Sideline Strong Side

When I look back at my past, the moments I remember the most are when I can play a scene, but can’t rewind any of my decisions and actions. I imagine my past if they were to be put in a movie or book where I could see it as the audience, but my best takes was when I saw my life from the sidelines.
Because of all-star cheerleading Icyhot was my best friend. Before practice I apply it on my wrists, ankles and then I pre-wrap and tape them to avoid injury so wrapping my joints like a mummy is necessary. Summer 2009 my cheering team bought our own, new gym and my sister decided to watch me that night at practice. The spring floors were brand new but not broken in yet so tumbling was difficult. Motivated to work on new skills my gymnastic coach finally allowed me to work on a double full, a running tumbling move where the last flip is a double twist on my own.

¬I remember looking from the corner; my sister was on the outside of the mat recording me on her Blackberry doing this elite skill. Right when I did the double full I punched high to get height and I wanted to land so badly as I finished the skill and saw the floor I locked my knee, and landed straight on my right leg. No crack or feeling that it popped but I rolled out of the skill and couldn’t stand. I found out I partially tore my ACL, and bruised my tibia which cost me months of sitting on the side having to watch everyone at practice as I did little workouts. This was the first time I was badly hurt and I felt like my sister when she injured her knee costing her senior year. I remember after her surgery the nurse told her as she cried “you’re not out of the game you’re just in the sidelines.” Tears would roll down my face at practice when I sat out on the side blocked by everyone standing and tumbling. Eventually I was cleared and this trial prepared me for the next season.
Last April 2011 two days before we left for The Cheerleading Worlds in Florida I hyperextended my knee during the routine and could barely walk. This competition is basically the Olympics of all-star cheerleading versing only the best teams from across the nation. I just thought to myself “why God?” After being yelled by one coach the other said to me “you’re stronger than you think.” I prayed that I wouldn’t have to fake my stunts and my prayers were answered. We placed 18th in the World out of 72 teams. God showed me He places the heaviest burden to those who can carry its weight. If I fall down seven I choose to rise up eight. Who would have known life seen through the sidelines brought out the strong side of me?

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