Imagine training in a gym six hours a day, six days a week while trying to balance school and homework.
Imagine spending all that time mastering certain skills for one sport for over 10 years.
Imagine spending the time in the gym under the instruction of a demanding coach who had experience coaching Olympic-caliber athletes.
Rachel Fisher lived that life. She began gymnastics when she was three and it became more and more a part of her life through her early years. Her coach was Yevgeny Marchenko, who was the 2004 U.S. Olympic Women’s head coach.
Fisher was an outstanding gymnast. She won over 80 medals and earned first place as the All-Around Champion at the Regional Junior Olympics at age 14.
At age 17, her life changed. Fisher was plagued by a back stress fracture and realized she wanted to do something other than gymnastics.
“It was like giving up my whole life,” Fisher said. “That was everything I did and it defined me.”
It was no small decision. This was a lifestyle change, but one she wanted.
“After much thought and prayer, I felt like it was something I needed to do so I moved on,” Fisher said.
She spent some time away from gymnastics, but quickly became bored. There was still a desire to challenge herself as an athlete. Her father had talked about the possibility of utilizing her talents in another sport.
“He had been bugging me about trying pole vaulting the last two years of gymnastics,” Fisher said. “I think he had read about pole vaulting and that ex-gymnasts make good pole-vaulters.”