Another super short essay!

Please critique this short essay for Stanford. The prompt is to talk about the activity that is most significant to you and why. Please be sure to point out grammar mistakes. Thanks!

<pre><code>My heart pounded as I looked up at the uneven bars. I gazed fixedly, fully aware of the impact the next thirty seconds would have on my gymnastics career. As I stood there, the bars seemed to stare at me menacingly. They dared me to defeat them, to overcome the daunting challenge in front of me—to win! It was the state meet and it would be the last meet I ever competed in as a member of USA Gymnastics. I had to make it count.
I checked my grips and waited for the judge’s salute. When it came, I raised my hand and turned to start my routine. I began well: my legs were straighter, casts were higher, and toes were more pointed than ever before. That is what messed me up. I wasn’t used to the energy and my hand slipped off the bar, throwing me to the floor. I was devastated. Still, my routine was unfinished, and I knew I had to finish it even though my chances at a medal were gone. I stood up and climbed back onto the bar. “No matter what,” I told myself, “I am not going to let this mistake ruin my day.”
My mistake on bars ended up strengthening my determination on the other events. I placed fourth on beam—my best score of the year. Since then, as a high school gymnast and gymnastics instructor, I have reminded myself that my love for gymnastics is not dictated by my performance on a single day. Gymnastics is a part of me, and it forever will be. As I continue with gymnastics, I will remember this quote: “If gymnastics were easy, it would be called football!”


<p>It's pretty good, I like the style.</p>

<p>I like the style too. The only thing that I saw was "That is what messed me up. I wasn’t used to the energy and my hand slipped off the bar, throwing me to the floor." That first sentence doesn't seem to fit right. And also, I'm not completely sure about this, but shouldn't you avoid contractions? I don't know though. Besides that, I thing it's really good!</p>

<p>Thanks for your help! That sentence sounded a bit wierd to me too, but I'm not exactly sure how to change it. Also, I have to use contractions because my character count is 1499 and the limit is 1500.</p>