Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day 1121 - Our Nationals Experience

And just like that, the Australian National Championships is all over ...

AASCF Nationals - Fireworks
As with many things in life, it seemed a long time coming.  All year our cheerleaders have been preparing for this event and now it is done and dusted.  I for one am absolutely exhausted. I can only imagine how the competitors, judges and event organisers must be feeling.




I wore all my hats with pride on the weekend.  And it is with exhaustion that I take them all off.

You will remember me getting ready for it here.

Mum

Tahlia performed beautifully on the weekend and I had proud mummy tears with both of her performances. Best performances to date. I get so nervous for her and her team knowing how important it is to them that they pull it off without any tumbles. It's enough to give this mum an ulcer.  I was so relieved when they finished their routines better than they have ever performed at competition to date. (Although Tahlia did have one fall and now has a bandaged wrist. It is but a mild sprain.) The entire Sirens squad were beautiful to be around and it's a pleasure being part of their crew.  Their senior level 3 team came home with 3rd place trophy which was lovely.  The squad also received a heap of partner stunt trophies as well. Tahlia has been approached about performing at a higher level next year, including with some of the seniors in a level 4 group.  She is elated (and scared) and very happy.

Tahlia at Sirens training preparing for Nationals (Flyer)

Tahlia at Sirens training preparing.  That's her in the air in the middle. 


Coach

I get so nervous as a coach.  As I've said before, I feel so much responsibility.  I love the coordination role though.  I find that bit easy! Wandering around with my clip board making sure everyone is at the right place at the right time. All of the Good Shepherd teams performed better than ever and as a school we came home with a first, two seconds, two thirds and a fifth.  Yep, I reckon that makes us national champions. I get very emotional when I see these kids compete with such enthusiasm and spirit and love for the sport.  And even more emotional when I think that this is all happening because one day four years ago Tahlia said she wanted to be a cheerleader, so we created the squad.  So much hard work and so many rewards.

Business Owner

All I can say here is THANK GOD for my mum and my husband.  Without them the Charlie stall would not have been possible.  They set it up while I was off coaching at stuntfest on the Friday night, and they manned it while I was running between teams on the Saturday and Sunday.  I worked the stall of course, but it had to be between coaching and coordination gigs.  As with the other comps, Charlie was very well received and we made good money.  It's great to know we are on the right track.
Derek and Mum working the stall. Lots of interest!

Cheer Chick Charlie at the Australian National Championships

 


Author

I signed so many books on the weekend that I lost track of numbers.  It was so much fun hearing the kids love for Charlie and getting my photo taken with a few of the fans.  Having mothers come to me and thank me for the stories was probably the best feeling of all. So many little girls who don't usually read, and who now can't put the books down because they love Charlie so much.  That makes it all worthwhile. I am really passionate about these books so the support from others helps me to stand tall and worry less about the fact I have 8000 books sitting in my garage.



I wish I could adequately explain how I am feeling right now. It's a mixture of relief, exhaustion, elation, pride, happiness, wonder, gratitude, confusion, fear and agitation.  A full suite of emotions all mixed in as I look back at the cheer year that was, and look forward to what is left to do.

As a Mum I wonder where Tahlia is headed in the sport, how high she is wanting to go and the compromises that will need to be made to accommodate her dreams. I am also so very happy that she has found her "thing" and that she is actually good at it.  She has so much potential and with the right mindset she could end up representing Australia one of these days.

As a Coach I feel relieved that the pressure is off for this year, yet also feel anxious about succession planning to ensure the squad continues to grow and run while I focus on other things.  I will always be a part of Good Shepherd Cheer. It is my baby. But at what point can I step back just that little bit further (and do I really want to)??

As a business owner I feel happy that my idea has blossomed into a viable product line, yet also feel concerned that this might be as good as it gets.  I am excited about the opportunities that may be open to us overseas yet fearful that going to the USA may not work out the way I hoped. I am hopeful about new additions to the product line, yet concerned about the financial side of things.  How do we expand our customer base? Why isn't the website traffic converting to sales?  How can I get as much on-line success as the face-to-face events?

As an author I feel fulfilled.  The response from all the kids that have read Charlie so far has been amazing.  My challenge now is quite simply to get more kids to read book number one.  Once they read it I feel fairly sure they will be hooked.  Again, it is about expansion.  We've already highlighted the US cheer industry.  We're trying to get into main stream Australia. We just need that one magic window to open ...

Yeah, so on this Tuesday I am feeling a great deal of emotion.  I'm not sure what to do with it all so I am going to take a couple of days off and just contemplate my naval a bit and see if I can make sense of a few things.

I think exhaustion is still at the top of the list.  So once I hit "publish" it might be time to put my feet up.

If you want to find out more about Cheer Chick Charlie you can go to our website or our Facebook page.  I'd value any tips you might have on how we can improve our online presence and perhaps convert on-line interest into on-line sales.

Cheers!

6 comments :

  1. Sounds like you all had a fantastic time - i hope you are putting your feet up for a well deserved rest!!

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  2. I love stopping by here and seeing your dreams come to fruition. Sounds like a wonderful weekend and no wonder you are exhausted. Fairy wishes and butterfly kisses lovely

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  3. Sounds like an awesome day. You also seemed so busy on the day. I hope you got to put your feet up for the next couple of days.

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  4. What a wonderful finale to a very busy year. What about Charlie's meditation CD?

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  5. What an amazing time you have had - so many hats and so much success with them. Sit back, relax and enjoy the fruits of your labour!

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  6. Congratulations of the third place, and the offer of up-grading to a higher category!!!

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