The Perfect Performance

By , metairie, LA

For a total of five years, I have competed in competitive cheer, dedicating my heart and soul to the sport. Each year, my team and I have maintained one single goal: to go to Summit. Summit is a worldwide cheer competition in Disney World, and competing at this prestigious competition is every cheerleading team’s dream. In order for a team to compete at Summit, the team must receive a summit bid by placing the highest score at particular competitions. It was on April 9, 2017, that the chance to compete at Summit was in my team’s hands.
       

It is a bright and sunny Sunday, and my team is currently in first place due to our stellar day one performance, which has secured us the highest place in the entire competition. I cannot believe it! I am so excited, for I am jumping up and down like a little girl. All I see are wide smiles on my teammates’ and coaches’ faces. We all know the bid is in our hands, but the only way we can receive it is if we perform a perfect routine today. Our coaches sit us down in a circle on the cold, hard concrete to review our scores from the previous day. My palms begin to sweat, and I can see each team member looking at one another nervously. We have a great amount of pressure on us to hit this routine perfectly, and the way that we handle this pressure will either make or break our performance. As my coach is telling us our scores, I pray with everything inside me that we will hit this routine today. All my life, going to Summit has been a dream of mine, and at this moment I feel like I have the whole world in my hands. Soon after hearing our scores, which were significantly high, my team and I walk backstage. I can see our parents throwing large posters up, cheering for us, and telling us that we can do it, all of which is beginning to make me more nervous. Doubt begins creeping up in the back of my mind. I keep hearing in my head, you are going to fall or you are not good enough. I keep reassuring myself that I can do it, and I begin to push all my nerves and anxiety back. I know that I am more than capable of going out and hitting the best routine I have ever hit; I did it once, and I can do it again. Once we arrive backstage, my heart starts pounding. I can hear the loud the cheer music, the twists, the bangs and pops, and a crowd cheering and screaming with all their might for the team ahead of us. The arena almost sounds like New Orleans after the saints won the Super Bowl.  My team and I all begin to interlock hands and await our team name to be called. In this minute, everything goes silent. The arena is a packed room filled to the maximum, but it gets so quiet that one could almost hear a pin drop. I begin to look around nervously, taking in my surroundings. From the side of the stage, I see our competition eying us up and down with mug faces wishing us the worst, and I also see all of the other gyms and teams on the other side lining up just to watch us. Each athlete waiting to see if we fall, including the judges in the front of the stage. Everyone in the arena knows that if we hit this routine, he or she will not have a chance at receiving the bid. Finally, the bright spotlights come on, and our team name is called. My team and I run on the floor. I hear screams, cheers, and yells from other athletes from my gym. I blow kisses to the judges and put on the biggest performance face I can, masking my inner feelings. Behind the smiles and waves, I feel as if I am standing on the edge of a tall building about to fall. I am so nervous; I feel like I am going to throw up. I lock eyes with my mom in the crowd right before the music starts. I feel as if I am in a movie, and time has stopped because I see my mom yell at me in slow motion, “I believe in you! You can do it!” These words give me every bit of energy and confidence I need. All of the sudden my nervousness vanishes, and I go into beast mode. Time starts back again, and the crowd’s roars return back to life. The music turns on, and all of my energy rushes out of me like a waterfall. I use all my might to keep my stunt in the air and hit everything perfectly. Second by second, my happiness intensifies as we keep everything in the air. I feel like a little kid opening presents up on Christmas morning. Also, I see my coaches jumping up and down screaming, the crowd with their jaws dropped, and lastly the judges staring in awe. I feel like the happiest girl in the world during this two minute and thirty second routine. Finally, the routine is coming to an end, and turns out we have succeeded in hitting it perfectly just like our coaches knew we would. Once the music stops, I begin to realize that all of my years of dedication, blood, sweat, and tears were worth it. I start to feel tears of joy slowly making their way down my face. I look around at my teammates, and everyone is crying and running towards each other making a giant dog pile. At this exact moment, I know that we have won the bid and that my dream of going to Summit has come true.
       

Today, it has been a week since the competition, and my team has been practicing and preparing to compete at Summit, one of the hardest competitions in the world. Even though practices have been intense, my team and I have rose to the occasion and have kept our eye on the prize. I am so excited that I got to experience a feeling that only twenty percent of cheerleaders get to experience; hitting a perfect routine and winning the bid is a memory that that I will never forget.






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