Senior Ashley Stanek is a performer at heart. She has been a cheerleader for Marian for the past four years and a Field Day cheerleader for the past three. She also ran track for Marian for three years.
Recently, though, her reality in sports and performing has changed.
Stanek’s knee gave out while she was shaving her leg on Feb. 1, making it the fifth time she has dislocated her knee. Stanek explains this was the most painful dislocation she has ever endured. She dislocated her knee twice by doing the infamous dance move, the worm.
Because of the frequency of dislocations, her knee ligaments have been stretched out and her doctor said she will need surgery to tighten them back up. After the surgery set for Mar. 7, her knee will need three months to recover.
In the meantime, she is in a knee brace, and trying to wrap her head around the future ahead.
Stanek’s last state competition for cheer was Feb. 15. Like other seniors, she was excited to perform for the last time with her team, but her injury required that she refrain from cheering at the competition.
Although she is faced with the difficult news, she has found a silver lining. “I’m just trying to stay positive about everything and even if I can’t do the usual things that I know that I love, I get to try new things and see things in a new way,” Stanek said.
Stanek can no longer perform, but that doesn’t stop her from being a part of the team. She still attends all the practices and games where they perform; she helps with cheer critiques and routine feedback as well.
Stanek will no longer be able to run track or try out for Field day cheer. As a long distance runner, and her dance history, the news was heartbreaking. However, her future is one of possibility and opportunity.
“I know things happen for a reason and I trust that I will learn something from this compared to if I were to just be doing the same things,” Stanek said.