My biggest goal for this year was to be in the U15 Japan National Team and Advance All Japan’s National team for cheerleading. I’ve focused my whole year in grade 8th and my 9th-grade summer break to accomplish my goal. I knew that accomplishing a huge goal is not easy, especially mine and my parents and I knew that we are betting on a huge goal that can affect my future plans. At the same time, I told myself that I will determine to quit cheerleading. From a strong commitment to achieving my goal, I suffered a lot of things in life. Such as I couldn’t spend time with my friends, go on vacation, or even study. All I did was the things that could benefit me from achieving my goals.
To be in the team, I needed to pass my first test, which was held in July. There were 100 people from the Kanto area who participated and ONLY 24 cheerleaders, including 3 substitute athlete. Meaning that ONLY 21 or if lucky 22 athletes are allowed to perform. The test was based off individuals tumbling skills and stunting. In order to check this skill critically and strictly, there was our coach and a special guest member from America, Smoed All-Star Team in California. The team is famous on social media, having their own T.V show about cheerleading on Youtube.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t pass my first test. The American Coach approved my individual skills, tumbling and jumps, but not my stunting skills because I can only do right side only. My heart was in pain and regretting how I was being nice to myself. My brain was full of regrets and disappointment from all the work I put in. I thought there would be no chance. That said, I told myself to quit cheerleading, I was ready to do it. But my mind changed when my mom told me I have another chance in August. My mom told me it is my choice if I want to fight again. It took time to make a decision because I was very stressed about not living a ‘typical high school life’.
Although I may not be able to live a typical high school life, I ended up chasing my goals again. I committed this goal on a whole new level. It is hard to explain in words but I felt extremely focused emotionally stronger in my goals. To stay focused on my goal, I always had my painful thoughts inside my heart for motivation and I always planned my schedules ahead of time. I only had a month left before my second chance but I did what it takes until the end. Since I was little, my parents always told me to NOT STOP fighting if I committee in my decision and to keep on thriving so that I don’t regret it. Therefore, my goal at my next test was to perform a new level of Satono Toyaba. In other words, a whole new me, performing an emotionally and physically stronger than last time.
In order to improve my skill, I have been working on my tumbling skills at a level 1-4 for the past 6 years. It was my dream to do a level 5 tumbling skill someday and it is very advanced compared to level 4. Doing a Level 5 tumbling skill on a normal mat is an AMAZING thing because cheerleading is not a popular sport in Japan. People who can accomplish the skill nor stand on that level is pretty rare, statistically speaking; out of 100 people, only 2% of the people can manage to achieve full twist. It contains strong core-body and strength. It may also cause a lot of injuries therefore, I need to aware of my body when practicing.
My goal is to be able to to do a round-off full twist perfectly on a cheer mat with confident. I would like to accomplish my goal until next year February. It has been less than a year working on this tumbling skill and I am almost there. Usually, It takes me half a year to be confident and uses it in a competition, however, I realize this skill is not taking as much time as I thought. My plan to accomplish my goal is to go to a private tumbling class at least 4 times a month and practice for an hour. During my winter break, I would like to take my tumbling class for 2 hours and ask my mom to watch me so that she can give me comments. It would benefit me to know her side of view when I did bad and when I did well to analyze my strength and weakness.
Reflecting on the progress, I am able to do a twist on my own with no supporter. However, personally, I think I am scared to do it on my own because there is part of me where I think it is dangerous and has no trust in myself. Therefore, I make sure my coach would be next to me when something went bad. This shows I am still not confident in myself and I would like to change that soon. I can tell myself I am almost there to do it on a real cheerleading mat and not sprinkle.