Feb 02


The noise in the background dulls. I can still hear my teammates' cheering voices but it's like they are yelling through a closed door.

I look down at the gray, carpeted floor, the gymnastics floor. There are little pieces of material that have come off from years of people flipping and falling. I imagine all the people who stood right here, in this very spot. I think of all the people doing what I am about to do.

I close my eyes and picture myself doing a flawless back handspring. My toes pointed, my knees locked out, and my hands reaching back and then landing on my feet.

I swing my arms forward and the few hushed voices I can still hear fade away.

It’s just me and my fear.

The thing I have been scared to do, the thing that has been holding me back from getting first place, the thing I want to be able to do so much.

Then I fling myself backwards.