A Special Kind Of Athlete

A Special Kind Of Athlete

Being a athlete is tough; keeping up with practices, workouts and school and always wanting to be your best.

I started to cheer when I was three and I did not have any problems keeping up with the team. I would literally run circles around the older kids. The older I got cheer became harder for me. I would feel tired all the time and I always wanted to “just take a nap”. Being at school or cheer made me tired just thinking about it. Once I started public school in second grade my mom and my teacher noticed I was always tired even though I slept well all night. I once fell asleep during reading circle and it scared my teacher so bad. My mom took me to the doctor and after testing I was diagnosed with having narcolepsy. 

Having narcolepsy means I am tired a lot. When I am tired you can compare it to you being up for three day straight. Because, I have narcolepsy my weight changes faster than other kids my age, which can be difficult for a flyer. The best thing about cheer is that there is always something else to do. Last season I learned to back base and I was great at it a was voted rookie of the year. Living with special needs can be tough sometimes and cheering gets harder. I let my coaches know at the beginning of every season that somedays I will get tired, even with taking my medicine before practice. That does not mean go easy on me. I get tired but I never want to let my team down. I don’t want my coaches or teammates who don’t know me thinking I’m lazy.

I am a special kind of athlete with even more special powers and giving up or sleeping my life away isn’t on my list of them.

~Tori James


Sharita Richardson

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