It was 7:15 on an April morning. I looked out the window of our airplane and saw the beautiful scenery that lay below us. I knew in a few minutes we would be landing in one of the most humid, tropical parts of the United States, Orlando, Florida. When we stepped into the jetway I felt my hair get wet and my clothes get sticky almost immediately. I wasn't used to the ninety degree wet heat because I had just come from dry, snowy Colorado. The Cheer Central Suns stepped off that plane knowing that this trip would be the most important of our young lives. We had finally arrived at the most prestigious, invitation-only competition in competitive cheer, the Cheerleading Worlds. The first place we went after leaving the airport was the All Star Music resort in Disney World, enveloped with sunshine and palm trees. We had to get our credentials and park hoppers there so that we were able to compete. Then we arrived at our hotel, All Star Movies, and the scene around us was incredible. There was nothing but cheerleaders walking around in their swimsuits, and showing off their talents by doing high level stunts and tumbling passes in the grass and around the pool. We could already tell that our competition was tough after seeing the skills our opponents were throwing, so that's when we started getting into the competitive mindset. I'll never forget what our coaches said to us that night at our team meeting. It made me realize how lucky I was to be surrounded by these people, and how much we really loved each other and wanted each other to succeed.
Our coaches said, "We've never had a team that we've been more proud to coach. You've gotten at least four different sportsmanship awards this season, and you all know how to get the job done. Also, we love you and we know you guys love each other, you are truly a family." After we left from the meeting, we all went straight to our rooms so we could get seven hours of sleep before our early morning wake-up. The alarm clock buzzed at seven AM and I put on my half top, mini skirt uniform before spraying my hair until it was hard as rock and putting on an abundance of eye makeup for stage presence. Then, as my team shuffled off the bus looking like twenty identical siblings with our outfits and makeup, we talked about what we had to do to in order to accomplish our goal of placing top three in our division of thirty coed level five teams. All it took was control, strength, endurance, talent, and most of all, confidence. As we stepped onto that mat in front of a crowd of about seven hundred people, my eyes lit up and I felt a huge rush of adrenaline come over me as our music started. The whole two and a half minutes of us competing went by in a blur, all I remember is crying tears of joy because we had just hit a perfect routine. We had won third place and we were ecstatic. It was an amazing way to end my four years with Cheer Central. After the awards ceremony, my team and I went to Hollywood Studios to ride Tower of Terror and the Rock 'n Roller Coaster. I'll never forget the memories, relationships, and rewards gained from this trip and I'm sad I had to leave the magical city of Orlando.
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