Art by Vivian Hsia
Transparency Item: This is the opinion of Willie the Wave.
I, Willie the Wave, have been able to do a handstand for as long as I can remember. Despite this, it never crossed my mind that I should do one on the sidelines as I cheer on the Waves.
That was until spring break at the West Coast Conference basketball tournament in Las Vegas. I was going up against Cosmo the Cougar for the entirety of the Women’s Basketball game against Brigham Young University and thought now would be a perfect time to do my first handstand in front of an audience.
However, my boss told me the tournament wasn’t the place to bust out a handstand, even though I was going up against one of the most talented college mascots. Rather, he said I would need to practice it and wait until I returned to campus.
I didn’t think not being able to do a handstand was going to be an issue. Until my worst fears came true, when in the second half of the game, I got into a dance battle with Cosmo.
Cosmo did just about everything you would expect him to do. From handstands to backflips, he was putting on a show.
Meanwhile, since a handstand was off limits, the most I could muster up was a cartwheel. Cosmo definitely won the dance battle.
I walked away in utter agony with my head drooping, knowing Cosmo handed me a merciless defeat. I wondered how I could ever show my face around campus again.
Upon returning to campus, I knew the next time I was in front of an audience, I had to bring out the handstand. I couldn’t let that humiliating defeat in Las Vegas be my legacy.
I decided that March 9, when Pepperdine Men’s Volleyball was playing University of Southern California in Firestone, would be the day I release my handstand for the world to see.
I got there early, practiced a little bit and eventually got the OK from my boss to do it. The only thing I had to worry about was determining when would be a good time to unleash my handstand.
As Men’s Volleyball won the first set against USC, I was walking away to go take my break when I noticed a photographer for Pepperdine Athletics pointing their camera at me. It was in this moment I decided it was my time to shine.
I took a deep breath and cast aside all my worries of falling and embarrassing myself. With only one shot to succeed, I put my hands in the air and tumbled forward.
And there I was doing it — feet in the air, hands on the ground for all of Firestone to witness. I had successfully done a handstand, and many people cheered on as they witnessed this historic event.
However, one handstand is never enough. I didn’t want to overuse it, but at various points throughout the match, I held myself up with my hands. Most notably, during the third set, three members of the Pepperdine Women’s Swim and Dive team joined me in doing handstands.
Eventually, the match between Pepperdine and USC came to an end, and after Pepperdine completed the sweep, I performed one last handstand for the people to see. After that, I walked off into the distance, only to return when Pepperdine Athletics needed some cheering.
So the next time someone doubts my capabilities, I recommend they just let Willie be Willie because I have a lot more tricks up my sleeve than they might expect.
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