The Sky's the Limit

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Imagine having to dance, stunt, and tumble all in a matter of one five minute song. You’ve been practicing and perfecting this challenging routine for many grueling months and are finally at Nationals in California against many others from all around the country. Now, picture having to do all of this in really tight spandex. You have now entered the world of competitive cheerleading.

It was my first time at nationals; I was jumpy with mixed feelings of nervousness and excitement anticipating the crowd of hundreds and the flashes of dozens of cameras. I really hope I don’t screw up, I thought to myself. You only get one shot, one shot to show the judges what you’ve got. We were next and I thought I might puke with the angry swarm of butterflies parading in my stomach.

“This is gonna be great!”, “Come on girls!”, “We can do this!” were some of the many phrases being said to try to hype everyone up. But, our minds were still lingering on our shaking hands and our wobbly knees. Right beyond that curtain was the extremely intimidating, blue spring floor. What we’ve been working for all comes down to this very moment. “And now…”, the announcer said, “ it’s time… for the Desert Devils!” I let out a small yelp of exhilaration as we took each other’s hands and got on the stage. Then, the music started, it was show time.

Lights were flashing, music was blaring, and tucks were being thrown, one right after the other. This was my chance to be a dazzling performer, and boy did I perform. My mouth hurt from smiling, my legs ached from jumping, and my dancing was flawless, even my heart beat was in sync with the music. I remember the incredible feeling that anything’s possible, that the sky’s the limit. That-

Then, as suddenly as it started, the routine was over. I breathed in a sigh of relief, glad that this whole stressful ordeal was over and that nothing had gone terribly wrong. My team and I dashed to the center of the cheer mat and gave each other sweaty hugs of achievement. I felt proud of my team, as I did of myself, and as we exited the stage I did nothing to conceal the tears that were rolling down my cheeks. Why would I? They were tears of joy, tears that showed what we had just accomplished, and why would anyone want to hide that? And even though that was a year ago whenever I’m faced with a nearly impossible challenge I think back to that nerve wrecking day and remember that with a little hard work, the sky’s the limit.





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