2:30 to Make It Count (revised)

It is time for cheerleading sectionals. Being a cheerleader is the most nerve wracking thing when it comes to competing. There aren’t words to describe the feeling in your stomach when the team standing in line before you goes out to perform, and you know in 2 minutes and 30 seconds, it will be your turn. Next it is your turn to show the Section what you’ve worked for all season.
   There are many things on your mind. You hope that you remeber all your spots, then you wonder what goes after jumps, you hope that your flyer does her best, you hope that the catch is flawless and high so that it doesnt hurt the flyer. Many stand asking “whats the cheer again?!” then one kindly reminds. There are different nervous habits that we have, gas, having to pee at the last minute, stomach aches, sweaty palms, numb toes, the list could go on and on. Many things can leave your mind with this sport. This sport requires every single person, we don’t have substitutes like football, or basketball, one missing person means that the routine won’t work.
    Then the other team finishes their routine. Now you have to wait even longer for the judges to do their scoring. Then, before you know it, the mic guy announces your name. You gather in a huddle to do your ‘good luck’ team chant. You take the mat. It is especially astounding when it is your first time and you see how big the crowd is. All eyes on you. Wait for the call to start your cheer. Then the music starts, loud and familiar. It’s comforting. The team you’re with is the team you’ve been with all season. You hope for the best. The first Basket toss is so high, higher than it has been all season. The adrenaline is pumping now! Next is running tumbling, wishing for a synchronized pass, you know by the stomps on the mats that it was perfectly timed. Single series, one thing that is critical to the routine, you pep talk your flyer through the whole thing, she needs all the confidence she can recieve, she deserves it. The crowd cheers at our solid stunt and that is the best feeling, after that is over we’re half way done with the routine. Following the catch you make your way to the starting position for your own individual tumbling pass, the moment that all eyes are on you specifically. You cheer on the girls who do better with good encouragement. Then it’s your turn, you think of all the things that make your pass the best it can possibly be. The fans cheer after every successful landing. You’re proud of all the tumbling that your team has acquired over many years, some over weeks. One last stunt, to get the dismount difficulty, with a twist down. The tiring part of the whole routine is coming up, jumps. You hear the crowd yell PULL! for each of your jumps, you focus on pointing your toes. Lastly comes the last dance, you work that dance like it’s what you were born to do, keep pushing, keep working it until the end pose.
   Then, after a wonderful performance is when your whole team stands up and hugs each other. Your coach couldn’t be more happy. Run in the hallway and quickly get a drink from the fountain so you don’t pass out! Your coach comes out and congratulates you for your performance. Then as you walk to the stands, to sit with friends and family, everyone is congratulating you and saying you did a great job. Then is the calm, you sit and wait, you watch the rest of the teams. All you’re awaiting now is the award ceremony.

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