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Flying Through my Journey

Allegory for AP English 11

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Flying Through my Journey

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It’s never just me, and I am never alone. As three people surround me very tightly, I jump into their arms. I have two supporting my feet and one supporting my back. They have a super tight grip on my feet making me feel safe, and my back is supported with both hands. I never have to turn around to know if someone has my back because I can feel her support in my every move. They slowly lift me up into the air, and it feels as if I am at the top of the world or as if I am flying. They call me a flyer; my job is to draw attention, but don’t be fooled, the show is not all about me.

As I warm up for cheer, I strap on two braces around my ankles for support. I stretch and get all loose before we begin the sweating. Jump after jump and kick after kick, the cheerleaders begin to prepare for the practice. Coming back together, we start to form in little groups. The bases squat, the flyers jump, and the back spots lift to throw the cheerleader into the air. Most of the time I stay within my group’s hands, but the moment I leave my heart begins to beat out of my chest. I am in the air with no one but myself, but when I look down I see their arms wide open to catch me. They absorb my body as it falls into their arms. I hit their arms with all my weight causing them to bend down or sometimes even fall. I help them back up knowing I was the reason they were down in the first place.

I have been a flyer for a long time, and it has not all been rainbows and butterflies. We have several stunts that I am released in the air only to be caught shortly after. I think sometimes the cheerleaders are forgetful of the saying “what comes up must come down.” One practice we tried to do a new stunt, but we knew it would be a challenge. As I went up I hooked on to another girl, but just as I let go, I began to fall quickly. My bases tried to catch me, but it was already too late. I was crying in pain as I fell to the ground. My ankle was sprained and has yet to fully heal. However, after two weeks of rest, I was back to flying. This time was different because I felt scared to ever be released again.

I may have some bumps and bruises from the years, but I wouldn’t give up any of them. They have made me a better and stronger flyer. However, I don’t just get bruises, I am guilty of causing them to others too. Coming down from the air takes precision; if one arm or leg is not where it should be, the people waiting to help catch me suffer in pain. Those same people get back up after each hit just to lift me back up into the air.

Although the crowd’s focus is precisely on me, I am not the star of the show. I can’t single handedly lift myself up or throw myself a few feet in the air; I need my group. The bases who hold my feet and the backspot behind me contribute to the performance. In other words, each one of them helps create the show. If one of them is gone, the show would have to change. Each of them plays an important role. I need each and every one of them in order to nail every part of the show. Without them, I can do nothing because without them I am alone.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Flying Through my Journey”

  1. Brooklynn Fye on February 9th, 2019 9:02 pm

    You did an amazing job on this article! I have never been a flyer, but I have been a base for the ones like you. Being a base I know the adrenaline is very powerful as well! You did a great job explaining the emotion while flying! Keep Writing!

  2. mdish72 on February 11th, 2019 9:31 am

    Great article, McKayla! I love how much time, work, and passion you put into cheerleading! Teamwork is a must throughout life and I’m glad you have a great team! I love how much detail you put into this as your part of being a flyer! I used to do cheerleading and after reading this, I really miss it! Well done!

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Lewis Cass High School, Walton, Indiana,
Flying Through my Journey