|On the summit of Bear Peak, looking down at Boulder. Yes, I can see my house from here. That's one of my coworkers coming up the ridge; we were doing an early-season conditioning hike.|
My book rec today is a companion to my Rising Shadow guest post. Little Girls in Pretty Boxes is a sobering nonfiction read about the darker side of elite gymnastics and figure skating. Injuries, eating disorders, psychological trauma; it's bad enough when it happens to adult athletes, but the terrible thing about gymnastics and figure skating is that it happens to children. The book is a bit sensationalized, as such journalistic exposes tend to be, but I've seen the darker side of skating with my own eyes. I hear little girls of ten talking blithely about stress fractures that cause them constant pain, and I think, My God, you're going to have to live with this pain for the rest of your life! Much as I love skating, I am not sure I could in good conscience allow a child of mine to compete at the elite levels. The physical cost is simply too high. As an adult skater, I can choose how hard I want to be on my body, with full awareness of consequences. I'm not sure the young girls at the rink fully understand the price they'll pay later for their dedication to the sport. Kids think they are immortal. They don't understand how age worsens chronic injuries. By the time they're old enough to have regrets, the damage is already done.