On top of the world
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
YOU'VE been training for this moment for five years. In 60 seconds time you are about to go on stage to perform the most physically demanding aerobics routine you can possibly fit into two minutes.
Day in and day out, your life has been about nailing this routine.
When you get on stage, facing you will be 2500 people packed into Rotterdam's Topsportcentrum. These spectators have airhorns to blow, songs to sing, flags to wave and can whistle louder than most football crowds.
Now's the time to find out ? am I going to be a world champion?
IN three weeks time, Coffs Harbour's Cassie Scully will be facing this situation when she competes at the Aerobics World Championships.
"I'll just be shaking and taking a thousand deep breaths just trying to calm myself down, trying to relax and keep my shoulders down," Scully said of how she will handle this pressure-packed situation.
"I'll tell myself that I can do it with all the hard training, and make it pay off. When I walk out it kind of goes and it's just get into it and go.
"But the best feeling is when you've nailed your routine, you've done every skill perfect and you take your last pose. You can't describe it and not everyone gets to feel that feeling but it's good."
Scully will be competing at the World Championships for the second time as a senior but prior to that she won a silver medal as a junior before crowned world champion in the youth section.
"I'd love to be the first Australian to be a youth and senior world champ because we've never had that before." she said.
Winning in Rotterdam is the ultimate goal for the fitness fanatic but if she doesn't reach that goal this year, she says that there other goals she'd be happy to attain.
"To take home a medal, that would be awesome or to get into the final," the champ said.
"I already know that there's about 40 competitors that are in it but it's only the top six that make it to the final so that would be awesome just to get there.
"If you make it to the final you have to compete four times over three days, which is pretty draining but I want to get there, I'm not going all that way and I haven't trained this hard all year to not make it."
It's a big ask though. Anyone can assume how difficult it is to get a national title in this energy sapping sport but it's a different level altogether at the world championship level.
"Worlds is a completely different ballgame to nationals, you can't even compare it, when you walk into the arena it's overwhelming, it's huge," Scully said.
"The Europeans have all the coaches, they get paid, sponsored, everything. Their life is training and they go into win and they mean business.
"I've had good competition though with the other Australian competitors which has pushed me to go harder so that has kind of kept me up there. It's good to have hard competition."
Trying something different is a recurring theme for Scully this year in her preparations.
Already crowned the national champion for FISAF, this week she will be competing again in a national championships, this time for the FIG crown.
It's a heavy workload to compete in both Federations but Scully insists that there's method to her madness.
"FIG is a new comp that I've done this year, I haven't been in this competition before, taking on two competitions this year which was a really hard task but it's just to try and prepare me more for worlds," she said.