Ask any gymnast, and they'll likely tell you they spend more time at the trainer's table then on the competition floor.
Most gymnasts can recover from their injuries with time, some even make it back for the conference meet. Then there's Abby Ostrovsky.
The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse sophomore overcame a ankle injury last season to help the Eagles win a record 17th NCGA Championship. This season, she is battling a torn labrum in her hip and nerve damage in her elbow while qualifying for nationals once again.
"It's one of those things where any gymnast goes through pain. It's just about mentally preparing and being tough about it, just pushing to the side and saying I'm not in pain right now," Ostrovsky said. "I do feel it after practice, it's tight and sore. Before practice I have to be in the ATR before practice all the time."
A specialist on the uneven bars as a freshman, Ostrovsky has added the floor exercise and vault this season, and has set a new career-high in each event. Her 9.725 at the WIAC Championships/NCGA West Regional was her best collegiate score on bars, and qualified her for the individual national championships on Saturday.
"It was probably the best feeling ever," she said.
Ostrovsky's resiliency has inspired her teammates, and not just with her scores on each event.
"She's mentally gotten so much stronger. She's in it, she's there for the team," interim head coach Kasey Crawford said. "It just shows all of her hard work and perseverance pays off. I know she wants it even more coming up in these next few weeks."
As she prepares for the biggest meet of her young career, Ostrovsky is excited to experience a new feeling: relaxation.
"I just love being out there and just swinging and being free," she said. "Once I'm swinging, I get my mind out of everything and kind of am relaxed."