One thing that you may not be aware of is that I’m a competitive cheerleader. Each year we tour arenas in the UK competing against other teams through stunts, jumps, tumbling and dance. To the average English person Cheerleading is merely girls in short skirts shaking their pom-poms (innuendo not intended). Fortunately All-Star Cheerleading excludes the presence of pom-poms and includes a high stamina, level of commitment and trust.
In April we were lucky enough to become national champions and it was the first time we had ever won it. It was a surreal experience that I never wanted to end. Another competition we attended this year was Legacy Nationals, our second and final national competition of the season. After our win in April we had a reputation to upkeep and we were so ready for it.
We were competing in Stratford, specifically at The Copper Box Arena that was used for the London olympics in 2012. It was my first time at the olympic park which gave me another incentive to try even harder. Our warm up went amazing, every we did hit perfectly and I was getting more and more excited.
When performing the routine everything was going so well. Every stunt that was in the air, every jump, every tumble we performed looked insane and I was so impressed by the team I was on the floor with.
Once we got to our pyramid the routine drastically went down hill. I went up in a show-and-go (a very basic stunt that I have performed for many years) on my way down I missed my footing and balance and fell to the floor.
As self protection I put my left arm out to support my fall. Unfortunately I was falling from around 7 or 8 feet so my arm didn’t help too much. I immediately felt my arm was out-of-place as I couldn’t move it. It was a horrible experience and I’m so glad it’s over.
Overall the day was pleasant. For most of it I was high on morphine and apparently I said many funny things to paramedics, doctors and my friends who were with me at the time. I have so many thank you’s for those who saved and protected me in my day of need.
My first thank you goes to my teammates who stuck by me and cried for me, The love I have for my team is unconditional and without their support over nationals weekend I have no idea where I would be without them.
The nurses and doctors at Homerton Hospital in London are truly lovely and kind-hearted too – so a big thank you to them! My coaches were amazing that day filling in for the routines I missed and the event managers were also incredible. I want to even thank everyone in the arena for applauding me when I left in a wheelchair. Everyone was so kind and I wasn’t expecting that when being in the centre of a diverse city like London.
Once home my arm was put in a plaster cast for just over two weeks. I currently have it in a blue sling that I remove often to stretch and build the muscle in my elbow again. My arm is in a lot of pain right now but I know the pain will be worth it. The memories I have from the weekend were incredible in both good ways and bad.
The most disappointing part of the whole event is that I won’t be able to compete at the European Summit on the 25th and 26th of July but I will be staying over at the competition to watch all of the teams I coach and my personal team. Good luck to everyone competing and I can’t wait to see how fierce the competition will be!