Passion drives you through your life. Whether your end destination was worth it or not, you have the whole ride to enjoy. You may not know exactly where your passion will take you, but as long as you follow your heart you will get to where you want to go. Whether it takes you on a ride for years, or maybe just a couple months, you couldn’t imagine your life without that certain passion.
I live my life through cheerleading. In the fall months I practice only three days a week, but when winter comes around we're cranking out practices five days a week with only two days to rest. I live my life on the track, in the gym, on the field, or on the competition floor, continually running, stunting, jumping, tumbling, dancing and performing all while shouting the words to our cheers. No matter how much I sweat, how little rest I get, or how many bruises I receive, I wouldn’t give cheerleading up for the world.
When we hear our coach yell three deceiving words, “one more time,” we mentally prepare ourselves for the next full out, rehydrate in attempt to stop the burning sensation in our throats and desperately try to fix any mistakes we previously made. After it’s over, we all immediately fall to the ground barely breathing, while our coach yells all her critiques at our blank faces. Some people let this ruin their passion for cheerleading; I use it as a time to demonstrate all my abilities. As my bases propel me into the air, I get to show off how I can kick my leg to my head and twist down in one swift motion, and how I can do a 360° turn on one leg landing with one foot in my hands.
When I am woken by my blaring alarm clock, I am not so kindly greeted by stiff, sore muscles. After I obtain enough strength to get out of bed, I silently mouth the words to our competition routine as I get ready in the morning. I put our competition music on repeat, while I curl my hair into a bird’s nest, finished with a glitter bow the size of my head. I decorate my face as if it was a cake with layers of icing until I no longer am recognizable. Once we are on the bus, I stare out the fogged window, flawlessly executing my tumbling passes in my head.
After competing there is only two possible outcomes: we either end up placing in the top five or end up disappointed. If we hear our name being called, we all are immediately on cloud nine. If not, we silently get up and walk back to our bus for the long ride home. Despite whether we placed or not, we all wake up the next morning determined, returning to the gym ready to work. Our coach tells us “she isn’t able to win it for us, we’re going to have to want it for ourselves,” while we re-watch our performance. Success comes from dedication and long hours at work.
Why spend my time practicing for a three-minute performance? I do it for the thrills I get from landing a perfectly executed stunt, tumbling pass, or jump sequence. The feeling of victory after you have worked so hard never gets old. I live my life through cheerleading.