Peyton Ernst announced she is retiring from gymnastics on Thursday through her Twitter account. She would have been a redshirt junior for the Crimson Tide during the 2019 season.

“Today was my last day of my gymnastics career,” Ernst wrote. “Yes, something that has been in my life for 19 of my 21 years has come to an end. The decision to be done was all mine which made my decision to end a little bit easier.”

Ernst transferred to Alabama from Florida after her freshman season and had to redshirt her sophomore year at UA due to NCAA rules. She was finally able to compete for the Crimson Tide in 2018. Due to prior injuries sustained throughout her club and collegiate career, she only did balance beam and ended up with a career-high 9.9 on the road against the Gators of all teams.

“Coming back this fall and going in the gym, I struggled and kept asking myself ‘why am I here?’ and ‘what else is there that I want or need to accomplish?'” she said. “I kept going back and forth with wanting to be done or just sticking this last year out. I then decided to just stick it out because when it came down it, I was terrified or what I would do or be without gymnastics. But on August 27th, I dislocated my shoulder.”

Alabama’s 2019 season starts on Jan. 4 with a quad meet in Coleman Coliseum against Southeast Missouri, Northern Illinois and Temple. The home schedule was released Sept. 13.

“It’s hard and it kills me to say good bye to something I have done and loved for 19 years, but I have so much more to offer,” Ernst said. “What that is I may not know for certain, but I’m ready to explore what that may be.”

Ernst is originally from Coppell, Texas, and is majoring in general studies. She’s a two-time Scholastic All-American and was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll last season.

Below is her full post and explanation.

“To the sport who has made me the person I am today, thank you!” she said. “I will forever be thankful for everything this sport has brought me in life. Gymnastics will always have a special place in my heart.”

Reach Terrin Waack at or at 205-722-0229.