling Hill come to coach us and work with all the athletes. We also had college coaches from big name schools like, University of Maryland, Penn State, University of Penn, and Georgia, come in all the time to scout for new gymnasts coming up that would be eligible to compete for their teams. I was introduced to Manny, the owner of Gattaca, who was a tall, Italian man, very good looking, and had one tattoo that wrapped around his left bicep. He was a great guy and seemed very interested in me as a gymnast. At the camps, he would come and work with me and continue to make me a better gymnast every time I worked with him. On July fifth through sixth we held a camp at our gym, and Manny brought in college coaches from many different colleges to come and look at me to recruit me for their school. My dream school to go to was the University of Maryland, and Manny brought in the coaches from that school and many others. It was an exciting day; there were about 200 gymnasts in my gym, all eager to get started on Saturday morning. As we stood waiting for instruction, my heart raced at the sight of the college coaches there to see me, and I immediately had butterflies, as if I was back on the morning of my first day at kindergarten. As we were told the groups that we were in I became anxious and ready to show the coaches what I could do.
I went the entire day learning so many new things from all different coaches and was so happy. The Maryland coach came up to me and was very interested and started talking to me about joining their team and if I was interested. He was an older gentleman dressed in Maryland sport clothes; he wore glasses and was a bigger, more muscular guy but had a great personality. “Amanda,” he said, “I have been very interested in your work and as I was watching you throughout the day I have seen a lot of improvements. It seems like you have been working very hard and are very dedicated, and I would love it if you came to visit our school and discuss the options of you joining our team.” Eagerly I said that, “I have been working hard and will work hard every second I am in or out of the gym. I am very dedicated not just to the sport but to my school work too and I would love to come visit the school and see what it is all about.” At that point I was the gleaming with the biggest smile on my face. An hour later, I was called into the office by the director of my gym, and that is when my luck started to change. As I walked into the air-conditioned room I was greeted by not so pleasant faces from my mom and the director of the gym, as they looked at the computer screen in disgust. Anne, who is the director of my gym, and my mom, has the same type of personality and are both heavier set women. They were always happy and found the best ways for me to laugh, even when there was something wrong, and when I saw them sitting there in disgust at the email, I could tell there was something extremely wrong. I could feel the mood change, and had the feeling going through my head that whatever was located on that screen would be something that would change my life. Standing in the doorway waiting for the explanation of why everyone was so down, I could hear the music and laughter out on the floor to the gym. I suddenly got a chill and became cold, from the cool air running down my spine from the vent up above. Immediately I knew that I should expect the worse and could feel it in the air. “Amanda, have a seat. We have something important to tell you,” Anne said to me as I walked into the office. As I walked over and sat in the cool leather chair, they began to tell me what was imprinted on the computer screen that was giving them the look of disappointment. I could feel the tears start to fill up in my eyes as I listened in disbelief. At that moment I had realized that my dreams were being destroyed and by someone who said he was going to help me. Manny wrote this email and sent it to the head coach of the University of Maryland, and I will never forget this moment as I saw him walk next to the door and look at me with a smile on his face. The email was sent to the Maryland coach, and Manny wrote, “What Amanda lacks in natural talent, she gains in hard work and dedication, but at times is not the easiest gymnast to work with. She may be a hard worker but is not the best student and I feel as though she will not be the best candidate for your school.” At that moment my heart stopped and the tears poured out of my eyes as I collapsed in the chair and could no longer hear anything. It was as if the world had stopped for that moment and I was looking in at myself as if it was a nightmare, but when I opened my eyes Anne and my mom were standing next to me trying to get me calm down. Living that moment was overall torture, and to have all of my dreams just disappear right before my eyes was devastating. I could not believe that someone who was so interested in me would do this and be so involved in my dreams to just crush them and ruin every chance I had. Looking at the email for myself, I knew it was real and literally watched my dreams get crushed as if my dreams were a car being crushed and impounded. As I sat there crying I could still hear the sounds of laughter and music in the background and wondered if I could ever just be happy all the time and never have to go through this. After tragedy hit and I was rejected from Maryland because of Manny’s letter to the coach, I went to a competition in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania called the Mistletoe. I was introduced to a woman known as Amy Martelli, who for the past six months, was trying to contact me because she wanted me as a part of her gymnastics team. I loved her bubbly personality right away, and she was one of the kindest people you could ever meet. Amy and I stayed in touch she invited me to come on an official visit to Wilson College. I loved campus the moment I stepped out of the car; it felt as if I was home. During my visit at Wilson, I learned so much about the school, and traditions, that everything I heard just kept getting better. Everyone on campus was extremely welcoming and taught me that while you were a part of Wilson, you would not be a number in the classroom. On campus, everyone will know your name and make sure you get the best out of your college experience. As soon as I sent in all of my paper work, I was accepted into Wilson and the thoughts of Maryland were no longer in my head.
My dreams were crushed by the only person I trusted to help me with college, and I realized that, in the end, the only people you can rely on are yourself and your parents who only want the best for you. Sitting in the chair felt like an unbelievable experience but I have learned to trust no one unless you truly know that person. Although I had to learn the hard way, it has taught me so much in my life and made me a better person, athlete, and student. I will now work for me, my new teammates, and of course my new coach who has brought me to a wonderful place where I will succeed in every aspect of my life. If I would have gone to Maryland, I would have realized that it is not the school for me, because there you are known as a number and not a name. There is always something brighter in the future to look forward to, and at the time you may not think so, it is out there waiting for you. There is a plan for a greater tomorrow, just keep your head up and things will work out for the better. As the band Nickleback says in their song, If Today Was Your Last Day, “…do whatever it takes, ‘Cause you can’t rewind a moment in this life, Let nothing stand in your way, ‘Cause the hands of time are never on your side, If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late, could you say goodbye to yesterday? Would you live each moment like your last...?” Keep on living for tomorrow and never look back because things can only get better!…...

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