Vaccher Reflects On Nationals Experience
Getting the opportunity to go to Nationals was an amazing experience. It started out so surreal - I didn't even realize that I had qualified originally, and even once I had, the disappointment of the team not making it seemed more important. But as the two weeks went by I began to get more and more excited, and finally the day came to leave for Cleveland. It was so different not having the whole team leave with me and just being with the coaches instead, but I knew that was something I needed to get used to for this trip.
When we got to Cleveland, there was a sign in the airport about nationals, and that made it seem more real. The room keys at the hotel were decorated for the meet too. This was actually happening!
The next morning, it was time for practice day. Rotating with Georgia, I didn't know what to expect, but they ended up being really nice and helpful. It was also an entirely new experience being on a podium, since that was something I had never done before either. Overall practice day went really well; it was just good to be able to soak everything in.
Saturday morning at 7 a.m., the alarm went off and it was time to start getting ready for the meet. It was a really different experience than most of our meets, since they are usually in the evening and we have the whole day to get ready! This early time was nice in one aspect, though - I didn't have time to sit around and get nervous!
Then, finally, after warm-up and march-in, the meet actually started. I competed after Georgia's rotation, which was also another new experience since my spot in the lineups is always at the beginnings. I was surprised to find that I wasn't nervous, especially at a meet like nationals. Being by myself, I knew that what I did had no effect on anyone else, and that took a lot of pressure out of the situation. I could just relax and do my routines like I practiced all year.
The rest of the weekend I got to spend time with family and watch the other sessions. Super 6 was probably my favorite of the weekend. There was so much going on and it was just amazing to be able to watch the national championships happen in person.
This whole experience was amazing and inspiring, and I'm so glad I got to experience it this year. I got to see where we want to be, and it just motivated me even more to work hard and go back next year - but this time, with the whole team!
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