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My Turn This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The floor is a large, flat, motionless sea of blue carpet-covered wrestling mats. I step on the mat; the music starts. The gym is filled with sound, and the crowd is silent. I feel the music through my body; it helps me leap and turn across the floor. Suddenly, a loud "bang" is heard as someone else vaults. I pause for a moment with a look of concentration on my face. I start my run, and get myself into the rhythm of my tumbling pass. Round-off back handspring back handspring back tuck. "I did it!" I say to myself triumphantly. I end my floor routine with a flourish of my hand, and a pose. The music fades, the crowd cheers, then, silence as the last vaulter finishes her vault with another "bang."

Like the vaulters, I break the near silence of the gym with a "bang" from the spring board, except I am mounting the balance beam, not vaulting. I point my toes as hard as possible as I drape my body across the beam. I pull myself up to a standing position. The beam feels like dull sandpaper on my bare feet as I leap and jump my way across the beam and back, turning a cartwheel along the way. The beam creaks in protest as I land another jump. On my way across the beam, I leave slightly damp, chalky footprints behind me. I reach the end of my minute and a half on the beam, and dismount successfully, landing with a soft thump on the landing mats. l


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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