This week marks the end of another chapter in my life. After a seemingly long but truly arduous journey, Wednesday marked the conclusion of the cheerleading season with the IHCC.

Looking back at the sacrifices that all in the team have endured, I am proud and perfectly unashamed to say that we have went through thick and thin, blood sweat and tears together to reach where we are today, as a team. From the myriad of injuries, internal and superficial to the blood we literally spill (okay i exaggerate) and the sweat that now permeate our mats, cheerleading really took quite a chunk out of us. It consumed all of us, some by a bit, some others more but in the end regurgitated all of us out into a bonded entity.

Looking back in hindsight, from an outsider’s perspective, this quaint little cheer team of our hall is probably made of the 17 dumbest idiots ever, putting in the most time required out of any other hall activity for no rec slots back next year. But what can I say…to us standing in the heat of it all, we are not the 17 dumbest but the 17 most passionate and free souls amongst all for believing in our own interests and following our heart, not caring about doing this or that to fulfil some god damned criteria. It is exactly because of this that we are who we are, always running into trouble with jcrc or whatever main comm because we look out for our own interests fiercely as no one is there to do that for us.

And what a dysfunctional group we are. From an organisational point of view, how can this ragtag team of people from all over even work as a team? Its truly amazing and magical how we have bonded. From individual acts of selflessness to the inspirational acts of those that lead us, the bonds that bind us have been forged in moments like hitting our first ASU in the wee hours of training at canteen A. I remember the days when everyone, literally everyone was feeling down. Plagued by injuries. Searching within themselves desperately for the confidence that has faltered and left them fleetingly. The coach, frustrated and trying to pinpoint our mistakes. Times like this were far too often and I find myself thrown back to my days in training, when my instructor used to whisper in my ears…”your men are suffering. They are lost. Who do they look up to? You know what makes a true leader? Its when the going gets tough, and the smiles all fade away, a true leader will always keep a fire in his heart, step up and get everyone going again. Are you that guy?” I know what I have to do and sometimes I do try, maybe to no avail. But then our coach comes along and huddles everyone. He scolds us. He brings us down. We don’t always see him that upset, that serious, that frustrated. But then he rekindles the fire in us. Reminds us that we have come so far. Makes us realize that we have to do it for ourselves and our friends next to us. We keep his words in our heart…and hit that ASU. That was an epic day.

We all said that no matter what, our goal was to hit our ASU and have no regrets on the mats. Even though we ran back into the waiting area shouting ASU! all the way, I can’t really say the same and I do have regrets. It goes all the way back to the last week of training before cny. You know the feeling when you have a little aching here and there and some just take it as an excuse, a phantom injury, a mental impairment like a big shadow that serves as their perennial excuse to not do the things they have to do. I had that feeling. I told myself, oh no you shouldn’t continue, it would just get worse, you should just get some rest. I hate that feeling of self-pity so I dug deep and continued with training. Truth be told my triceps and shoulders weren’t holding up that well and it was apparent because after 3 days of rest I was able to hit the stunts that were troubling me. My biggest doubt…one that I keep to myself, is whether it did affect me during my last routine. I sound like I’m giving myself excuses but to an extent, its going to be one of the regrets in my life. I just cannot live it down. I can tell myself, yes I’m going to hit the gym to get bigger and stronger but what’s done is done. I feel miserable because I have not only let myself down but so many others.

It makes me wonder if its strong of me to take failure in my stride and move on or if its exactly because of the fact that I know that I can take failure well which makes me more accepting of failure that makes me weak.


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