Monday, November 15, 2010


Yesterday was Competition Day for Olivia's cheerleading squad.

This is what she works toward all year and the pinnacle of the cheer season for the girls.

This year, she was moved up to Junior Varsity, which means harder routines - and stiffer competition.

The girls have worked so hard all season and had their routine down about two weeks ago.

And then a few of the girls got injured - broken fingers, strained backs - none of which happened during practice, but all of which made the routine they had learned for weeks basically impossible.

Every time they modified it to account for someone who couldn't be there, something else would happen and they'd have to change it again.

These poor girls were relearning their routine - with a LOT of difficult stunts - as late as Friday evening.

Yesterday, they were all trying to be confident, but three hours before competition were still worried.

"We haven't done our routine perfectly all the way through yet. At all."

"We're having trouble trying to remember the new stunting and the new changes."

"I hope we can do this."

As I stood outside Cole Field House, unrolling curlers from their hair I said:

"Remember - you only have to do it perfect once. You guys can totally do that."

As we waited inside, watching the competition and seeing the other teams, I became more and more anxious.

When it was time for the girls to go on, my heart started pumping and I was more nervous than I even imagined I would be.

What if they dropped someone?

What if they forgot something in the middle of their routine?

What if someone fell?

How would Olivia take it if they didn't do well?

All I kept remembering was her saying to me earlier that day, "I can't wait to go to school on Monday and show everyone our first place medal."

I had tried to temper her expectations without destroying her confidence. Did I succeed?

As we waited for them to start, I took a deep breath. And held it the entire 3 minutes.

They nailed it.

I now have three broken blood vessels in my hands and a sore throat from cheering and clapping so hard.

They still had some really tough competition, but I didn't even care what the judges thought.

Those girls danced and cheered their heart out and I was so incredibly proud.

The icing on the cake was the judging.....

2nd Place!!!!!!

So proud of my girl.......

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