My name is Giovanna Arata, and I live on Chrisfield Lane. I am heading into my senior year of high school this year and could not be more excited about it. For around 13 years of my life, I was a competitive gymnast and power tumbler. However, in the past few months, I have absolutely fallen in love with both competitive and sideline cheerleading. When I was still competing in gymnastics, I discovered the school’s basketball cheer team was holding tryouts and thought about giving it a shot. I went to a few open gyms and learned to stunt as a main base and a back spot. Although I have only been a part of the cheer world for a few months, I have absolutely loved every minute of it. My favorite thing about cheer is being a part of a huge team because that team is more like your family. Between training together for house on end, trusting each other to put stunts in the air, and even hanging out outside of school, the girls on my teams have become some of the greatest friendships I have ever known.
I am also so happy to say that I have a younger sister who has followed in my footsteps. Josephine is a member of Fall Creek Junior High’s football and basketball cheer teams, as well as both a trampoline and tumbling team and an artistic gymnastics team. I have gotten the incredible opportunity to watch her learn the value of passion alongside perseverance within gymnastics and the importance of teamwork and compassion through cheer. It is a blessing to have experienced these lessons myself but having the ability to share these experiences and memories with another strong athlete within my family brings me more joy than I will ever be able to put into words. I love being the big sister who gets to go to her competitions and see her win state titles, qualify for nationals, and enjoy her time with her team every step of the way.
Beyond our shared athletic abilities, Josephine and I could honestly not be more different. She has been pursuing painting, drawing, and crafting of all sorts when she is not on a mat of some sort. Me, on the other hand, I prefer the performance side of things. I have been in choir since the fourth grade and am currently in HSE High School’s top two performance choirs. While I do enjoy sharing my competitive spirit with my sister, I also love that we have our own lives and our own passions. I hope one day, when I have left after my senior year, Josephine is able to find as much joy in sharing her pastimes with others as I have enjoyed mine with her.