Pom-Poms and Megaphones: A Cheerleading Journey
People underestimate the competitiveness and risks that go along with cheerleading. Some also do not consider it a sport, which is an unfortunate opinion. I took a tremendous risk when I decided to join the cheerleading team in seventh grade, although I had neither prior experience in cheerleading nor any sport for that matter. Being lanky and uncoordinated for most of my elementary years caused me to avoid any type of sports for the fear of embarrassment and failure. However, cheerleading appealed to me, because I admired the girls' and guys' bravery when it came to the challenging skills and routines. I decided it would be best to try out a new sport right before middle school, so I could possibly be involved in high school sports later on. While I imagined cheerleading would be hard work, I never thought it would be as difficult as it was when I first began. I quickly learned I was out of shape and even more uncoordinated than I thought. As much as I struggled that first year, I am thankful for those tough times, because they proved the importance of not giving up and pushing through. Soon I realized how much I enjoyed cheerleading and in effort to better myself, I started taking gymnastics and technique classes. The time I put into the classes really paid off- I improved greatly in a short amount of time. When middle school tryouts came around I felt more than prepared. Unfortunately I was not quite prepared enough; I did not make the team. I was devastated and discouraged about the painful truth. Instead of staying discouraged and giving up, I decided to not let all my hard work go to waste. I joined my local gym's competition cheer team and learned even more. I finally felt like my hard work paid off after I made the junior high team the next year. Although we had our ups and downs, we were truly an amazing squad and proved that by becoming the 2009-2010 junior high state champions. That year I learned...
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