Hi, my name is Alicia Headrick. I am an incoming senior at Wilmington High School, in Wilmington, IL. I started cheerleading when I was 7 years old. I cheered for the Elwood Tigers up until I moved to Wilmington the summer before 6th grade. I tried out for the middle school team and made it. That year we got 3rd in state and was the first time WMS had placed that high in a state cheerleading competition. My 7th grade year was also successful, we placed 4th. My 8th grade year, we had the dream team. We believed we could place in the top 2 in state, maybe even win it all. It was the last run through of practice, 2 days before the state competition. I was up in a stunt and that's where everything changed. There was a miscommunication and next thing you knew I was on the ground with my elbow and arm in a position that would make you throw up just looking at it. People said I wouldn't stop screaming, but the truth is I don't remember. All I remember was the worst pain I had ever felt in my life. There was no way I would be able to compete. I had shattered my elbow, dislocated it, and broken the bone. The doctor said that it was the worst possible injury an elbow can sustain. It would have been much better if I had just broken my arm. Because of the way my arm was cast, I could not straighten my arm. I went to years of therapy and still could not get full motion. In cheerleading, one of the most important parts is having nice, straight arms. I only had one. This injury happened in 8th grade. I am a senior in high school and still have to put on a specially made device that basically straightens my arm for me. There is a dial that I turn that keeps pushing and stretching my ligaments until I can't take it anymore. It would be like taking your arm and trying to push it past your normal set of motion. I would like to think most people would not continue the sport they got hurt in after an injury like that, but I did. I believe that God had a plan for me, and I needed to continue. 2 surgeries and a year and half later I was cheering in high school. It was incredbily scary trying to do a backhandspring again. I was always asking myself "What if I get hurt it again?" Well, my days of being thrown in the air were pretty much done and that was perfectly fine with me. I love basing. I like being the one saving people from sustaining an injury like my own. With an injury like this, I can't believe I am still cheering. And not just jumping around or yelling out cheers. Stunting and tumbling. Two tasks very hard on your arms. I thank all the people who have gotten me this far.
Every single year since I've been a freshman we have made it to the state series. Last year,we made it to the top 10 and ended on a high note with the best performace being our last performace. I couldn't have been happier. This year we are making a goal to place in the top 3 in state. We have already been training for weeks and went to a 4 day camp. I attended a UCA (Universal Cheerleaders Association) cheerleading sleepaway camp in Dekalb, Illinois. We arrived on June 21st and left on June 24th. The days were filled with elite stunting, tumbling, jumps, and dance. Each day was mostly centered around one of these aspects and everyday we would perform our "routine" we had put together. One day we would perform our tumbling sequence, the next we would perform our jump sequence and so on. The last day we combine our strongest two aspects and perform in front of all our parents and the other teams attending the camp. This is also the day of the All-American tryouts. Being an All-American is considered one of the highest individual awards in cheerleading. You must perform a dance and cheer taught to you by the instructors the first day you arrived at camp. You also perform your best jump.
This was my toetouch when trying out for All-American. I made the All-American team! I now have the honor of being an All-American cheerleader which I share with carefully selected cheerleaders across the country. Now have the chance to attend the London 2015 Varsity Cheer Tour. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and my last. I will get a tour of London. I would be gone December 26th-January 2nd. The itinerary includes a visit to the Buckingham palace, the Tower of London, Big Ben, and so much more. The most exciting part though is the last day, January 1st. This is the day of the London New Year's Day Parade. I have the chance to perform with 10,000 alongside me, perform in front of 1 million people streetside and 20 million around the world. I hope to raise the money through this website and other fundraising ideas. It is something I would love to experience, but I can't do it without your help. So please help send me to London :) Thank you for taking the time to read my story. If you have any questions please feel free to email me at [email redacted].
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