Gemma stood at the start of the runway, ready to run. She pictured a handspring in her mind—legs together, butt tucked in . . . up and over the vault. But she didn’t run yet. She was waiting for Michael to nod his head.
Michael was Gemma’s gymnastics coach. He kicked a safety mat into place, then stood next to the vault, ready to help Gemma over.
Finally, Michael nodded his head.
Gemma wiped her hands on her legs and looked at the vault. Then she ran.
She ran fast, pumping her arms.
As Gemma ran up to the vault, Michael reached in to help her over.
But as Gemma jumped, her foot slipped. Her legs flew apart and her butt stuck out. She did it all wrong. She was just about to crash into the vault when Michael pushed her up and over—legs apart, butt out, almost over . . .
One of Gemma’s legs—out of control—hit Michael in the face. Gemma landed on her back, with her arms and legs out.
It had been a very bad vault.