The Best Day or the Worst Day

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The piercing sound of my alarm clock in my ears forced my eyes open. Rolling over to turn it off, I looked at the time and date on the screen. When I saw 7:30, August 27, I immediately jolted out of bed. It was one of those days where I was so excited that I didn’t even feel tired: like the last day of school, or my birthday. It was cheer tryouts. I had been waiting for this day since the moment I decided to quit gymnastics and dedicate all my time to cheerleading. Making that decision was really hard for me because gymnastics was such a huge part of my life. But at the end of the day, I knew my love for gymnastics had faded, and cheerleading was the sport that truly made me happy. I immediately started putting on my white top and black shorts that everyone was required to wear for tryouts. I had plenty of time, but I still ran down the stairs to the kitchen where my breakfast was already waiting for me. I quickly ate my eggs and banana and then ran back upstairs to finish getting ready. After brushing my teeth and doing my hair, I practiced my routine for a few minutes until my sister called up the stairs, “Emily, come on, we are going to be late!”. I grabbed my bag and hurried to the car.

We pulled up to the high school. ‘Good luck! I know you’ll do great’, my mom exclaimed to me and my sisters before letting us out of the car. I gave her a hug goodbye and then jumped out of the car to catch up with my sisters. That whole morning the emotion I was predominantly feeling was excitement. However, when I walked through the high school doors and it sank in that today was really tryouts, my nerves started to kick in. We spent about 45 minutes stretching together and warming up, along with practicing the cheer and doing the dance a few times. After we finished doing that, everyone went outside to wait to be called in. Stepping outside, the heat hit my face like a wave crashing onto the sand. I checked the weather on my phone. It was two thousand degrees out, and it was only 9 in the morning. Most girls found a seat on the bench or on the sidewalk. However, I decided that I wanted to practice my jumps a few more times. I walked past the group of people sitting on the sidewalk, avoiding stepping on them or their belongings, and joined a few girls who were practicing as well.

After doing a few, I was pretty satisfied with my jumps. In addition, I felt beads of sweat forming on my forehead, and I didn’t want to waste my energy. I began to walk back to my seat until I heard the notorious footsteps of Brianna on the pavement. I used to be quite friendly with Brianna, back in the sixth grade, but she had drastically changed since then. She was wearing a white shirt that showed half her stomach, and she had rolled up her black shorts numerous times. Brianna strutted up to me and smugly asked: “So, you think you’ll make it as a flyer?”. A smirk formed on her lips as she spoke. She knew I was very nervous that I wouldn’t be able to since I was bigger compared to some of the other girls. However, I was not going to give her the reaction she wanted. “I don’t know, I’ll just have to wait and see”, I calmly replied. Brianna was clearly not satisfied that I seemed unfazed, so she dug deeper. “You probably won’t, you’re too heavy. You’ll be lucky if you make it at all’, she remarked. Her words cut through me like a knife, and I felt my lip begin to tremble.

However, I fought back the urge to cry, because that would just show her she won. Was I really that heavy? Would I just embarrassed myself in front of everyone when I try out? I wanted to say something really mean, just to get her back. But, it was getting increasingly harder to hold back the tears threatening to fall down my cheek. I instead just walked past her and moved to the sidewalk. Almost immediately after I sat down, the junior varsity coach walked out to the grass and told everyone to come inside and wait outside the library, where we were going to try out.

Sitting in the hallway, my stomach was churning. I couldn’t get Brittany’s voice out of my head. You probably won’t, you’re too heavy. You’ll be lucky if you make it at all. When I heard my name called to try out, I broke into a cold sweat. I wiped my clammy hands on my shorts as I stood up and walked down the hall. With each step I took, I felt my heart pounding harder and harder in my chest. I was sure I was going to pass out.

However, as I walked through the glass doors, the air-conditioned room alerted my brain. The distinct smell of paper and old books filled my nostrils, and the countless rows of bookshelves were bursts of color under the bright lights. I could hear the murmur of the girls chatting down the hall. The JV Coach, noticing how worried we all were, said with a warm smile, “Girls, relax, you’ll be fine”. That calmed me down a lot. We started with jumps and cheers, which was good because I felt very prepared for them. They went really well, which eased my nerves a little.

Next was the dance, which I was both very anxious and excited for. Dancing was one of my favorite parts of cheerleading, but this dance was especially hard. However, I simply did it just as I practiced it. While I was dancing to the very upbeat song, my worries melted away, and the moves just came to me naturally. I smiled throughout the whole routine and occasionally winked at the judges, which they actually complimented me on afterward. I felt really good about that result. However, my moment of joy didn’t last long, because I knew what was next. Stunts. It took all my strength to ignore the intense sound of Brianna’s voice pounding in my ears. I took a deep breath and set for the stunt. My whole world was in slow motion. ‘1,2!’; the sound of my back spot’s voice sounded like I was hearing it from underwater. However, as soon as my feet hit the bases’ hands, I was off.

We hit the stunt perfectly! I went up with no problem, and the bases didn’t struggle with my weight. I was so deliriously happy that I had finished my tryout. Leading up to that day, I had been so worried about messing up during the tryout that I didn’t even think of how good it would feel if I actually did well! I walked out of the tryout with a huge smile on my face. Regardless of if I would make it or not, I was still proud of myself for putting all my effort into that tryout. But most importantly, I was proud that I did not let what someone said in a moment of weakness affect the way I performed. Several hours later, it was finally time to find out if we made it or not. I remember my heart aching when I heard the cries of the girls before me who found out they didn’t make it. We were sitting in the hallway outside the library again, and I looked around at all the girls’ worried faces., it made me really sad thinking that some of us would go home and remember this day as one of the best in our lives, and some of us would remember it as the worst. I began to pray to God that I made it, or that I would be okay if I didn’t. However, my prayer was interrupted by the echoing sound of: “Emily Murphy”.

It was the coaches calling me along with a few other girls to tell us if we made it or not. Walking down the hall to where they were, I was in a dream. So many thoughts were racing through my head all at once. I knew that I did my best, but was it enough? What was I going to do if I got cut? All these thoughts came to a screeching halt when we walked into the room and the junior varsity coach immediately said, “Congratulations, you made it!”. I was in such complete shock that I didn’t even react for a couple of moments, other than my jaw hanging wide open. I was so overwhelmed with joy that I started hysterically crying. At that moment, Brianna didn’t even cross my mind. What she said didn’t matter anymore, because I proved her wrong without saying a word. I then knew the answer to the question I asked myself just minutes before. That day, August 27, 2018, was indeed one of the best days of my life.

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The Best Day or the Worst Day. (2021, Oct 19). Retrieved from

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