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Meet Misti, a high school student and nationally ranked athlete. Despite injuries and the challenges that come with traveling while studying, Misti is a highly successful gymnast and an exceedingly capable student.

Misti in the Gym

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Misti, pictured back centre, with the Eastern Canadian championships qualifiers at the Pickering Athletic Centre. (Image By Sabrina Byrnes. Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved.)

At age 8, Misti began gymnastics. At that time, her favourite activity was to jump on trampolines. At 11, Misti left gymnastics after she separated her shoulder while competing on bars. Remembering her passion for trampolines, she tried out for the competitive trampoline team shortly after. In 2011, Misti began competing in individual trampoline locally and by 2012, she was competing in double mini and synchronized trampoline. She soon began competing at the provincial level for trampoline and became an athlete with Team Ontario.

In 2013, Misti shattered her ankle and tore several ligaments. She says, “It was six months before I could go back into the gym, eight months before I could jump again, and fourteen months until I was pain free.” She was ordered to keep her leg below her heart for six weeks. As Misti explains it, someone who is always full of energy and hyperactive has difficulty sitting still to recover. Misti spent a great deal of her recovery time working on her VHS courses, which proved to be an excellent option for her:

The staff at VHS helped me out in more than a few ways. The teachers were understanding and remarkable with turnaround time. Mr. Sommerville always brightened my day and seemed to know everything there was to know about geography. Mr. Dietrich often gave detailed feedback within hours, so I could stay busy. This, combined with the fact that I was actually able to, on a few occasions, make YouTube videos of my math problems so we could work through them together, was absolutely spectacular.

Her injury didn’t discourage her from her great love for the trampoline. After she recovered, Misti was back at it. In the 2014/2015 season, she earned the title of Ontario champion in double mini trampoline and was back on Team Ontario. She placed 2nd overall in Eastern Canada and 4th for synchronized trampoline. This season, 2015/2016, Misti has just earned a national standing. She has once again qualified for Team Ontario in individual trampoline and double mini. She says, “I look forward to representing my province one last time, before shooting for team Canada.”

Misti’s Education

Regarding her education, Misti has always taken an alternative approach as she and her family travel frequently. Misti began in a Montessori school, but the bricks and mortar environment presented difficulties because Misti’s busy life required a more innovative approach. Misti says she has tried nearly every style of learning – public, private, correspondence, and online:

Nothing seems to have met my needs quite as well as VHS has. I am now a nationally ranked athlete, and VHS has been incredibly helpful in providing flexibility and helping to maintain my active lifestyle. Since my schooling is often changed from homeschooling, to car/hotel/tent schooling, having the option to be flexible is truly amazing. This flexibility and freedom, combined with knowledgeable and supportive staff, is by far one of the best options for me.

Caduceus.svgMisti, the eldest child in her family, speaks 3 languages: English, French, and Mandarin. In her spare time, Misti loves to read, coach gymnastics and trampoline, play violin and piano, swim, compete in karate, and volunteer with Big Brothers and Big Sisters. In the future, Misti aspires to be a doctor specializing in emergency medicine or pediatrics. She says this dream started when she was very young: “I had my first pair of scrubs before the age of two, [and] I used to walk around with my mom’s stethoscope listening for the heart beat or tummy sounds of everyone and everything around me.” Misti also wants to work with Doctors Without Borders to help in developing countries.

In closing, Misti commented, “I look forward to the future and all it holds, and thank VHS for providing such wonderful support along the way.”

Thanks for sharing your inspiring story, Misti! We at VHS wish you all the best in your future endeavours.