B-E-N-T-L-E-Y Let's go Bentley!
Two weeks after getting back from Italy and London, and I'm off again! This time to College Cheerleading Nationals in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Yes, for those of you who don't know, I am in fact a cheerleader! (No surprise there).
After a year of hard work and what seemed like endless practices at times, it was time to travel to Daytona to compete nationally. Two weeks before, we won our division at a competition in Providence, and one of our flyers even competed on a broken leg! (Karen you're a superstar). With some last minute challenges, our team powered through some extra practices and got ready to depart.
On Tuesday, we landed in Orlando, and boarded a bus to Daytona. We arrived at the Plaza Resort and Spa and after dropping our stuff off at our respective rooms, we met up in the lobby so we could have practice. We went back to the hotel and relaxed for a bit, and for dinner a bunch of us went to Johnny Rockets while the rest went to Sloppy Joes, both right on the beach and next to the bandshell.
Then on Wednesday morning we woke up and met up to go to practice, and to take the mat for our practice session. We practiced on the grass, made a few more changes (we really don't have great luck), and walked into the Ocean Center for our practice session.
After our practice, I ran into my best friend Jess! I was so excited to see her, we hadn't seen one another since January! Jess and I cheered together from middle school all throughout high school, and it was incredible to be with her cheering in college after all of these years. Jess cheers for Eastern Connecticut State University an All-Girl team. (PS check out the pictures of us from when we were in middle school -- we were so cute and awkward haha)
We stopped and ate some lunch and later met up for another practice. Following practice we decided we all needed Coldstone, so my we all walked over there together. Dessert before dinner is always the best decision. I got dinner that night with Jess and one of her teammates, at this place called MyPi. I just love pizza so much.
I went back to the hotel for some team bonding, and got a good nights sleep for competition the next day.
I woke up really early to get ready so I could head to the Ocean Center to watch Jessica compete, and watch the Boston University Cheer Team, who are some of our biggest supporters. I felt like a mom watching Jess, I was so proud! She did incredibly, and I am so proud of her and happy I got to watch her compete! It was strange seeing her without me being on the mat with her after all these years of competing together, but amazing being able to cheer her on nonetheless (sentimental, I know).
After she competed, Jess and I met up and went to the cheer-gear shop where we scooped up some matching t-shirts and other goodies. My parents also got there, so it was so exciting to see them! I spent time with them all until it was time to meet up with my team for warm-ups.
Competition time. We took the mat after our warm-ups, and unfortunately we didn't do as well as we could've. It was heartbreaking for all of us, but we knew we had to give it our all for the Challenge Cup, A "second chance" round to make day two of the competition. Day two is on the bandshell, instead of inside the Ocean Center, so we really wanted to make it out there.
After another practice and some motivational speeches from our coaches, we felt much stronger and our spirits were high taking the mat again.
Our Challenge Cup performance was so much better than our first performance, and we felt so good leaving the mat. Although we were still all disappointed in how we had done earlier, it was nice to be able to go out there and really show why we deserved to be there.
In the end we didn't end up making day two, but I was still so proud of our second performance and how far we have come as a team and all the challenges we have tackled.
That night we went on some team adventures, including a 1 AM trip to IHop!
The next day we spent on the beach, my parents came too, and we watched some teams compete on the bandshell. It was so cool being able to see teams like Louisville take the mat, they are incredibly talented and flawless during their performances. Later that evening, my parents, Jess, and I all went out to dinner together! It was so great being able to spend time with all of them!
Saturday we went to stunt fest, where teams all do random, crazy stunts right next to the beach. It seriously looks like something out of a Bring it On movie! It was so much fun! Later, we all went out for a team dinner at Joe's Crab Shack, right on the Daytona boardwalk.
We left the next day to head back to chilly Massachusetts, after a flight delay (this has really been a theme for me lately).
Although we didn't do as well as we wanted, I really am so proud to be a part of this team. We have overcome so much together this year and gotten so close. I don't consider them just my teammates, they really are my family. I'm going to miss them all so much when I am abroad in the fall!
Also, shout out to my amazing parents for always being so supportive of me. I am a very lucky girl to have you both always right by my side in everything that I do. There are no parents greater than you two! Love ya mom if you're reading this (Show my technology-challenged dad too hehe).
Now back to reality and endless school work!