Tuesday, January 13, 2009

True Story Tuesday


Although I am now a proud graduate of North Carolina State University, I began my college career in the bowels of Blacksburg, VA as a Virginia Tech Hokie. From the beginning, VT wasn't a great match for me. The atmosphere and culture of the campus and student body didn't complement my own personality and collegiate desires.

Several weeks into the first semester, realizing that I had no friends and no real prospects, I attended a university pep rally to celebrate the first home football game of the 2004 season. At the rally Frank Beamer spoke, the team stormed the field and the cheerleading squad waved their pom-poms spectacularly. Following the spirit pumping-up, the coach of the cheerleading squad announced that the squad would be hosting tryouts for walk-ons. "BINGO!" I thought to myself, "This is my ticket to friendship, sisterhood, and the Castrated Turkey spirit."

Prior to tryouts I had only been on one cheerleading squad. I attended a small Christian school in middle school and made the 7th grade soccer and basketball cheering squad. Barely. My best maneuver was a tuck jump. I was the 4th man in stunting (i.e. the odd man out), and I was never quite on rhythm during the "beat" cheers. No one would mistake me for a natural.

Still, I was determined (read delusional) to secure a spot on the Hokie squad. At the informational meeting I attended, Sergeant Cheerleader informed us that to be even considered for the squad we must be able to perform a standing back handspring. "No problem," Deranged Dots thought to herself. "I can do a forward roll and a quasi-cartwheel. A back handspring should be no problem to master by tomorrow."

Back at the dorm I did a quick inventory of my hallmates to find the one who claimed to be a "gymnast." We sneaked into a free gym full of mats and spent the day (s)tumbling. Before I had to return for official tryout I had pseudo-mastered a roundoff. I was ready. At tryouts, I spent the time mingling with the non-frauds explaining that I was nervous because on my old squad, "tumbling was a bonus. Not necessary. Therefore, my handspring was rusty." I'm sure they bought my story and were flocking to be friends with me.

The gym was set up with several long mats. Every girl vying for a cheering spot lined up and took turns tumbling down the mat, displaying their vast and enormous skill. Each time as I passed the coaches I did my best sparkle fingers and donned my most twinkly "GO HOKIES!!!" smile. I would then proceed to walk all the way around the mats and get back in line. My strategy was obviously to convince the coaches that I tumbled so blazingly fast and skillfully that they missed me each time.

They must have caught on, because the next order of business was to line up and one by one perform our standing back handsprings. Desperately I whispered to the girl beside me that I had no idea how to do that particular skill. "It's easy," she whispered back with her biggest cheerleader smile plastered on her face. "Just jump backward and keep your arms out." Unfortunately, Miss Even-Perkier-Than-Me was unaware that I do not possess a vertical. A horizontal would be more appropriate.

When my number was called, I took a few deep breaths and leaped backward with all my might, my arms stiff in the air. I heard a collective gasp followed by the sound of my head smacking a mat. I stood up, threw my sparkle fingers in the air and shouted a peppy, "Go Tech! Let's Go Hokies!!!" with tears streaming down my face. I shot one more toothy grin in the direction of the coaches and sprinted out of the gym. I transferred out of the state at the end of that semester. Red and black suit me better than orange and maroon anyway. I like to say that I didn't get cut from the Virginia Tech cheerleading squad, instead, I opted out of my place to allow someone less talented to join the squad.

6 comments:

The Fabulous Life of a Southern Belle said...

Well I must say that although I am a huge Hokie fan, this is the BEST story ever. You are too cute for words!

Southern Sunshine said...

So...EVERY time I hear that story, I still double over in laughter. end of story.

Red and White Preppy said...

That is adorable! Thank you for sharing :) Go Wolfpack (yes, even after the debacle that was last night's game...)!

Miss Lobster said...

I think the next true story should be another one about auditions... and models... cough cough

Mrs. Newlywed said...

What a cute story!!!!

Jennifer said...

Haha that's a cute story! Too funny!