Up in the Air

by Delaney (last name withheld), grade 8, Brockville

Do you remember what it felt like deciding what you wanted to do in life, or are you still wondering?  For Marissa Smith, it’s an easy answer.  Her plan is simple, but requires a lot to achieve it.  Cheerleading is not only an interest, but it will also help her in the academic department. “It’s something I want to do, and will help me keep focused,” says Marissa.

Marissa - photograph by Delaney

The cheerleading program Marissa is interested in requires its athletes to maintain steady grades, and complete homework regularly, or else be removed from the team. Marissa admits that her team need some work, but with her skill, perseverance, and teamwork, they will be competing regionally in no time.

Being on the team is no luxury and requires intense physical conditioning.  Just making the team means having to run for four miles on unlevel ground, and dance tryouts with the other contestants in front of the whole team.  Marissa is expected to attend practice from Monday to Friday at four hours a session no questions asked, and has to keep up flawless grades in school.  She also has to eat a healthy, balanced diet of the right amount of carbohydrates, fruits, water, while avoiding sugary treats.

There are no breaks for a cheerleader, from summer till winter she is busting her butt perfecting and experimenting with different techniques.  Marissa can confidently perform back hand springs, front hand springs, splits, and just learned how to do a scorpion.  Her dream is to carry on taking cheerleading not only throughout her high school years, but also to continue after graduation.

Although, cheerleading may take over most of her life, she also has time on the side to write books for young children, which is a hobby she enjoys. “I just enjoy the looks on the children’s faces when I read to them,” she says.  Other sports she is involved with include basketball and track and field, which she is not as interested in at the moment.

Marissa has an exciting future ahead of her; cheerleading, great friends, and an energetic personality.  Be prepared to see more of her in the future.

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About Meredith Dault

I'm a graduate student at Queen's University. I'm in my first year of a two-year MA program in Cultural Studies. I'm back in school after being away from it for awhile. This is a blog about the experience.
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