Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Assignment I chose to Accept

It's time for my answer to two of Mama Kat's weekly prompt:

What are you putting off right now?
-Showering. I know, I'm gross. But the faster I shower, the faster work is going to creep up on me. I'd rather not work today. I'd rather sit in my bed and read New Moon until Edward Cullen...I wont finish that thought for anyone who hasn't read it yet.
-Shaving. Why bother? Who am I impressing, anyway? I'd rather wax...
-Calling my "best friend" that I haven't spoken to in a week- the phone works both ways last time I checked.
-Cleaning my room. Why? Because my mom asked, after my father specifically told her NOT to address the subject with me, because he already had. Now she can wait.
-Doing my homework. Wow, I'm being a little bum today, aren't I?

4.You can go back to your childhood for one day. What day and age do you choose?
I'm getting chills just thinking about it. I'd go back to age 11. My first ever cheerleading competition, which was actually in the arena of the college I attend now. I didn't have contacts at the time, and I couldn't compete with my glasses on...Regardless, I will NEVER forget my coaches' expressions after I stepped off the floor that day. I'll never forget how proud I was, and how proud my parents were when my coaches told them that they knew I could do it, but they never expected that much from me. But I would give anything to re-live it so I could remember it more.

Cheerleading changed me and changed my life. I learned discipline, I learned to be tough (physically and mentally), and to be a part of a team- even when you're not made to feel particularly welcome. I learned to speak up (literally), and to focus on your strenghts- the weaknesses improve when you're not even looking. I also learned (albeit too late) that fear is good for nothing- if you fear something your fear will come through. I learned that it was ok to be proud of the things I worked really hard for, and to work for the things that I want.

It's funny how things change so much after all these years. Back then, no one expected a thing from me. I was so quiet, so shy, that it was almost like I was dumb. Now, you can't shut my mouth and people's expectations are sometimes out of this world.

It's funny because back then, I didn't know that our family wasn't wealthy. If I had known then, what I know now maybe I wouldn't have complained so much about selling my entire book of raffle tickets to pay off my fees. I wouldn't have asked for dance classes, for gymnastics lessons. But my parents, and my sister were the most supportive people you could ask for. My mom and dad shelled out all of their cash for us to go to the nationals in Florida four years in a row (oh yeah, we were champions!) and Roxane eventually became a coach.

If I had known that some day I would look back and miss it this much- I never would've thought of quitting. I never would've cried over achy knees, a sore throat, or my fear of back handsprings. If I knew then that some day at the age of 20, I'd cry every time I turned on ESPN and saw what I used to be...Well, I would've nurtured my talent a little bit more, and continued cheering.

Despite it all, I have no regrets. Even for an ex-cheerleader, I'm not so bad.

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