There is no age limit to determination and success and this month’s Athlete Spotlight is no exception. Laredo Sports Medicine Clinic’s Athlete Spotlight for July 2017, goes to Arianna Torres. Her mother and everyone that has witnessed her work ethic said her passion would put any other athlete to shame.
Arianna Torres is a ten-year-old competitive gymnast here in Laredo, Texas. She was an avid ballet dancer before she started gymnastics but didn’t have the passion that she craved. When her older brother was eight years old, he was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. The doctors told him that he would be in a wheelchair by the age of 15. He needed to do yoga, swimming or gymnastics every day. In his words, “yoga is for females.” One day they were driving through town, and they spotted a gym that offered gymnastics. The family stopped the car, and they fell in love with the facility and the staff. Arianna was able to start working out alongside her brother and eventually was selected as a contributing member of a competition team. The gym was able to work with both kids to have coinciding practice times. At age eight, Arianna had the world at her fingertips. She had several medals from her competitions under her belt. Along with these medals, she snagged first place in her Division at State. However, all greatness comes with unexpected adversities. Torres handled her adversity with the same poise and determination she had to gain her early success.
In July 2015, she slammed her ankle in the restroom door which resulted in two jammed fractures. This injury put her gymnastic competitions on hold for a bit. She started the fall school season in a cast to heal her ankle correctly. This cast did not hinder her work-out, she did so with limitations, but kept her competitive fire alive.
She always had the reoccurring thought during her recovery,
“I can make it, I can make it.”
This idea coupled with her workouts allowed her to leap right back into her routine before her injury seamlessly. She continued to train hard and become better and better, day by day, to be able to compete in 2016.
In December of the same year, she re-injured her ankle, but her drive to become great over-powered her pain, at least for a bit. Arianna did not say anything about her injury and continued going through her routines. After four full routines on all apparatuses for a whopping four hours, she asked to be taken to the emergency room. Her ankle ended up being fractured again, in a different spot, a month before the new competitive season. Accompanying her ankle injury, Arianna complained of abdominal pain and was admitted to the ER that day, but was later released. The next day the same abdominal pain reoccurred, she was admitted to the ER, told that she had appendicitis and that surgery was required. Needless to say, it was an eventful week for young Arianna. Throughout all of these obstacles, Torres’ smile was a light to her friends and family. Unfortunately, she did not advance with her teammates during the 2016 competitive season. Once again, her motivation was not shaken. She received physical therapy from us, here at LSMC three times a week for several months. The journey to recovery was not easy, but Arianna never faltered on her faith back to competition.
Almost a year to date, December 20th, 2016, Arianna re-injures her ankle. Thankfully, the injury was only a sprain, but Torres was placed in a boot because of her past. Once again, we were lucky enough to have Arianna back in our doors for physical therapy for the months of January and February. She worked tirelessly to get back to her feisty, driven self. After all of her injuries, Arianna’s mother asked her if she wanted to quit to save her body.
The passionate and wise ten-year-old responded,
“Mom, I love gymnastics. Yes, it’s hard, but it being hard makes doing it so great! I can make it!”
The following season, Arianna won first in her division.
She has sacrificed being like ordinary ten-year-olds by missing sleepovers, classmates’ birthday parties, participating in school team sports and doing normal day to day activities to do this sport.
This young woman does not aspire to perform in the Olympics. She is striving to obtain a gymnastics scholarship at Yale, UCLA, or Harvard. Arianna Torres is planning on attending St. Augustine if she is not at the level of gymnastics that she needs to be homeschooled. It is not irregular for dedicated gymnasts at a particular threshold demand a flexible schooling schedule to be successful. Any athletes and coaches that have worked with Arianna have recognized her motivation and leadership. “She is young but so wise for her age. Wherever she goes, girls look up to her,” said her supportive father.
Today, Arianna still competes in the sport she loves alongside her brother. He is now 15 years-old and is NOT in a wheelchair like the doctors initially told him, but is participating in gymnastics and joined the high school basketball team.
We are so proud of Arianna Torres, and it is our honor to recognize her as Laredo Sports Medicine Clinic’s June 2017 Spotlight Athlete. We are so excited to see what all she will accomplish in her future.
Laredo Sports Medicine Clinic is South Texas’ premier sports medicine and orthopedic care provider, located in Laredo, Texas. Schedule your next appointment and let us get you back in the game.