“Fierce” Ch.12

This talks about Aly losing her Bubbie, dealing with poor nutrition, and the lead-up to the London Olympics

– On Christmas Eve in 2011, Aly’s Bubbie passed away. She had to go to her normal workout the morning of the funeral and she wasn’t fully present during the practice. Aly tried to respect the Jewish ritual of sitting shiva for a week but she had to fit in trainings. She’s sure Bubbie would understand.

– That winter, Aly eliminated carbs and veggies from her died and lived on protein. A few weeks after she started eating like this, she felt herself crashing. She’d get cramps, wake up terribly thirsty, and would feel so tired after practice that she couldn’t even drive herself home. She got a blood test and says the results were “alarming”. Later she found out that the cramps were from lack of energy and electrolytes and massive muscle breakdown, and she said that she had an extremely light period. She notes that she believed everything that the media told her about nutrition, and nobody taught her what foods she should be eating as an elite gymnast

– In 2012 she was set to compete at American Cup and Pac Rims, but after a bad workout at February camp, Marta and Kathy threatened to pull her. As we know she ended up competing at Scam but she felt the different atmosphere of the Olympic year. She nailed her Amanar and thought that would redeem her, but she didn’t make it to Pac Rims.

– One night, Mihai told her to do 10 beam routines before she could go home. It was too tiring and she started crying. Mihai told her “You can suffer now and be a champion for the rest of your life” so she got off the mat and left the sweaty outline of her body imprinted on the mat. She called it a sweat angel and said it was the sign of a hard worker.

– Aly was glad that she could go to her prom, even though she had to leave the after-party at 10. Mihai jokingly asked if she found a boyfriend, and she said that maybe she would have one if she wasn’t training every Friday.

– During training, Aly was stressed and kept falling on bars. Marta pulled her aside and told her that she was going to make the Olympic team unless she fell 10 times in competition. Aly knew that gymnastics was unpredictable and was still skeptical.

– Marta started crying right before she announced the 2012 team because she knew that she would break a lot of people’s hearts. Aly said that she had never seen this emotional side of Marta

– Everyone was sobbing except for Kyla who was smiling lol. Aly tried to control her emotions because the girls and coaches who didn’t make it were crying of sadness