The male judge sitting above the stands said into the microphone, “Is the unit ready?” I look at the crowd of people in the gym bleachers. it’s almost a full house. There’s a variety of parents, children, performers, and other people who’ve come to see shows. They stare eagerly at us wanting to see our show this year. They can’t wait to see what our warrior outfits are about and why there is a dragon painted on our tarp. Above the audience are the judges sitting at their rectangular table. They sit with pencils and recorders ready to dissect every aspect of our show, They want to see if this year’s show is as amazing as the last two years or as bad as it was three years ago. I want to prove to them that is year - my senior year - the show is going to the best they have ever seen from us.Our show will be amazing and they will love it, I promise. Maybe we will even beat Miamisburg and Westerville and get in one of the top three places. Maybe even get a trophy and a high score. Although the trophy does not matter. It only matters that everyone does their best and have a fun time performing. I can't wait to see the other girls faces at the end and hear them say, ‘I did my best and it was awesome!’ I look around the floor and see the other twenty girls around the tarp’s perimeter. I can tell a few are nervous for their first show, and believe me, so am I. I repeat to myself in my head, ‘I will catch my rifle and I will catch my flag. I will catch everything that comes out of my hands.” I am nervous that I won't catch my rifle - and flag (but mostly rifle) - when I toss. ‘I have no reason to not catch my equipment.’ I say to myself. I have practiced the routines a thousand times, maybe even more. Just to help my nerves, I go over the routines again and hopefully I won't mess up. Hopefully the other girls don’t mess up either. I hope I don’t hear the other girls counting too fast or too slow; we have a habit of messing up the counts. I want to look around and see all the flags spin together, all the sabres spin together, and all the rifles spin together. Hopefully everyone will count and watch the girls around them for timing. I hope no one drops and I don’t want to hear the gross, ‘Clank - Clankity - Clank!’ of any piece of equipment hitting the floor. I want this to be the best - last (for seniors) - first performance of the season. I want to hear the crowd go wild when we do something awesome. I want to look at the audience and see that they’re enjoying the show and having a great time watching us. I want to hear them clapping and hollering when we finish. I want to know people enjoyed watching our show. I want to see proud looks on my parents faces when I get off the floor and hear my mom saying, ‘That’s my baby!’ I can’t wait for my parents to watch the show for the first time. I told them it’s epic and hopefully they will agree with that statement when the music stops. I take in a long deep breath before going into my beginning pose and I can smell the paint from the tarp. I have butterflies flying around all willy-nilly in my stomach but I tell them to fly away.I need to feel confident and warrior-like. I am no longer an average girl, I am now Ro/ta, a Valkyrie. I am strong like a storm and fierce like the wind. I am here to show everyone watching what being a warrior in Norse Mythology is like. I take in my alternative persona and leave behind myself. It’s time to put on a show. I can make this my personal best show ever. Hopefully the other girls will too. I look around the floor and I don’t see a bunch of high school girls; I see twenty other Valkyrie Warriors. We are ready to battle - well perform. Every girl around the tarp is in their beginning poses. “Kettering Fairmont High School Winter Guard, you may take the floor in competition.” Then our music starts and the battle begins.