I am thankful times ten to be back in Westchester. Yes, Cheerleading regionals went that badly but just in case you were hiding under a rock all weekend, I’ll start at the beginning to catch you up.
As the bell rang on Friday afternoon, we were already lugging our Cheerleading bags and suit cases out of Coach Wilson’s office and down to the Greyhound Bus that awaited us. Of course, most of the school was standing in the courtyard to see us off and as we stepped out of the front doors we were overwhelmed with cheering, screams, and wannabe cheerleaders chanting our cheers. As soon as we reached the bus, the crushes pushed their way out of the crowds and said their final goodbyes as we boarded.
Fast forward one very long bus ride and one cheer practice later, it was finally time to go to bed, however I don’t think anyone could really sleep knowing what tomorrow would bring.
Saturday morning I woke up from my phone’s quiet ding to see a text from Derrick wishing me luck today and reminding me that he would be watching me on TV and cheering me on. I rolled out of bed and took a shower, did my hair & makeup, got into my uniform, and started running over our routine in my head. The other girls were doing the same and finally it was time to leave.
We all walked the few blocks to the theater our competition was being held at and started to warmup as we watched the other teams performing for the judges. It broke my heart to see the other squads do their advanced flips and jumps and I quietly scolded myself for not pushing Monica to add some more advanced choreography into our routines.
Finally our turn was up and we stepped out onto the floor. As soon as the music started our bodies jumped into motion. Our first dance piece was flawless and everyone was finally starting to loosen up. Next came our tumbling piece and after a few flips and backhand springs it was time for the flyers to fly. They all quickly bounced up into their base’s hands and the crowd started to cheer. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw one of the flyer’s leg bend and as she tried to balance herself. That flyer was Monica.
She started shaking and I watched her base struggle to keep her up and right as she was about to dismount, she slipped out of her base’s hands and fell to the floor with a loud crack. It felt like the entire gym had fallen completely silent. Monica crumpled to the ground and Coach Wilson rushed onto the floor, picked her up, and ran back off.
All of the girls froze as our music played on. What do we do next? Do we move on like it never happened? Was she even okay? I quickly snapped out of my daze and started up the formation again, encouraging the other girls to keep going. We slowly regained our pace but there was no energy, no spunk, no sparkle.
As soon as the music ended we rushed off the floor, completely ignoring the cheering crowd. We emerged from behind the curtain and quickly spotted Monica sitting in a chair with paramedics swarmed around her.
“I’m fine, it’s just my ankle!” She explained. Soon they were loading her up into an Ambulance while the rest of us were climbing into taxi’s. As soon as we got to the hospital, we were ushered to the waiting room by Coach Wilson and they took Monica back for x-rays. After waiting for about three hours, Monica emerged slowly with a cast on her leg and a crutch under each arm.
Apparently she had broken her ankle in a few different places and would be out of Cheerleading for awhile, not that it mattered considering we had a zero percent chance of moving onto Nationals after our disastrous routine. I could tell that she was heartbroken, cheerleading was her life, her entire existence.
As soon as we arrived back at the hotel, we packed up our things and boarded the now eerily quiet bus. It felt weird to know that 24 hours earlier we sitting on this same bus with so much hope and excitement. On the way home, Monica texted me to come sit by her for a minute. I plopped myself down on the seat next to her and asked her what was wrong.
“I want you to become head cheerleader. I’m handing the position down to you.” She said, her eyes glistening.
“Wait, what?” I was in complete and total shock.
“You deserve it. The older girls aren’t as interested in cheering anymore since they’ll be graduating soon, and you’re the best out of all the freshmen and sophomores. Everyone on this team respects you.”
“Wow, I don’t even know what to say. I’ve always wanted to be captain but I didn’t want to get it like this.” I replied.
“I know, but things happen. I want you have to this.”
After a long hug and a talk with Coach Wilson, it was finalized. I was officially head cheerleader.
If you haven’t heard (and really, who hasn’t?) Merial is back! Unfortunately she will no longer be blogging as Alicia but she has turned her travel blog into a real life blog so drop by and leave her a comment welcoming her back to WP!
Abi is also back, as well! Make sure to visit her blog and say hey 🙂
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