I walk into the gymnasium, where the smell of sweat from true dedication engulfs me. With glitter on my face and a sparkle in my eyes, I smile. I open my mouth and let my spirit pour out. Adrenaline runs through my veins as I start the routine full out. Five, I grab on tight to my flyer’s ankle. Six, I look into my friend’s eyes, as she encourages me to have strength. Seven, my feet are solid but knees are shaking with excitement I can’t seem to hide. Eight, here it is, the moment we’ve been waiting for, the moment we’ve practiced so hard for, our winter time high is happening this very second. Everything goes silent, and we hear a loud shriek: “GO!”
I am truly content.
My school’s cheerleading gymnasium is my safe haven. My team is my second family and my coach is our mother. She had the bravery to take almost 30 crazy teenaged girls into her arms and change them, mentally and physically, which I admire deeply. We run every practice to boost our endurance, overstretch ourselves so our flexibility increases, and stunt: The reason why I love cheerleading. My team is full of girls with angelic faces and soft voices, yet together we can throw girls ten feet in the air, synchronize power with our voice, perform a sequence of flips, and yet still smile through it all.
My position as back is what holds a stunt group together. I lift the flyer into the bases' arms and hold her up so that the weight is light on their hands. Without me, every stunt requiring a back is illegal. I believe my position fits my personality: I hate seeing people struggle to lift a heavy load, so either I take some of the trouble off of their hands, or I put the weight on myself if I know I can handle it. I can help anyone with any load they carry, even if I haven’t experience that particular struggle myself. My supportive personality and love for this sport is what earned me MVP my freshman year, my first year of cheering in my life. Surprisingly, cheer helps me express myself. If I am in a bad mood, I take it out on my flyer’s ankle. Some think it might be painful, but holding onto a flyer’s ankle so tight that it hurts my hand helps keep her stable and confident. I’m known to be the most consistent on the team. If a flyer falls from a stunt, and I am injured, I grunt, and repeat, “Do it again.” They don’t question if I am alright, because they know I’m in a lucid state when I stunt, and nothing can bring me out of it.
I want my senior year on the cheer team to end with a remarkable performance. Last year, we did a memorable routine, which labeled the Lady Lancers as a proud, happy family, despite the fact that we didn’t win first place. Although, every team in every sport strives for a banner with their name on it, I never let the thirst for gold get in the way of the relationships I have with my teammates, my coach, or anyone else in my life. I show my determination for that banner in my dance, stunts, jumps, and tumbling. I never boast, nor do I ever discourage anyone. Instead, I believe in pure sportsmanship. With a team like this, I believe we can achieve our wildest dreams on that mat in that gymnasium, as long as we are as content as I am every day to be there.