Surprise Surgery & Another Recovery

April was one of the most surprisingly crazy months for me yet. Earlier in the month, I was at a climbing competition doing just fine and trying my hardest. But when the comp ended and my mom and I were driving home, I got a big headache, felt horrible, and started to throw up. I had lots of pain, especially on the right side of my stomach.

Sudden and unbearable pain on the right side made me think “appendicitis,” which made me feel even worse. Shortly after we got home, my parents decided I needed to go right to the Emergency Room. Everyone was super worried. I was in too much pain to get into the car, so my dad called an ambulance, both for the speed and because I’d get pain medication as soon as possible. At the hospital, I waited for five hours and couldn’t eat or drink anything, which was difficult since I’d just finished a competition. After an ultrasound and CT, the doctors decided to transfer me to the Children’s Hospital so I could have surgery. Yes, that’s right — surgery — but not on my appendix. They’d found a cyst on my ovary that was basically “exploding.” Three small incisions were needed to fix everything.

three small incisions on Madi's belly after emergency surgery

I’m happy to say the surgery was successful, and I stayed in the hospital for three days. It took a while to be able to walk without being nauseated, but finally I regained my strength and was discharged!

It was a rough couple of weeks not being able to climb while I recuperated. If you’ve been following my blog, you know this isn’t my first recuperation. I’ve missed most of the important training for regionals, which are coming up on May 14. I’m going to have to work my butt off to rebuild my endurance and strength in the next two weeks. I’m looking on the bright side and telling myself I’ll be able to compete in regionals unlike last season.

In other news, school is almost out — only 4 weeks left! I really hope the summer will pass without any injuries!

This Sports Headband Really Won’t Slip!

Three more months of school! I can hardly believe I will be a freshman next year. I’m already really excited for high school and connecting with more people. Sadly only one of my friends is going to the same high school as me but, that means I get to make some new friends.

Another great thing that will happen in high school is that my sister will be able to drive, which means I won’t be late to rock climbing (at least, less often I hope!)

Getting back into rock climbing after my concussion has been going great. We’ve been preparing for rope season by practicing falls. Yes, we actually practice falls! When we practice for falls, we climb up the wall and then fall over and over again.

Teen Ambassador Madi rock climbing at gym

During recent practices, I’ve been wearing my Dragonwing Stay in Place Mini Headband, and it didn’t slip off my head once! I totally recommend this sports headband to every athletic girl. I still love my Dragonwing sports bras, too. Here’s a picture of me when my Racer Sports Bra arrived!

Madi was all smiles when her Racer girls sports bra arrived

We’ve also been working on our first attempt-best attempt by “onsighting” routes. Onsighting is when you make a clean ascent without prior knowledge of the route or problem. I finally sent my first 11+ project on lead bottom to top — with only a little bloody nick on knuckle. Success!

Before break our middle school had an award assembly, and I was named to the honor roll! Working my butt off to catch up with assignments after my concussion paid off. And seeing the smiles on my parents’ faces was great!

 

Recovering from a Climbing Concussion

I celebrated my 14th birthday in December by doing a mock regionals and our gym’s first ever lock-in. Those were great, but, hands down, this has been one of the hardest months for me.

On December 7th, I went to climbing class with a great attitude considering it was the last push before regionals. Our coaches decided to have us on ropes. My friend Iza and I were partners, and she was leading a tricky route. When she was at the third clip going for a small crimp, she fell. The heel of her foot whammed into my head, but fortunately I was still able to catch her.

Rock climbing teammates
Not being able to compete because of a concussion was tough, but my teammates and coaches were awesome!

At first we laughed and giggled, after five minutes, I found myself sitting on the bench, feeling very lethargic and sleepy and holding an ice pack on my head. My coach Tim made a great call and recommended my mother pick me up and take me to the emergency room. I was dizzy and very slow walking on our way in to the ER. As soon as we explained my injury was from rock climbing, the medical team took it a bit more seriously and ran me through some tests, balancing and remembering numbers.

As soon as they said I had a mild concussion, tears started pouring down my face. I knew what was going to happen – that I’d have to miss regionals. I knew in the back of my mind I wouldn’t be able to compete, but I didn’t want to let it come true.

I stayed home from school for three days. I needed the rest, but I was very sad even thinking about climbing. I’d spent the whole season working up to this one competition, and now it was all wasted. On Wednesday, I went to climbing class because it’s a team sport. It was hard being in the background watching everybody else climb. Again my amazing coaches helped me get through this hard time and put positive thoughts in my head.

By Friday, I was sadly still having headaches and made the call to not compete on Saturday. I attended the event and watched my teammates compete. They did an amazing job!

I was back to normal the next week and was cleared by my doctor to start lightly climbing again. Now it is winter break, and it feels great to relax and enjoy winter here in Colorado. I wish all Dragonwing girls happy holidays and a wonderful start to the New Year.

Rock Climbing through the Holidays

Hello Dragonwing girls!

I hope all of you are having a great school year and that Halloween was fun. It seems like a long time ago now!

This year, I dressed up as a tomato, by stuffing pillows in a big red shirt then putting on a green headband. Here I am with a few friends.

Dressed up as a tomato for Halloween

My rock climbing gym also put on a special Halloween comp for the youth programs. I was glad to place 2nd! The best costumes were worn by some kids who dressed up as our coaches.

Halloween girls at rocking climbing gym

I’m already looking forward to the next ABS regional championship, which is being hosted by USA Climbing on December 12.

I will happily be participating for my second year in this special competition and sporting my Dragonwing girlgear. Since this will be my second year in this competition, I think I will be more prepared and more confident in my climbing. I also think I’ll be mentally prepared with techniques my coaches taught us like smiling, ways to read the problem, spending time more efficiently, and breathing.

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving holiday and break! I’ll be back in December!

Rock Climbing Comps & Coaches

Wow, time has sure flown by! It’s hard to believe that this is my sixth blog post as a Dragonwing girlgear Ambassador!

For the last month, every weekend has been filled with rock climbing competitions. My latest competition was super fun even though I had a cold, which left me with little energy. In that comp, I managed to flash my top 5. A “flash” is where you climb to the top of the wall with no falls or other attempts. As you can see from the photo, I’m still wearing my Un-Dee Mini Workout Shorts!

Dragonwing Ambassador Madi with rock climbing coaches at competition

A couple of weeks ago, I had a little meltdown at rock climbing class. I was doubting myself, thinking “I can’t do that” and “I haven’t progressed.” Eventually I shed a couple of tears. My coaches were so helpful and supportive and really helped me through that horrible mental block. They are amazing.

The weather here in Colorado has started to get chilly, but that doesn’t bother me. I love the cold weather because I can get into a fuzzy blanket and drink hot chocolate! Another reason I love winter is because I love skiing and snowboarding. I have been a snowboarder for a while but last winter tried out skiing and loved it! I’m looking forward to more fun in the snow this winter.

Leave a comment and tell me about your favorite winter sport or activity.

Climbing Competitions & the Power of Smiling

It’s September already!! The summer was one of the best and, sadly, the shortest. I’m so glad I’ve had the opportunity to be part of Dragonwing girlgear, an amazing company that supports active girls like me and many others. If you’re interested in becoming an Ambassador, leave a comment or send an email.

I’m an 8th grader this year and super excited with the start of the school year and with ABS season for climbing. I’ve already had my first local comp and it was a blast! I placed 8 out of 15 but tried a majority of the problems they set. (My Un-Dee Mini Workout Shorts are great for climbing!)

Dragonwing teen ambassador Madi in rock climbing competition

My next competitions are coming up very quickly and I can’t wait for them. On September 26 – this weekend! — is another comp of mine, a Youth American Ninja Warrior compettion! That will be super exciting, and I hope my mom will catch some great photos to share. Subscribe to this blog so you won’t miss them!

In climbing class, we’ve just finished our endurance phase, which is always the hardest, and now we’re hopping into the strength phase. This season, our coaches are challenging and helping us a lot.

One of my coaches taught us a “centering” technique that helps if you’re nervous or anxious at a comp or class. One of the strategies was smiling! That may sound weird, but smiling (just moving your face into a smile) usually makes you feel better in a stressful situation even if you don’t have a “real” reason to smile. Try it!

That’s all for now. Until my next post, remember to smile!

Dragonwing teen ambassador stress relief strategy is smile

Making the Most of Summer’s Last Days

Hello Dragonwing friends!

Recently my rock climbing team had a friendly – and super fun — competition hosted by our gym. I ended up taking 5th out 10 people, which wasn’t my best but still good.

Dragonwing Teen Ambassador Madi rock climbing at gym

Summer has been flying by way too quickly. By the time you read this, I’ll be back in school! I’ve been shopping like crazy getting school clothes and supplies, but I’m most excited to wear my Dragonwing Racer Sports Bra because it’s the most comfy one I own!

I made the best of my last days of summer break by climbing more and enjoying swimming and hiking. A couple of weeks ago, I invited a friend to go camping with my family and do a 12 mile hike. We both loved it! We passed 3 beautiful lakes and a bunch of mini waterfalls on our way to the top.

Dragonwing Teen Ambassador Madi & friend next to lake in Colorado mountains

This summer has treated me so great that I’m fine with it ending because there’s not much I didn’t accomplish. Until next time, when I’m in school!

What were some of YOUR favorite summer memories? Leave a comment!

Hiking, Camping & Rock Climbing (oh my!)

The first week of July was the best of the summer yet!

My sister Savannah had a horse show last week. My family and I camped at the show in our camper for the whole week!

While we were there, we swam until our fingers turned into raisins. Later, we walked around the town and, of course, watched her show. After the show, we had one more day before we had to leave.

On that last day, we were daring (and maybe a bit crazy) and took a hike with nothing! It wasn’t a smart decision on our part but luckily it was only a half mile. My Dragonwing Half-Tee Sports Top was great under my tank top.

My Dragonwing Half-Tee Sports Top was great for my July hike in the mountains.

On 4th of July weekend, our family decided to go hiking again and be prepared. This time, it was a four-mile hike, and we ventured off into another trail once we finished the first one. That night, we watched fireworks and all had the best sleep ever.

Madi rock climbing

During our trip, I was away from rock climbing for a week, and I’m so glad to have started back up again. We started the week with hangboard and a big workout.

This is a great summer already! What have YOU been doing?

 

Introducing Madi, Dragonwing Ambassador

Hi Dragonwing girls!

I’m Madi, a new Dragonwing girlgear ambassador. Let me tell you about myself!

 

Dragonwing girlgear ambassador Madi

First off all, I’m currently in the 7th grade and am heading into 8th. One of my favorite subjects is social studies. I feel this is an odd subject to like because most people say it’s boring, but it’s just so interesting to me. While school is important, many other things are important to me, such as rock climbing. Rock climbing is my passion and I know I will never give it up.

Rock climbing is my passion

Another thing I do is snowboard and ski in the winter time. I’ve tried both and like them just the same. A funny story with skiing is the first time I tried (3 months ago), I cried the whole way down the bunny hill! But after that I became better than my mom. Since my family and I live in Colorado, winter is pretty intense for us and most everybody. That means skiing and snowboarding is what my weekend consists of for about 4 months.

When summer rolls around, when my dog Roosevelt and I run around the neighborhood like crazy. Roosevelt is a Black Lab and about 6 years old. He is literally the best dog in the world to me. My family and I love to go camping, but sadly our dog is a little too wild to come with us. But it’s still super fun. In the summer, I also ride my horse Sugar, who’s 10 years old.

In the future, I hope we get to know each other more, but this is just a snippet of my life as an introduction. If you have any questions or ideas, leave a comment. And if you don’t want to miss any future Sideline Chatter updates, subscribe by entering your email on the right.

 

This Dragonwing girl is a Winner!

We asked our Instagram followers to post and tag us (@dragonwinggirl) in their throwback sports photos. We reposted every one and followers voted with their “likes.”

Our winner is Dorrit E., a terrific all-around athlete who specializes in soccer, rock-climbing, and pretty much every other activity you can imagine! Her photo received more than 200 votes!

Dorrit has won a Racer Seamless Sports Bra, designed just for girls. Made in the USA of high performance yarn for super softness, this tween sports bra is anti-microbial and moisture-wicking. Seamless and tag-free to eliminate chafing, the Racer has a wide bottom band that doesn’t ride up so girls can run, move, and climb with confidence.

Don’t miss our next contest! Follow us @dragonwinggirl now.