Surviving Tryouts


It was Saturday October 25th.  I'd waited and practiced for two months for this day -the day of my cheerleading competition. We were at our coach's house all getting our hair done and routine practiced. For some reason it wasn’t going right but before I panicked, I thought, what else can it mean? Am I stressing? Am I trying too hard? I’m not sure.

As the time faded quickly, we were already on the bus with the Junior Midgets on our way to the competition. Many thoughts were going through all of our heads. Am I going to fall? Am I going to jump too soon? Am I going to choke up?

 We didn’t know the answers to these questions so we were going to try to ignore them. We sang and cheered loudly with our coaches in excitement.  As we approached the college for the competition, you could hear everyone start to get quieter and quieter until the bus was silent as all the negative thoughts went through our heads. Still, we tried to ignore them and thought positive thoughts. We knew we had all worked too hard for negative thoughts to creep in.

As we inched up to our parking spot, our coaches gave us strict rules.  We were to go check in and stay together. As I got off the bus standing proud in my maroon, white, and gold uniform, girls from many different squads were staring me down. I just ignored them and thought, “Hey!  I'm here and I've worked hard for this.  I'm going to get through this."

My squad sat in total silence on the grass after signing in.  We got up and practiced our jumps and stretched as much as possible. After an hour went by we are all stretched and soon enough it was time to go in for our silent run through. Everything was sharp and to the point. I was happy and not nervous after the practice

Soon enough it was time for the doors to open.  People began piling in, overflowing the stands. This was when it hit me and I knew this was it. This is the real deal and this is what I've practiced for. I became a little nervous but continued cheering, and dancing along with everyone else.

Soon enough it was almost our turn.  We all stood up in the stands and began walking single file down the stairs. I saw my little cousin from a different squad a few rows below me. She also spotted me.  I smiled and waved. She did it in return along with a "good luck" and "I love you" sign.

As we waited to go on, we all took advantage of the time. We fixed our hair, cried and before you know it, it was time to go on. We all lined up two by two smiles on our faces and our chins held high.  I stepped onto the blue mat looking at the “standing room only” stands and judges right in front of me. I felt like I was about to choke.                     

 But once I hear Kayla call the first word “Ready!” it all came back. I went cheering as loud as I could with the biggest smile on my face. Not one thought going through my head, this is my time to shine. I did great, got off that mat so proud, jumping up and down yelling and screaming.

About eight more squads went and I became nervous again. It was coming towards the end, and those squads had incredible routines. It was time for intermission.  I found my little cousin Amanda and we found out parents. They congratulated us as well as other cheerleaders. I felt so many different feelings- happy, excited, nervous, confused.

It was time for the awards. We were sitting quietly in our seats. For some reason it felt like this was the slowest part. They did Junior Midgets first.  It felt like it took forever. Finally it was time for the Midgets.  They announced 3rd place…nope, not my squad, 2nd place…nope not that one either, but it was my cousin Amanda’s. I was so scared; my squad was holding hands. As I closed my eyes I visualized us winning. As they said,” 1st place goes to…" we all sat, still hoping…”Warren/Swansea Redskins!” I jumped up as if I had springs on my feet.  We did it, we really did it!

I couldn’t believe how far I have come. I was so proud of myself. I could see my mom and dad on the other side jumping up and down, smiling and throwing their hands in the air. It was the greatest feeling. Now you know if you give something your all and really apply yourself you can do it! Believe me, because I did!


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