Arizona State Wrestler Not the Only Inspirational Story in Town

Kirk Mango@@kirkmangoAnalyst IApril 11, 2011

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 06:  Boise State Broncos fans cheer from the stands against the Virginia Tech Hokies at FedExField on September 6, 2010 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images)
Geoff Burke/Getty Images

Geez, how much inspiration can a guy take in one month. First comes that story of the one-legged wrestler from Arizona State, Anthony Robles, winning an NCAA Championship, then up pops another story about Boise State gymnast Amy Glass who launched a successful comeback from a likely career ending injury—a broken neck!!!

Yes, you read that correctly. She broke her neck at the "C5 vertebra and knocked her C5 and C6 vertebrae out of alignment." And yes, she came back from that injury (even after the suggestion by her surgeon that she should consider retiring) to successfully compete, "setting single-season school records with nine all-around wins (in 11 meets) and seven beam wins."

Her story is depicted in a wonderfully written piece by Chadd Cripe, at, titled "Boise State gymnast Amy Glass' toughness an inspiration to team." In it Chadd details the tremendous work ethic of Ms. Glass, her accident on the bars that lead to her severe neck injury, her relentless inner will—the kind necessary for such a comeback, and the meaning it all brings for her teammates, her coach and the program at Boise State.

Rather than give you all the details here, I would encourage you to click on the title link above and read what Chadd had to say about Amy and all that this story entails. However, there is something from Chadd's article I would like to highlight further. An important piece I think every athlete, and coach, needs to hear as I am definitely in full support of what it suggests.

One of the most difficult things for an athlete to struggle through, no matter what kind of adversity they face, is getting themselves in the kind of condition necessary for them to compete at their best. And that includes their skillset as well as their physical condition. Now in Amy's case, that meant getting back to where she was before the injury, and then some. This can be a very slow and tedious process, especially when waiting to recover from a serious injury such as Amy had.

It was through this process for Amy, as portrayed in Chadd's article, that the importance of one's fundamentals (basics) emerges as an essential ingredient to an athlete's success, no matter what the sport. Here, I'll let Chadd and Amy's coach (Resnick) add the clarification:

"The first three months of her comeback were nothing but gymnastics basics. It was almost Halloween before she was fully cleared—just two months before the season began.

"'That's part of why she's better now,' Resnick said. "'If I had to pick one thing that was weak in her gymnastics, it was her foundation-level skills. Because she had to come back from square one, she fixed a lot of those things.'"

There is a warning in there somewhere as all athletes and coaches need to keep this in mind; fundamentals or foundations should always hold the No. 1 priority, at least if reaching athletic potential is what you are seeking. It certainly has helped Amy as she has "blossomed this year," and all this after such adversity.

I am not sure how else to put this other than—awe-inspiring Amy, simply awe-inspiring!!!