The Cardinal

Ashley Jones
Ashley Jones— a senior, a student, a lover, a girl, a cheerleader, and a quitter.

Beginning as a toddler and finishing during her sophomore year in high school, Jones dedicated her life to gymnastics.

“I started ‘Mommy and Me’ classes at 18 months old, and began competing at age six, up until age 16,” Jones gave up ten years of her life to the sport, therefore it was not easy throwing away an activity that she trained in for almost her entire existence.

She loved the sport, but it came with consequences.

“I was always really stressed out because of how busy I was, I felt like I was missing out on things. Also, I got injured a lot and my body couldn’t take it anymore.”

The injuries that she endured were recurring for two years, inhibiting her from partaking in gymnastics and many other activities.

“In 2014, at my state meet, I broke my foot during a floor routine. I had to get surgery on it a month later in which they put a screw in my foot to hold my bones together. Ultimately, I decided to go back in 2016 to get surgery to remove the screw. There was never a day when I wasn’t in pain.”

Jones felt guilty telling her coaches and teammates that she was leaving after such a prolonged career.

“My coaches and teammates seemed okay with it for the most part. Except one coach I was extremely close with grew upset with me, it made me feel bad.”

Although the response from her coach made the process difficult, Jones knew she had support from her friends and family.

“At first my parents tried to get me to finish out gymnastics through high school, but they understood what I was going through. And a bunch of my teammates related to me and the reasons that I left, so that helped me realize it was time to quit.”

Jones has given up a major portion of her life, but this decision has provided more opportunities during her senior year.

Ashley Jones, Senior

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