|The jitters danced throughout my body as the car I was seated which was bound to arrive at the destination I prepared myself months of training for, as my body’s heat rushed to my cheeks thinking about it. I was excited, yet extremely nervous. In about fifteen minutes, I would be standing live, in the flesh, of my first outdoor national gymnastic championship.|
It took tireless sessions, day and night, buckets of sweat, blood and tears, and of course, the worst of all, which was listening to my coach screech endlessly about how incompetent my form was, for eight months straight, to enter finals on a national level. I cannot emphasize the efforts I had put in and let my body work itself through the rhythm, never giving up and missing a lot of parties and extracurricular’s just for practice. It would never leave me with any time for any other activity and I would always come home exhausted and sore to the bone.
Inhaling and exhaling rather anxiously, I backhandedly wiped the pool of sweat gathered on my palms as I would need to dust them for a steady grip on later anyways, and couldn’t risk room for even the slightest moisture, but my nerves were fighting a battle of their own today.
Reaching to the ground, I could see myself doing a balance beam on the equipment, my body swinging in full motion afterwards, bracing myself for the impact on the spread out mat, in front of the entire audience focusing on one aspect, which would be me. Watching my every move, my every step, which was rightfully calculated for eight months straight. What if I messed up? In front of all those people counting on me? And coach?
A tangling shiver tauntingly went down my spine as I visualized the mishap in front of me. I shook my head aggressively, as if to pour the negative thoughts about getting cold feet just moments before my performance, and proceeded with registration, my coach reassuring me side by side. Bold of her to assume I wasn’t nervous for my big day.
Grabbing my ID’s and finishing up for the registration process, my gymnastic gear was left, and then there would be nothing stopping me to be a runner up for the performance. I shakily walked to the changing room, and slipped on the clingy material of clothing and wore my grips on my kneecaps and elbows. Glancing at my face in the mirror, the nerves were starting to pop out in my reflection now more than ever. I tried to whisper some words of reassurance to myself as a pep talk. What could possibly go wrong?
BAM! My coach barged in the room, interrupting my invasive thoughts. She wore her usual grimace and told me to get out on the mat, as my turn was fairly next. One last look in the mirror, I tightened my ponytail and set out for my performance.
As I stepped outside, the weather appeared to be rather dull than the sunny rays which met me in warmth less than twenty minutes ago, which caused me to worry even further. What if it rained during my performance? I’d have a long life injury to deal with if I lost my grip midway a flip.
Less than a minute later, the judge’s booming voice soared across the field.“…And our next contestant, please welcome, Javeria Husain!”Shrugging off my thoughts; I plastered a sweet smile across my face to hide my nerves as the adrenaline boosted through my veins, and walked to my assigned mat. Shakily dusting my hands in powder to steady my grip, I met eyes with my companion, the beam. As I took a few steps back, and prepared myself for my entrance stunt, a series of yet another booming sounds alarmed me to stop in my tracks.
THUD! CRASH! BOOM! The call of thunder came over the field as slight drizzling fastened its pace onto the land that lay underneath it.
Still alarmed, I stood there in shock, as the drops soaked my attire and moistened my palms. A mix of sadness and relief washed over me as I stood there, paralyzed with the turn of events. My conscience proved my right.
“Hello everyone! Due to the unexpected forecast, this premises will have to be evacuated immediately so we can cover up the field before it’s too late. Please evacuate indoors on your right, you can….”
A huge tide of grief hit me suddenly, as the judge’s voices dissolved amongst the crowd that found itself indoors, and as the rain continued to dampen me even further. If I had started too soon, I would be injured, but if I had started even sooner, I would’ve made it to internationals. As my coach brought a towel over my head, I walked with her in shock, slowly processing everything, all the adrenaline gone, which had drowned up all my energy and excitement.
It was all for nothing. All the hard work that I had put in for eight months was gone, within five seconds.