The focus is different this time around for Cassidy Feldsien, and that's not solely because the Washington Township junior placed fourth on beam at last season's IHSAA state finals.
Just a month after making program history with her state finals appearance, Feldsien broke her right ankle. A month and a half ago, she suffered a bone contusion on her left knee.
After two prep seasons of almost complete health, Feldsien is determined to overcome these injuries and strive for even better results this season.
"I just saw it as some bad luck," Feldsien said of her injuries. "I know I'm strong enough to get past this."
After advancing to the regional as a freshman, Feldsien became the school's first gymnast to advance to state in 2011, where she finished 18th in all-around (9.375).
"I think she wants to rise above what she did last season," Washington Township coach Shayna Smith said. "We really hope she can have a chance in all-around."
Those plans appeared to be put on hold when Feldsien landed wrong during a move in her floor routine.
A few months later, her legs landed straight on a bars dismount and the initial thought was a serious knee injury.
"I thought that (knee injury) was going to be a lot worse than it was," Feldsien said. "I feel good now."
Smith also doesn't feel that these setbacks forced her gymnast to rush her schedule.
"She knew how hard to push herself," Smith said. "She realized what she had to do to come off the injury."
Feldsien attributes her recovery success to on-going training while she nursed her injuries. After injuring her ankle, Feldsien put on a protective boot and continued to perform giants on the bars.
"My coach thought I was a little crazy," she said.
Feldsien also worked on elliptical machines, lifted weights, plus pull ups and handstand walks.
Precautionary measures were also used. After the knee injury, Feldsien wore a brace, iced it the area and also took Ibuprofen.
"She definitely shown me that she has the drive," Smith said. "She's proven to be very resilient."
Feldsien admits that she really hasn't added anything, but she's been able to tweak her regular routines.
"I'm pretty strong," Feldsien said. "I'm ready for it."
Feldsien's first competition takes place Jan. 28 at the Chesterton Invitational. She has five other meets before sectional.
"I don't mind waiting," Feldsien said. "That gives me a chance to get even better.
"I know what to expect now. I'm ready."