It feels like it was just yesterday –I was waiting outside the red brick middle school building, seated on a bright blue park bench. It had been hours since my middle school tryout had ended and an anxious group of girls hovered outside the glass doors where the results were promised to be posted. Some cartwheeled around and chatted, while others watched nervously from their seats. And like magic, a white sheet of paper had appeared out of nowhere with the results of the tryout. Screams and cheers were soon to follow – announcing the success of the girls in front of me. I made my way through the crowd to see the results for myself. I scanned the list over and over again, expecting to see my name. It wasn’t there.
Looking back I remember climbing into bed that night feeling defeated. But that didn’t last long – Waking up the next morning I felt a new sense of motivation and had already began making a list of goals to accomplish over the next few months. Although I had not been entirely successful in my first attempt, I was surely going to do everything in my power to achieve my goal the next time! I enrolled in gymnastics classes and cheer classes, cartwheeling and jumping everywhere I went. I even stretched in front of the TV and tumbled in the front yard every night until dinner. I was not going to give up!
A year later I found myself sitting outside a new brick building on a park bench, but this time I was waiting for the results of my high school cheerleading tryout.
Calm and collected I already felt a sense of accomplishment. Just knowing that I had worked hard and gained the confidence to tryout again was fulfilling. In the back of my mind could feel the nerves creeping up on me as the list was posted. Walking up to the door I could feel my heart beat in my head. I rapidly scanned the list for my name. Again, it wasn’t there. It felt like I was caught in a bad episode of déjà vu, until someone ran up behind me and gave me a big squeeze. “CONGRATULATIONS,” chirped my best friend. With confusion etched across my face I turned to face her. “You made it!” She pulled me to the second list that had been posted. Sure enough, I scanned the list for my name and found it carefully written at the bottom. A huge smile spread across my face as I studied the list more closely. I had made the Varsity Team as a Freshman.
I think back to that day a lot. What if I had given up? What if I had decided that I wasn’t good enough after just one try? I wouldn’t be where I am today – working for the National Cheerleaders Association and enjoying my passion for cheerleading. Sometimes the going gets tough and we don’t always make it our first try. Those are the times we need to get back up and try again until we succeed. No matter how many hours I spent practicing my cartwheels in the front yard or sleepovers I missed while I was at gymnastics, I would do it all over again – the Work is Worth it.
by Jessica Green