Chasing cheerleading
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Chasing cheerleading

Doing what you love and loving what you do.

Chasing cheerleading

It's 2017, I'm standing hand in hand with the coach I most adore and look up to. There's two teams left, one will walk away with the greatest accomplishment they have had till this day and one will walk away saddened with the fact that something so close was just unreachable. The announcer takes a breath, calls second place, its not us it's the other teams, and in that instant I feel our hands grip tighter and our eyes fill with tears. This was it, we did it, every late night, long day and long weekend had finally paid off. We were first and no one could take that away from us. We let go I take one look at the 18 kids I had coached for 3 years jump as high as they could, scream with joy, and cry as they walk to the middle to rightfully hold the banner and trophy that now has named them national champions. Me and my boss walk up to our now champions to take a picture and in that moment I knew I had changed these kids lives forever.

Backtrack to 3 years before that where I was 17 starting college in a new town and knew not a single sole. All I knew from growing up in my small town was school and competitive cheerleading, it was something that I did from 4 to 18. It has shaped me into the person I have become today. Starting college was difficult for me, I was 17, new to the city, and for the first time in my life I had no cheerleading. I spent my days mostly in the library or at the gym because I'm not sure what else I was supposed to do. I was taking classes in college that I wasn't so fond of and worked harder to succeed. My first semester went well, it was hard being away from home just as it would be for most people I would assume. I started in August as do most college students, when February rolled around I missed cheer so much I attended a competition that my mom and her team would be competing at. I get a coaches pass so that I am able to go back stage, my moms team is up next, we're behind the black curtain and as I look at the schedule to see where the team is from behind us, little did I know my whole life was going to change. The team behind us happened to be from Denton, where I was currently attending school. I couldn't find the nerve to ask if they would be needed another coach, so my mom found the nerve to ask them. When my now boss said yes, I knew that it was meant to be.

A couple months later I finally started working at the cheer gym, I started to know the kids, the parents, the other coaches. All I remember from then is that I knew the bond I was making with these kids was something I could and would never want to replace. This was going to be my new home.

We're back in 2017 and my team gets invited to go to the biggest competition in all of cheerleading (D2 Summit), it just happens to land on my college graduation. I've worked hard for two degrees, I worked two jobs while going to school, and now I had to pick. Do I walk across the stage or do I fly to Florida with these kids and possibly change there life's and give them something they could only ever dream of. Although I would not be walking across the stage to by only receive one college diploma but two I made the decision to take a chance and go with these kids to help them achieve a goal. While we're there it's Saturday I'm supposed to be walking across the stage but instead I'm sitting on a bus with all the kids a adore going back to the hotel as they sing “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus, which they still do till this day.

We head into each competition with the same superstitious that we've accumulated over the years, some crazier then others, but it's all about the mind. Before we go on, we each stand hand in hand, right foots in, and pray. As I leave them to go watch I make the same prayer every time, because we're so superstitious and then hold back tears knowing that eventually this chapter of my life is coming to an end.

We're now in 2018, the season is almost over. Im going back and fourth on continuing doing what I love or starting school again. I'm torn between what I love now and what I will love later. Will what I want to do later in love ever be as rewarding as coaching? Will I ever have the same joy and satisfaction in my future job and I do watching a kid get a new skill or hit a routine for the first time.

We're now in the 2019-2020 season and the changes I have made and the impacts I have had on every single kid I coach makes me cherish the little things. It taught me that it's not always about winning, no one ever said you can win everything, but it's about the work you put in. For almost 5 years I've spent countless nights at the gym, I've spent most of my weekends at cheer competitions with very little time to myself. But would I change it, no. The sacrifices I have made to allow these kids to grow and learn is something I will take away with me for the rest of my life.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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