She was always supposed to be here, even when she wasn’t.
Mount Si senior Jessica Trotto’s gymnastics career was supposed to be over. She was still part of the team, but had put away the leotard and traded leaps on the beam for coaching duties.
Sidelined by an old back injury, Trotto might never have gotten this moment. But there she was, in one final moment competing on beam and bars at Senior Night on Thursday, January 24—one last taste of competition.
It was a scary, exciting moment. All her friends were there, cheering her on. She had to work to be here.
When she was told last year that competition was impossible her senior year, Trotto was resigned to the end of her career. But in January, the outlook changed. Her back was doing better. And she knew Senior Night was coming up—one last chance. She took it.
It was the best possible option, said coach Jessica Easthope.
“She put dedication and time into physical therapy, getting stronger,” the coach said. “As soon as she was cleared, she was: ‘Can I do this?’ She was right back in the gym, trying to get strong enough to do two events.”
Trotto spent her senior season as a part of the team, and is still part of the Wildcats. She helped coach the junior varsity gymnasts, joined the team on the floor, cheered everyone on. She’ll be part of the contingent at state.
“It was hard, but I think being a captain motivated me to get back in and see all the girls,” Trotto said. “Their encouragement made the season worth it.”
Post-gymnastics, Trotto will focus on getting a job and preparing for her studies in athletic training at Boise State.
Her back injury has given her an insight into athletic training and sports medicine that’s likely beyond her years.
“Sports medicine opened my eyes,” Trotto said.
Unable to do any running or strenuous exercise beyond physical therapy, “my goal now is to get my back healthy for me to do sports later in life.”
Trotto didn’t bother following her scores on Senior Night. They didn’t matter.
“I was trying to play it safe. I was just happy I didn’t hurt myself.”
Trotto had a hard time explaining how she felt at that emotional, final moment.
“It was definitely worth it,” the senior said.