The Rush of Competing
Standing like soldiers at the edge of the clear azure mat with my teammates, almost indistinguishable in our crisp, sparkling white shoes and clean, neatly pressed uniforms, we prepare to compete. My hair is tightly pulled up into a sleek ponytail of spiral curls, now firm as a result of the layers of hairspray. A shimmery ribbon is carefully tied to perfection around my ponytail. There is a hint of rose blush against my cheekbones and smooth raspberry lipstick across my lips.
I stand with a big bright smile across my face trying to disguise or maybe even forget the nervousness I feel inside. My stomach is jumping around in every direction possible and I feel like I could pass out any second. I run my deep scared eyes past the hundreds of anxious spectators and envy the calm, relaxed teams to the sides of me, knowing that they are all secretly hoping we have a horrible performance. Suddenly it's as if the already blinding lights are beating down on me and the temperature raises twenty degrees. My palms begin to sweat, and the butterflies inside speed up. Indistinct sounds surround me but I cannot obtain any of this, my mind is a black hole. The mysteriously stern looks of the judges, sitting in a neat row without even the slightest upward crack of a smile in the corner, frightens me even more. I inhale a slight trace of the concession stand with the tangy, sour mix of sweat, and perfume as a current of refreshing air blows by my face.
Although we have only been standing at the mat for a few minutes it feels as though it has been hours. My jaw begins to tighten from smiling and I shake with anxiety. I run through the routine once...