A Letter to My First Love

If you’re all thinking that this post will be about a guy — you guys are wrong.

I’m here to talk about a relationship — between me and my sport. Cheerleading will always be my first love. I’ve been representing my grade since I was 6, competing in small competitions in our school through the years until I had to stop because of a knee injury that seems to be uncurable. I have tried numerous weeks of therapy but once I’m back to doing what I love the most, the pain haunts and comes back for me.

The injury that I had — or have — is called a joint effusion. I have tried a lot of variations of therapy but nothing seems to work. It doesn’t entirely fix anything; it just makes you feel the pain less and it also makes the swelling pass or subside. Oh how I wish it could help heal my knee. How I wish I could still go back to doing what I love, to doing the only thing I know, to doing the thing I grew up doing, and to doing the only thing I know I’m good at. Every time I go to the gym, I would always try to get back my flexibility and my other skills but I guess that’d be the only place I’ll do it from now on. It’s about time to accept that I’ll never get back to the training and the competition mats.

How I wish I could say that I still cheer, how I wish I could still show off my competition uniforms, how I wish I could’ve developed more skills and progressed more as an athlete. But then again, all good things must come to an end. There will always come a time that the mind believes it still can, but the body has to say otherwise.

How I wish I could compete for my school again, and how I wish I could have been better. Here’s to the countless lessons cheerleading has taught me, to the tests of patience and perseverance it has introduced me, to the wonderful bond that my teammates who are also my friends that turned into family has formed, to the coaches who pushed us so hard to achieve what they know we can, and to the skills I have learned along the way.

For now, I can only hope to say, “Once one is a cheerleader, one will always and forever be a cheerleader.

Thank you for being a huge part of my life. I’ve been trying to get back to the way it was before, but I guess it’s time to hang up my cheer shoes for good. It has been one hell of an experience. Goodbyes are always so hard, especially to the sport you grew up doing and eventually loving. It’s time to say goodbye to you — my first love. It’s time to accept the fact that our relationship has run its course.

Lastly, for turning me into the person I am today, you have contributed so much to my growth as an athlete — and most especially as a person. Thank you. I will always treasure the memories we shared, successes and difficulties we have overcome, and the lessons that I will bring with me for the rest of my life. Thank you for everything.

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