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You’re standing backstage, heart racing as you stare at the floor, squeezing your best friends hand. The lights are flickering back and forth through the curtains while an empty floor waits for you…eager to be the stage you pour your soul onto. The countless hours of preparation; the sweat, the tears, the heartbreaks and the triumphs, the sore muscles and the injuries, the sleepless nights, the firm but loving coaches, and the proud parents.
 
The crowd draws silent as the announcer calls your squad by name. You smile and storm out on to the floor with a routine fresh in your mind and passion filling your heart. You stand in silence, waiting, energy pulsing through your body, eager to be unleashed….all at the first sound of your music.
 
…and like a firework show in a reverse, a GRAND FINALE of energy surges through you as you hear that first note…and for the next 2 and a half minutes
 
you’re free
 
Nothing else matters; time slows down, everything is crystal clear, and though the crowd could not be cheering louder…silence fills your head.
 
Thinking two steps ahead, you flow through the routine that over the many months has become part of you.
 
Every member of your squad, unique like instruments in an orchestra, have their own contribution, unique and important; but together, a symphony of skill and finesse is displayed for the world to see….and just as quickly and powerfully as it began,
 
it ENDS
 
The ‘silence’ you’d heard is immediately replaced with cheers of admiration and support. However, the sound of your racing heart stands out as metronome…the only rhythymic sound you hear after the music ends. The hardest part is not the routine or the worry that it may not be perfect, what terrifies you is the exodus…the walk off the floor which for many draws an end to another year of doing what you love most.
 
…but you must; and as you walk off the floor, some laughing, some yelling, and some with tears of joy…your efforts and a piece of you stay on the mat forever.
 
Good luck to everyone next week, can’t wait to watch and connect with you guys.