After year of recovery, Central/Logan’s Caelen Lansing back to 100 percent

Senior gymnast battled through UCL tear last year

For most people, trying to perform gymnastics without using your hands would be impossible, but not for senior Caelen Lansing of the Central/Logan co-op.

Late last season Lansing tore the UCL in her right elbow, but she was determined to keep competing.

Just weeks before the state tournament, Lansing was fitted with an arm brace that locked her arm at a 90 degree angle, and she and hear coach Krystal Young came up with a gameplan for her floor routine.

“We took the skills that she had used her hands, took those out of the routine, and put together skills she could do without her hands and basically recreated a floor routine that was still state-worthy,” Young said.

Lansing ended up with a routine–again, without using her hands– that earned her fourth place at State.

“Obviously going into it with an arm brace, you’re not expecting to do super great, because you’ve got an arm brace on,” Lansing said. “I was going in like I was just honored to be able to go to State, so the fact that I was able to do well was really exciting.”

After the adrenaline wore off, the healing process had to begin.

“[The doctors] determined they were going to wait and see if those tendons were going to connect back to her bone, and luckily enough, they did start to connect,” Young explained. “So surgery was taken off the table.”

“It’s definitely been a process,” Lansing said. “After the state tournament I didn’t have to wear the brace anymore, and I was kind of just slowly working back into skills. I didn’t get completely cleared until July.

“It was frustrating just because that’s when you get all your new skills and get ready for the next season, so I couldn’t do that as early as I wanted to.”

But after almost a year, she’s back to 100 percent.

“We just recently got her back to real vaulting, not into a pit, so that was a huge step,” Young said.

“I was honestly surprised at how much muscle memory I have,” Lansing said. “For some of the things it was definitely a little more intimidating, like going back to bars for the first time. It was scary for me because I didn’t want to reinjure it, especially with the skill I injured it on. It was definitely a little intimidating to go back to doing.”

Lansing says as frustrating as the journey has been at times, it’s also taught her an important lesson.

“Just making the best of the situation,” she said. “If you get thrown a curveball, there’s pretty much always some way either around it or to make the best of whatever situation you’re in.”

The co-op team won its first home meet on Tuesday. Lansing was the all-around champion with a score of 35.625.

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