Going out of your comfort zone and trying new things is something that you can never really get used to. It's normal to be scared and not know what to do or how to go about adapting to change, even if you're the person initiating the change.
A fact that surprises everyone I know is that I was a cheerleader for a lot of my life. When I was a little kid, I did sideline cheer for our local football team while my brother played. I quit for a while, but I made my way back eventually.
When I got to high school, I joined the school cheer team and soon decided to start cheering competitively for a gym near my house. Yes, it's a sport. No, I don't want to argue about it.
For three out of the four years of my high school experience, my life revolved around cheerleading. I would be at the gym or at competitions constantly. Five or six days out of the week ended up being devoted to cheer.
I loved it, and I still look at those memories with a smile.
I made my best friends through cheerleading and since I didn't go to school with them, seeing them at practice and unwinding after a hard day at school was perfect. When I was at practice, that was all that mattered. It was a way for me to perform that was different from being in plays or musicals like I was used to.
There was a point, however, that the enthusiasm that I had for my sport went away. Spending 90% of my time at the cheer gym was no longer a treat, it felt more like a job. My love for the sport was still there, but I was burnt out.
I had to face the tragic truth that I had to walk away.
Cheer is expensive. It's hard mentally, physically and emotionally. My best friend was graduating and moving to school and my favorite coach switched gyms going into my senior year.
The cons of the sport started to outweigh the pros, and I couldn't justify a reason to stay other than it was my senior season.
I walked off of the mat at my last competition in tears. We performed our best routine that we ever had and watching the replay was bittersweet. For a split second, I considered coming back, but I knew that feeling would never be recreated.
I chose to quit while the sport still made me happy to some degree. I didn't want to walk away, but after I did my entire world opened up. I started talking to people and hanging out with people outside of my sport.
I discovered new things that I loved and new people that I love to be around that share interests with me other than just going to the same gym all the time.
It was hard, but I had to walk away for my mental and physical health. I'm happy about my decision, and can't imagine doing anything else.