About 10 minutes into warming up for the competition I heard a pop inside my left knee. It was a familiar feeling I had injuring my right knee a year ago, which I had to go into surgery for. 10 minutes into warming up, and just moments from going into our first battle, I injure what is one of the most crucial body parts in breaking. All I could do was sit down, helpless, as the team warmed up for the upcoming battle. I was part of several routines and had a few solos lined up, but now all of that was thrown to waste. I was devastated. I wanted to cry. I wanted to give up.
But that’s not what leaders do. I asked for painkillers, I asked Anna to buy me a knee brace, I did everything I could to make sure I was fine, even when I wasn’t. I was in aggravating pain, but I couldn’t let things stop here, not after all the time I had invested into this. It was my last year competing as a student, my last year before I graduate. I wanted to win, and I wanted to win bad.
I pushed myself throughout the whole competition, still managing to break with my injured leg thanks to the painkillers. It hurt, a lot, but I managed to pull it off. Not only that, the team seemed extra confident and were hitting all of their moves.
…and just like that, we were back in the finals.
We had been here before. We knew what we had to do. The title was there for the taking. We just had to execute.
Thien wanted me to do half a set. They knew I was injured but they had complete confidence in me, that I would be able to pull off some magic, and I did. I landed my moves, despite the pain. From there, the battle moved slow and steady. It was a 10 minute battle that felt like 30 minutes. Both teams were exchanging, both teams were going all out. And before we knew it the battle was over.
We were out of breath. Our energy stayed high, but we were nervous at the outcome. As the MC made the final comments before the decision, I closed my eyes. This was it. After having our heads down waiting for the final count, we looked up to see the judge’s decision:
The team was quiet. I was quiet. My mind was numb. My ears were still ringing from the breakbeats. We went back to our corner to pack our bags. The team was still quiet. Our supporters and other schools came up to us and gave their full support, telling us they wanted us to win and they were rooting for us the whole way. All I could do was smile and say thank you. I had no words.
We stepped outside of the venue for our last football huddle. Nick said some words, other teammates said some things and then I said some words. Half way into my shpele, I began to choke up. Tears were coming down my face. I was trying to hold it in, but I couldn’t. I wanted us to win, bad. I felt like I let the team down. I felt pats on my back and hugs, and smiles all around the huddle. And just like that, I was ok. I had nothing to be sad about because I had these guys.We laughed and shared the best moments of the semester together, on and off the dance floor.
We did the final roll call of the night:
P.S. Thank you to the club and my KLR brothers for making this experience the best I’ve ever had. Thank you to all supporters that were routing for us all the way. And thank you to everyone that continues to support me in this dance. We’ll be back, this time with the trophy in our hands.