Have you ever had a dream that seemed crazy at the time? Did you set yourself up for failure? This is how I felt in first grade. I wanted to try out for the school jump rope team and stay on the team all the way through high school. Everyone wanted to be on this team, the Hebron Hoppers, so I had some competition. I was in for a lot of work, but knew this is what I wanted to do.
The Hebron Hoppers performed solely for entertainment, but the jumping was not the only thing I loved about it. Everything from the pumping of the music in the floor to the clicking of the ropes on the gym floor. The ropes moving in sync with the beat of the music was amazing. I didn't know how they did it, but I wanted to join.
Tryouts were hectic. The sound of clacking ropes and loud kids filled the auditorium, where we waited until called to the gym to try out. Kids in first through fifth grade practiced tricks they knew they would be tested over. Days later, a sheet of paper was posted outside the auditorium. A mob of people surrounded by the flyer. Eventually, I was standing face to face with the paper. About four names down, I saw my name. I made it! I couldn't wait to tell my friends.
No, honey, I'm so sorry.
Mom, is there any way I can stay?
You know the saying "practice makes perfect?" This played a big role in our performances. We practiced after school on Tuesdays and had to come early before school on Fridays. At the first practice, we were told to mark our rope handles with duct tape. I couldn't wait! This was my chance to make my rope unique. After that, we had typical practices. Snack time, run-throughs of the routine, and a little bit of competition. The Hebron Hoppers are competitive.
Finally, the time came to have my first performance. I got to show off my skills to the whole school. Everything I loved about the Hebron Hoppers in the first place, I was now able to do! After that performance, many followed. We yearly went to the Christmas Parade in Nashville, and always performed at the Toyota family fun day. We were also invited to the circus and wowed some basketball lovers with a few half-time shows.
When I got to fifth grade, my mom informed me we were moving. I was so excited because this meant I would get my own room. Although, my mom later informed me that moving houses meant moving schools. This meant I had to quit the jump rope team. It was hard enough to have to move schools and leave my best friends, but I also had to give up what I love. Jump roping made me different from everyone else, but without jump rope I always wondered...Who am I?