Poetry On Odyssey: Value In Me

Poetry On Odyssey: Value In Me

Adventure in loving myself.

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If I looked at myself

The way others saw me

If I saw myself

As another person

I would probably find a new hope

I would see the same things

but in a new way


All the things I try to hide

The things I cover up

Those flaws and imperfections

may disappear

Though they are still there, they will lose all importance

I will find in myself a new love

I will fall in love with all the things I can not find beautiful


I would not criticize

I would not bully

I would look at the girl before me in awe

I would support her and uplift her

I would not look at tiny details and laugh

I would know it is not my place to judge every inch of this person

Her flaws would be unimportant

Her imperfections near invisible


If I looked at myself

The way others saw me

If I saw myself

As another person

I would probably find a new hope

I would see the same things

but in a new way

I would see the value of me

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Why An Athlete Is Not Defined By Their Level

Pressure can drive athletes crazy.
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With tryout season among us, it is so important that this be addressed before the teams for this upcoming year are formed.

So many athletes that tryout, don't make the team they want and either quit to "take a year off" or jump ship to a gym that promises them to place the athlete on a higher level. I know that every athlete wants to be on level 5 team, the division is the most prestigious of all of them, especially because going to worlds is the end game for most athletes.

The problem these days in the cheerleading world is that our athletes are trying to level up at a rate that is just not quite realistic. If an athlete is on a level 1 team, the chances of her being on level 4 next year are slim. It is necessary for athletes to experience each level for at least a year to learn all of the fundamentals of the level and build on them for their foundation as an athlete to be more concrete. This produces the best athlete possible.

A lot of athletes think that all that they need to jump levels is tumbling and that is just not the case. When teams are formed, coaches take a look at many different things, these qualities include but are not limited to: mental toughness, dedication, tumbling, stunting abilities, pace of learning, dance and attitude.

Contrary to popular belief, there are so many factors that go into forming a team. This team not only has to be suitable for individual athletes but putting a team together is like a puzzle and as coaches we have to put a team together that will work well and have all the necessary percentages of skills to be competitive in their division.

We are concerned about building well-rounded athletes, not an athlete that is only capable in one facet of cheerleading. Some athletes are great level-4 tumblers but have level-2 stunt ability and those two will not equal a level 4 athlete until we boost the stunting ability of said athlete.

Putting an athlete on a team to just tumble is doing a disservice to not just the team, but also the athletes themselves. If this athlete joins a level 4 team to just tumble all year, when their tumbling progresses to that of a level 5 athlete, they will still have level 2 stunting skills and won't be put to good use when they are level 5 eligible. A well-rounded athlete is the kind of athlete that wins Worlds.

SEE ALSO: To The Coach That Took My Confidence Away

When athletes take their time and learn their level, they are not just learning completely new skills each year, but building on them. If done correctly, each year an athlete should improve on all points of cheerleading and not just one. The rules in each level lead to progressions for the level that it directly follows, so that athletes can safely learn skills by going up the ladder one step at a time.

What most don't realize is that skipping steps is such an unnecessary practice. If Susie stays on level 2 for an extra year, she is not "learning nothing", she is improving on the skills that she didn't quite execute completely the year before, this will perfect her performance in this level and give a more solid foundation for her to build on when she is on a level 3 team.

Pressure can drive athletes crazy. Parents, your athletes have so many years ahead of them to be on a level 5 team and go to worlds, so pushing for a 10-year-old, that is just not ready, to be on a level 4 team is unreasonable. Let your 10-year-old learn maturity and mental toughness at a level that is more appropriate, when your athlete is pushing herself too hard it takes the fun out of the tryout process and creates unnecessary stress on the athletes.

Lastly, please be sure to support whatever decision your coaches make for your athlete's placement, they know your child and they are not trying to hurt their pride, but build them up so they can accomplish all of their goals as an athlete. Know that the level your kid makes this year doesn't define him or her as an athlete, but helps them grow into the cheerleader they have the ability to become!

Cover Image Credit: National Cheerleaders Association

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The DMV Just Might Be The Most Miserable Place In All Of Existence

Anytime you go, you're in for a miserable time.

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Some places just are not very much fun to visit. It doesn't matter when you go, or what your purpose is for going, because either way, you are surely in for an incredibly miserable time. The DMV, or MVD as it is called in some places, is definitely one of these entirely awful places to visit. It may, in fact, be one of the most miserable places of all.

The DMV, of course, is the Department of Motor Vehicles, and it is essentially the place that one must visit for things like new driver licenses, changes of vehicle ownership, vehicle registration renewal, and so on. Thankfully, some of these things can now be completed online, making it so that it is not always absolutely necessary to physically visit the DMV. Oh, thank goodness.

Why, you may ask, is the DMV such an incredibly miserable place? Well, I think it's a combination of things. The employees often look like they hate their jobs and don't want to be there. This isn't always true, and I have actually met some wonderful DMV employees who are incredibly friendly and helpful, but I have also encountered some who are rude and disrespectful, so it just depends.

Still, DMV employees don't exactly have to provide exceptional customer service like employees do at places like hotels or restaurants. If you receive bad customer service at a restaurant or hotel, you can simply not return there and try a different one next time. But, if you receive bad customer service at the DMV, you don't exactly have many alternatives for where you could go instead the next time. What would you do? Try the other DMV across town next time you have to get something done involving your car? I guess that you could, but you probably won't.

Why else is the DMV so terrible? Well, the lines always seem incredibly long, no matter what day of the week or time of the day that you go. You may just need to go in there for something incredibly simple, yet you still could very well end up waiting for over an hour just to get it done, a very painful process indeed. When you wait in line for a ride at an amusement park or something like that, at least you have the ride itself to look forward to, something to make waiting in line worth it. At the DMV, all you get after waiting in line is the chance to talk to a disgruntled DMV employee. Oh, what a joy.

Everything just moves so slowly there. After all, there is a reason that the movie Zootopia chose to characterize the DMV using only sloths.

Also, there is really no way to distract your mind while waiting in line at the DMV. Last time I went, there wasn't even a waiting area where you could sit. Nope, everyone was just sitting around and waiting, looking more and more upset by the second. The walls and the floor usually have no color, so the place basically looks like a prison. I'm sure being in prison is tough, but at least prisoners don't have to wait in line at the DMV.

However, I suppose I should acknowledge the fact that the DMV does provide necessary services for everyone who drives a car. I guess that maybe it is a special place, in a sense. I mean, it's the place where teenagers experience their first taste of freedom through a driver license and the place where people who have just turned 21 go to obtain a new ID that will allow them to legally buy alcohol. I guess that it does provide happiness for some people.

But it's also an incredibly miserable place with very long lines.

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