McKenna Shoots for the Stars (2012) Script

I did it, coach!

McKenna, we've talked about this before.

Those back handsprings leading into your dismount are too advanced.

They're not consistent. That could be risky for you.

You need to take it one step at a time.

But it looks so awesome!


I know, I just wanna impress the judges at the qualifying meet!

I have to make the Regional Competitive Team.

For girls my age, if you want to make it to the Olympics...

Honey, this isn't about the Olympics. Remember?

You have a qualifying meet in three months.

That's just enough time to perfect what you already have.

You gotta be patient. We're gonna get you where you wanna go.

Do you trust me?


Besides, the judges are gonna be blown away without the back handspring.

I saw your back handspring dismount. It was amazing!

That's the reason you're the second-best gymnast on this team.


Second to me, of course.

Just like it'll be in 2016, Rio Summer Olympics.

I'll be up on the podium with my gold, you next to me with your silver.

Hello! Toulane. It's reality calling.

I'm gonna be up there wearing my gold!

So what do you think of the new girl?


Okay, Sierra, let's work on that flip set.

She seems nice.

In a totally annoying way.

I heard her saying she gets straight A's.

No competition there.

You know who we so need to worry about, though?

Megan Murphy from Performance Plus Gymnasts.

Everyone thinks she's all that.

Megan is pretty awesome.

But, whatever. I'm not letting her or anyone else scare me!

Yeah, but if they're only taking three gymnasts for the Competitive Team, we need to make sure that they pick us!

They will.

What is it? Are you sad that you've been second-best to me since we were three?


Coach Isabelle keeps saying that I have to stick to the boring, easy moves.

I feel like I'm in Baby Gymnastics!

I can handle the hard moves.

Please, you can handle anything! You're a superstar.

We should get back to work or my mom's gonna be all over me for messing around.


Ready to work? Ready to fly!


Let's go.

McKenna, McKenna, guess what? I did a cherry drop today.

That's awesome, Maisey!

How about you, Mara?

I got nervous.

You'll do it next time.

Let's go, sweetie.

Okay, let's go, grandma.

Honey, you need to work on your floor routine.

But I'm really trying.

It might help if you didn't goof around so much during practice.

I'm sorry.

Toulane, this is important.

If you don't make it to the Regional Competitive Team, you'll never have a chance to become an Elite Gymnast like your sister.

I know. I'll try harder, mom.


I've got an announcement to make.

I was able to secure a primo campsite for this summer's camping trip.

Don't forget to tell Toulane it's gonna be the first weekend in June.

It wouldn't be our annual camping trip without her.

Got it. Good.

Honey, how was the coffee shop today?

Oh, it was great. There was a line out the door all morning.

Stop giving all your chicken to the dog, Maisey.

Anyway, you know the guitar player I hired for music Mondays, he didn't show up.

On his first day!

Honey, you could've hired me.

It's not too late. I can call the rest of the guys from the band and we can get a quick set together...

Oh, honey, you know I love you, so much.

But your grunge college rock band would probably just scare my customers away.

Oh, come on.

No one here can resist...

No, no, no, he's gonna do it!

Cover your ears! Plug!

The righteous sound of I hate Tuesday.

Dad, no, don't do it. Dad, no, don't!

That was great for a one day streak but then came the weakest day of the week now ready?

I hate Tuesdays dad, you're not a rock star, you're a high school principal!

A high school principal who rocks!

You guys are so weird.

Yeah. Maisey, Mara, why don't you go play in your room?

Your dad and I want to talk to McKenna.

Come on, let's go.

Just go play in your room... No, Cooper!


McKenna, your mother and I got an e-mail from your teacher, Mr. Wu, today.

I can totally explain that.

I didn't mean to feed that French fry to the class Guinea pig, it just fell out of my hand.

No, no. Not about that.

About you falling behind in your schoolwork.

Falling behind?

Mr. Wu has noticed you're having difficulty turning your assignments in on time.

He suggested a tutor from the middle school.

Four days a week after school.

Four days a week! No way!

Honey, Mr. Wu thinks you need it.

And we think gymnastics is taking up too much of your time.

Well, there's a lot going on right now.

I mean, first we have that demonstration where we show all you guys our routines, and then we have the qualifying meet for the Regional Team.

But I can do better in school.

On my own.

I promise.

There's a science quiz tomorrow, and I'll study really hard for it.

All right. We'll see how the quiz goes.

But remember...

I know, school comes first.

Okay, polka dot, you can have a treat.

I wish I were a hamster.

You don't have parents bugging you about your grades.

You're so lucky. You get to do your gymnastics whenever you want.

“The nuclear envelope encloses the nucleus, "separating the contents from the cytoplasm.” None of this makes any sense to me.

It was awesome.

I know, and it was so funny, too.


dare you guys nervous about the quiz?

Nervous? I don't do nervous.

Yeah, but don't you think the reading is sometimes a little confusing?


You're forgetting, Sierra gets straight A's.

Don't stress, you'll be fine.

Oh, yeah, I don't know why I was freaking out anyways, I'm sure it'll be easy.

Okay, everyone, let's get started.

I hope you've all studied very hard.

You've got 30 minutes. Good luck.

“Name the differences between plant and animal cells?

"True or false: Every cell has a nucleus.

"What is a microscope? A. A tiny piece of equipment, "B. Something used to study small objects, "C. A measuring tool...

"Specialized cells do very specific...

"What part of the cell controls...”

McKenna, can I see you for a moment?

I just don't understand it. It's so not like you to cheat!

I tried to do it on my own but it was like...

I couldn't remember anything I was reading.

I don't know, okay?

I'm sorry.

It's time to meet that tutor.

Mr. Wu had to give you a zero on the quiz.

He did?


He thinks you might have a problem with reading comprehension.

He does?

Yeah. It happens a lot.

When I was an elementary-school teacher, I used to see it all the time.

Mr. Wu says a lot of fourth graders deal with this.

There's even a name for it, "fourth grade slump."

What's that?

Well, you know how to read.

Now it's all about understanding what you're reading.

That's where you're getting stuck.

But I can't get a tutor right now.

I have so much going on.

You mean gymnastics?

Well, yes, gymnastics.

Making the Regional Team is the most important thing to me in the whole world!

McKenna, listen up, because here's the deal.

No tutor, no gymnastics.

Your school work has to come first.

You're gonna start with the tutor tomorrow.



And we'll discuss your punishment for cheating later.



Hey. I'm Josie.

So you're my tutor?

Yep! Have a seat.

As you can see, I've already done that.

I call him lightning.

Cool. I like the color.


So, I guess you've been having some reading problems?

So my teacher says. But I really don't see how I could.

I mean, I used to love to read...

Used to? But not anymore.

I don't know, it's boring. And I'm really busy with gymnastics.

Oh, yeah, that's right, you're a gymnast.

Well, maybe you can think of studying with me as gymnastics for your brain.

Hi, did the book I reserved come in? Um...


Great, thanks. No problem.

Sorry, I dropped my pencil.

Actually, I'm already gonna be late for gymnastics.

So, can we start?

Yeah. I have a flute lesson after this.

So let's make the most of our time.

If that's okay with your pencil.

Right. Okay.

So, let's work on this today.

You said you had trouble with a quiz, right?

I guess.

Okay, here you go.

Where were you?

What do you mean, where was I?

It's Wednesday!

We always get smoothies before practice on Wednesdays.

Oh, right. Sorry, I guess I spaced out.

So, are you psyched for the demonstration this weekend?

I can't wait to show you up with my killer beam.

I don't know, my mom keeps saying I need more work on my floor routine.

She says I've been goofing off.

You have not!

And besides, it's just a demonstration.

They're not even gonna be judging us!

Is something wrong?

No, I'm just super thirsty.

"The dog would have to go back to its owner.

"Julie's mother had to insist even though

"Julie wanted to keep the dog for herself.

"He was so sweet and playful and he seemed to really like her.

"But she realized that her mother was right.

"The dog didn't belong to her, even though she found him.

"So she decided to return the dog to his owner.

"Maybe she'd get her own dog, someday."

You read aloud really well.

So, how do you think Julie feels at the end of the story, after she decides to give her dog back?

I don't know. I don't remember.

I've got another idea.

But these are books my 5-year-old sisters read!

You really think I'm such a loser I need to read kindergarten books?

You're not a loser, McKenna.

Sometimes we have to go back to the basics, and go back to what feels easy.

Don't you ever do that in gymnastics?

You sound just like my coach.

And I'm sorry, but this is not gymnastics!

I don't think this is gonna work.

I think I need to get another tutor.

Okay, well, that's your choice.

I'll tell Mr. Wu.

I'm sure you can find another tutor who's more your style.



Tell me the theme of the story.

Go! Um...

Sorry, too slow. Next question.

What does the main character learn? Go!


Sorry, too slow, again.

Who are the main characters in the story? Go!

What is the setting of the story? Go!

Too slow!

Worst tutor ever.

There has to be someone else!

There's Josie.

But Josie makes me feel like a baby...

McKenna, enough is enough.

You need a tutor. And Josie is a great one.



And good luck on your gymnastics demonstration.


Welcome, everyone.

The Shooting Star Gymnasts and I are so excited to show off for you a little bit today!

In a little less than three months, our girls will be trying out along with all the other gymnastic clubs in the area, to make the Regional Competitive Team.

Now, these girls have been working really hard.

But today is just for fun, so let's get on with it.

And first up is Sierra Kuchinko!

At least she didn't fall this time.


Good luck, McKenna.

Thanks, coach Isabelle.

Remember, stick to your routine.

And now, McKenna Brooks on the beam.

See that?


No, McKenna!



I'm sorry, coach.

It's okay. It's okay.

Are you okay? It hurts.

You're all right. Mr. Let's get some ice.

Come on over to the couch, McKenna. Let's get your foot up.

Here you go, honey. Yeah.

How about some ice cream?

Cookies 'n cream can't help a broken ankle.

McKenna, coach Isabelle warned you not...


Honey, it's just eight weeks in a cast. It's not the end of the world.

It is the end of the world for Mel eight weeks means my cast comes off three weeks before the qualifying meet!

You know what? The doctor said you can start exercises that don't involve that foot in two weeks. Maybe it will all work out.

In the meantime, you can spend more time on your homework, which is more important.






You guys are probably glad this happened, so I have nothing to do but study.

You don't mean that.


McKenna! I was sorry to hear about your injury.

May I talk to you for a second?


Josie can meet you tomorrow in the library after school to start your sessions again.

Yeah, okay. Thanks.

What was that all about?


I'm gonna leave class a little early tomorrow.

To start physical therapy.

Physical therapy in a cast? How's that gonna work?

Where are you going?


That's awesome.

I've never seen them rehearse before.

I never should've quit dance.

I could totally rock that move.

Wow, you really would be great at that.

Better not let your mom see you goofing off.


Hey, you're lucky you don't have to be in practice today.

Sierra is being extra annoying.

She's like, "I'm gonna have a slumber party for the whole team!"

She's just trying to make friends.

Why can't I say one little thing about her without you jumping in to defend her?

I mean, if you like her so much, why don't you make her your new best friend?

What are you talking about? And what's your deal with Sierra anyway?

I don't know, it's just...

You must be hanging out with somebody else because I don't even know where you are half the time.

I don't have to let you know where I am every five seconds, okay?

And I've got lots of extra pressure on me right now.

Like what?

You know, with my foot and stuff.

Right. Whatever. See you later.

Okay, there you go. Triple Espresso.

Hope you're planning to be up all night.


Could you take this up to Phillip, please?

Oh, there's my daughter.

McKenna! Hey, baby!

This is the first time I have been able to sit down since this morning!


What? Is there something here?

Here? You would tell me, right?

Yeah. Oh, I bet you would.


Did I get it? Yep.


So, it's pizza night!

I was thinking of bucking the system and ordering from Antonio's.

What do you think?

Wherever is fine with me.

Wherever? Are you okay?

What's happening? What's happening?

You're usually filled with opinions about where we order.

Sorry. I'm just stressing.

Tomorrow I start up with Josie again.

And that's a bad thing?

I don't know!

I mean, Josie treats me like a baby.

Oh, honey, I know how hard this is for you. I know.

You've always been my strong-willed, hard-charging little girl.


You were even born... Say it with me.

Two weeks early. Two weeks early.

Just ready to get out there and take on the world.

Not anymore. Now I can't seem to do anything right.

And there's another thing.

There is? What?

Having a tutor, mom, it's embarrassing.

What's so funny?

No, no, nothing, nothing. It's just, you know, honey, you and I are a lot alike.


Well, we both feel like we should be able to handle everything on our own.

And sometimes we go too far, and things sort of get off balance.

You know how, when you're on the balance beam, if you lean a little too far to the right or the left you fall off?

That's only the first thing we have to learn.

Oh, okay, little miss expert.

Well, that's the point. It's the same in life.

You have to have some balance.

Like, why do you think I left the bank and opened this coffee shop?


You like coffee?

Yes. And, I needed to get some balance in my life.

I needed to be my own boss.

Yay, me!

And also, I needed to be there for you guys after school.

And I thought I could do it all on my own, be there for the twins, take you to practice, be home to make dinner.

It was overwhelming.

And your grandma came to me, and offered to help.

And guess what? What?

I was embarrassed.

Embarrassed to admit I couldn't do it all on my own.

But your grandmother taught me something. You know what that is?


Nothing wrong with needing a little help.

Thanks for meeting me again.

Look, I know that Mr. Wu forced you to come here and you don't want to be here.

But, can we at least try to make the best of it?



Great. So, let's start with science, probably.

All righty then. So, science...

I better go look for another book!


Oh, I just need to find a book about oceans for science class.



Thank you.

Oh, well, guess we'll have to try again Thursday.

Not if you spend the whole time hiding again.


Look, I get it that you're embarrassed to have a tutor, but this is not gonna work unless you give it a chance.

So, I hope you're ready to do that by Thursday.

McKenna, wait...

Toulane. I really love how hard you're working today, but why don't you take a break, now?

I can't. My mom says my floor routine looks messy.

I think I need to keep working on it.

I mean, my sister made it to the Olympic Trials in that event!

Yeah, but then Tasha fell and she broke her wrist and couldn't compete.

You know there is such a thing as training too hard.

Besides, gymnastics is supposed to be fun!

Tell that to my mom.


I just wanted to tell you something.

I had a tutor too.

You did? But you have straight A's.

Now I do, but I used to be really bad at math.

So, I needed help.

But now, math is a lot easier for me.

Please don't tell anyone I have a tutor.

I mean, I know you had one and all, but I'm not ready for anyone to know about mine.

I won't. I promise.

I understand.

Thanks, Sierra.

Look, you were right.

I was mad that I had to be here and embarrassed to have a tutor.

But I get it. You're just trying to help.

Geez, took you long enough to figure that out.

I'm ready to try things your way.

I really need your help.

Wow. This is like a whole new McKenna.


Cool, then let's get started.




Should we read this one?

Actually, that's my book.

Oh. Are you into horses?

Kind of. I've actually always wanted to ride, but, you know...

People in wheelchairs can ride horses, can't they?

Yeah, they can, but...

Quit changing the subject and let's get back to work!

Okay, let's try it again.

"Well, surely you must know, ' said the Princess, "that the queen watches over me with a magic looking glass."

I can't. I don't get it!

It's okay. Don't be frustrated.

The truth is, you are really improving. You're doing great.

Really? Yeah.


You know, if you wanted to do something more challenging...



Okay, let's start with this one.

You wanna try that?

We can move on to something more challenging.

What was that noise?

I almost jumped out of lightning!

You're awesome, Josie.

Thank you.

So, are you going to introduce me to your secret awesome friend?

Toulane? What're you doing here?

Don't change the subject.

You're totally busted.

Physical therapy? You lied to me!

Look, I'm sorry I lied.

But give me a chance to explain...

Oh, I get it.

You've made a new group of friends.

Sierra, and... whatever your new friend's name is.

She's not my friend, she's my tutor.

I mean, she's my friend and my tutor. And her name is Josie.

You have a tutor? Why didn't you tell me?

I was embarrassed, okay?

I would never keep a secret from you.

Not cool, McKenna.

I have to go get ready for the Regional Competition.

Have fun sitting on the sidelines.

Only you would want to walk the dog while you're still on crutches.

Cooper! Cooper, Cooper!

At least I'm getting an arm workout!

Hey, way to look on the bright side.

And look, only two weeks from Thursday until that cast comes off.

Is there any way we can ask the doctor if they can move it up earlier?

Because, I'm nervous I'm not going to have enough time to practice for the qualifying meet.

We are gonna worry about practicing without the cast when it's time to practice without the cast.

Which is two weeks from Thursday.

Fine. Two weeks from Thursday, but not one day later.

Oh, hey, listen... Cooper, sit.

Um... we need to talk about the family camping trip.

Your dad found out he has a conference that first week in June.

But he called the park to reschedule, and there is an opening, but it's next weekend.

And we just think with your cast...

Mom, I am not letting my cast keep me from camping.

You're sure?


Great. This time, you and Toulane can have your own tent.

You don't have to share with the twins.


I think Toulane might be busy that weekend.


Just let us know.

Hey, can Josie come, too?

Yeah. That's a great idea.

Yeah, okay. I'm so glad you guys are becoming friends.

I guess we are. She's pretty cool, mom.

And she's like the smartest person I've ever met!

I'm going to see her mom tomorrow night at my women in business meeting.

Maybe she and Josie's dad will want to come along.

How does that sound? Sounds great!

Yeah? Okay. Okay.

And you're sure you and Toulane are okay?

Cooper! Cooper!

Yeah, I'm sure.



Can I talk to you?

Why? So you can lie to me again?

Look, our family camping trip got moved to next weekend.

And, even though we're in a fight, it wouldn't be the same without you.

You're like a member of our family.

You still want me to come?

Of course! And Josie and her parents are coming too.

And we can all hang out.

No, thanks. I'm busy next weekend.

Fine. There wasn't enough room in the tent for you anyways.

Geez, this is hard.

It must be even harder for Josie.

I feel bad for her. How's she gonna go hiking with us?

McKenna, did you forget that you might have trouble hiking, too?

Oh, no! I totally didn't think about that!

Well, luckily for you, the world's coolest dad did.

I can't believe you found this place, dad.

Yep, and this path is supposed to lead to a pretty amazing waterfall, too.

Told you I was the world's coolest dad!

Don't push it.

Oh, wow.

So, what do you think?

I think I'm gonna call mine thunder.

And thunder is gonna beat lightning to the waterfall.

Whoa, whoa, wait, wait. You wanna race me?

You bet.

First one to get to the waterfall gets the first s'more?

You're on.

It's on. Okay.

You're gonna lose. All right.

You're going to lose.

Are you ready? I'm ready.

On your Mark. Get set. Go!



Oh, no.

Eat my dust!

You forgot one thing, thunder always comes after lightning!

Can't beat the pro, McKenna.


Uh-huh! Uh-huh!

Beat you, girl.

Wow! You officially kicked butt.

Yeah, well, I mean, I have had a lot of practice.

But yeah, yeah, I did kick butt!

But, who cares though, right?

Look at that.



Hey, Josie, come check this out.


Don't feel weird.

It's okay.

I can see from here.

It is pretty amazing, huh?

Yeah, it is.

I mean, when I see something like that, I don't feel as different from everybody else.

That waterfall is more powerful than any of us.

Even the fastest, strongest person in the whole world.

Don't worry, girls, I'm almost there!

So, double or nothing?

It's on!

It is on!


Yeah! Gonna beat you!

Oh, no, you aren't!

You're gonna be sore tomorrow. I'm just letting you know.

I'm already sore, yes.

Hi. Hey.

Hi. You got everything you need?

Um... yeah. Yeah.

Good. Okay.

McKenna, I don't know what you two did to your dad today, but he's in our tent making a sound like this...

All right. Good night, girls.

Night, Mrs. Brooks. Night, mom.

Good night.

Okay, I can't believe I ate five s'mores!

You know, the first one was the best, though.

Nothing beats the sweet taste of victory.

And since I beat you twice, the victory was twice as sweet.

Okay, okay.

I'll stop.

Hey, I'm used to smack talk.

Toulane and I do it all the time.

When we were talking to each other, I mean.

I think this is the biggest fight we've ever had.

Whatever. I'm tired of obsessing about it!

Well, maybe you could try and put yourself in Toulane's shoes.

Like, you know, today in the wheelchair.

You got to see what it was like in my shoes.

Well, I know her mom pushes her a lot in gymnastics.

She watches her like a hawk during practice.

That doesn't sound very fun.

Yeah. But just because her mom is hard on her doesn't mean she has to take it out on me.

Can we not talk about Toulane anymore?

Yeah, sure. I'm kinda tired anyway.

I think I'll just close my eyes and replay my moment of victory.

Oh, wait, my two moments of victory.

Okay! Okay! No more pillow fights.

I'll be watching you.

Night, Josie.

Good night, McKenna.

Sleep with one eye open tonight.

"During her short life only one thing had troubled her, "and that thing was 'the place' she was to be taken to some day.

"The climate of India was very bad for children, "and as soon as possible they were sent away from it, "generally to England and to school."

"She had seen other children go away..."

"She had seen other children go away, "and had heard their fathers and mothers talk

"about the letters they received from them.

"She had known that she would be obliged to go also, "and though sometimes her father's stories

"of the voyage and the new country

"had attracted her, she had been troubled

"by the thought that he could not stay with her."

So, why do you think she's being sent away?

Because it's not healthy for her to stay in India, because of the weather there.

Right. So, why is it such a big deal for her to go away?

Because... well, first of all, because she won't be with her dad!

So, what else do you think might happen?

Well, I bet she'll be nervous at first, but then she'll end up making new friends and having a new life in England!

You got it!

I got it! I can't believe it! I got it! I really understood it!

I know.

Thank you so much, Josie.

I don't know how I could have ever done it without you.

In gymnastics, Toulane and I have this victory handshake.

Here, let me show you.

Okay. Ready? You go boom, back...

Back. And then fist bump.

Fist bump.

That's really cool. I like it.

We should do that. Yeah, we should.

Uh... so, I've been wanting to tell you something.

You know how I've always wanted to ride horses?

Well, I found a place that lets me do that. It's called hearts & horses and it's a special training center for kids with disabilities.

That's awesome!

I know! I signed up about a month ago.

Actually, you kind of inspired me.


Yeah. I mean, you're so fearless, you know.

And it's been really cool so far!

So, the thing is, my trainer thinks that I'm ready to move from a pony to a horse this Thursday.

It's a pretty big deal, and I'd love it if you could come for moral support.

Not that I'm super nervous or anything.

I'd love to come.


Wait, this Thursday?

That's when I'm getting my cast off.

Oh, right, right...

Maybe you could move it to the next day?

It would mean a lot to me if you could be there.

Well, maybe...

No, I really can't.

With the Regional Competition coming up, I need all the practice I can get.

Um... yeah, I... I get it.

Don't be upset. Can't you get that this is a big deal for me?

Once I get my cast off, I can finally do gymnastics again!

I'll finally be able to get back to my real life.

Right. And I'm not a part of your real life.

And I guess I'm just your fake friend.

No, that's not what I said!

Can't you understand how hard it's been for me, being stuck in this library, barely being able to move...

Believe me, I understand what that's like.

Josie, I didn't mean it like that!

It's fine.

I have to go. See you around, McKenna.

Josie, wait.

Won't I see you tomorrow for tutoring?


I think we're done with tutoring.

You've really gotten the hang of reading.

So, you don't need me anymore.

I'll tell Mr. Wu, okay?

Your next math quiz is next Tuesday. And...

Wait! Before you all trample me like a herd of rhinos!

This is a list of book titles.

You can choose any one of these to read.

And next month on the 15th, you're gonna give an oral report, demonstrating your understanding of the book's content and themes.

See ya tomorrow.

The 15th? That's the day after the qualifying meet!

I know. Looks like we're gonna be crazy-busy!

There's no way I can do it.

There's no possible way I can do it!

It's gonna be okay. I'm sure you'll be fine.


Bye. Bye.

The truth is, you are really improving. You're doing great.


You got it!

I got it!

I don't know how I could have ever done it without you.



Hey, Josie. It's me, McKenna.

Ready for the big ride?

I'm really glad you came.

Hey, that's what friends are for.

Real friends.


This place is pretty cool.

I know, it really is. I...

Easy, dusty. Easy now.

Hey, Josie.

Is that the horse I'm going to be riding?

No. That's dusty.

He's a new horse.

New horses like dusty get spooked at the littlest things.

You'll be riding snowflake.

Come here, snowflake. Come here, girl. Come on.

She's much more experienced.

You're not going to fall.

I'll be right there with you every step of the way.

Listen, Josie.

Coach taught us this cool breathing exercise that might help you.

Take a deep breath, and imagine you're breathing in blue skies and breathing out gray ones.

So, ready? Here...

Blue skies in.

Gray skies out.

Thanks, McKenna.

I do feel a little better.

I think I'm ready.

It's okay. You can do it.

Come on, snowflake.

I knew you could do it.

Whoo! Yeah!

Look at you!

Go, Josie and snowflake!

You okay up there?


Bring her home!

I'm gonna call her snow.


Whoa, whoa, dusty!


Whoa, whoa, girl!

That's it, boy.

Come on now.

Whoa! Easy, snowflake.

Let's go! Let's go! Let's go!

Come here, snowflake!


Good girl. Easy, girl.

Good eye, McKenna.

I'm sure glad your friend was here.

Me too.

Hey, McKenna.

What are you doing here?

Josie invited me.

I hope you're not mad.

I just thought that you guys should talk.


Uh... I'm gonna go help cowboy Bob groom snowflake.

I'll be back.

Weren't you supposed to get your cast off today?

Or was that another lie?

Look, I'm sorry I lied about Josie.

I was embarrassed.

Okay? Having a tutor made me feel like...

Like a loser.

Can't you understand that?

Maybe. But I don't understand why you'd come here instead of getting your cast off.

What about making the Regional Team?

Don't you care about gymnastics anymore?

We're supposed to be in this together.

Of course I still care about gymnastics.


Josie really...

Right. Josie.

First you invite her on our camping trip, and then you showed her our secret handshake.

I'm sorry, okay? I was excited that day.

I finally understood what I was reading.

I'm sure that sounds dumb.

It's not that dumb.

Toulane, I'm friends with Josie.

But that doesn't mean she's going to replace you.

We've been friends since we were three.

You mean I've been kicking your butt since we were three.

So, friends again?

Friends again.

So, ladies. With the Regional Qualifying Meet just three weeks away, I expect you to make the most out of practice.

That means no fooling around.

That means focus.

Very nice, Sierra! Good job!

You've been working hard, and it's really showing.

Look who it is!

McKenna! You got your cast off!

That's right.


Thank you. Thank you.

Are you sure you wanna do the dismount today?

Yeah. Okay.

I just don't remember it being so high up.

Well, it's the first time you've been up since the accident.

Of course you're gonna be a little bit scared.

Just take it easy.

Come on.

I'm kinda freaking out.

Well, back off then.

Why don't we just go work on the low beam?


I only have a few more weeks. I have to keep trying.



Come on down, McKenna.

Come on.

Why can't I do it, coach?

Well, you've healed physically, but I think the mental healing is just gonna take a little more time.

You can't keep putting so much pressure on yourself.

But, if I don't make the Regional Competitive Team, everything I've worked for since I was three will be done for nothing.

Oh, McKenna, I love that you have big dreams.

You really have to take it one step at a time.

All you can do is your best.

The future will take care of itself.

Why do adults always say stuff like that?

Because it's true.

Now go stretch and try not to worry so much. Okay?

So, are you totally psyched to get your cast off?

I guess.

I just don't know how I'm going to do all this.

Get ready for the meet and finish my report for Mr. Wu.

Either I'm going to fail at the report, or fall on my dismount again.

Or both!

It's too much for me to handle on my own.

McKenna, it's okay, calm down.

Who said anything about doing it on your own?

You sound just like my mom.

Hey, she's right.

You've got me, Josie, your family.

Now, I don't want to see any more tears from you, young lady.

Okay, now you really sound like my mom.

It's kinda creepy.

"Despite spraining her ankle, "American gymnast Kerri Strug managed to finish

"her second required vault in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

"Her heroic move clinched a gold medal for the United States Team."

I remember watching Kerri Strug on TV. It was amazing.

She must have been so scared, but she still managed to land that vault.

Come on. You can do it.

Come in.

We knew you wouldn't want to break for dinner.

But you do need to carbo-load.


I never thought I'd see you study the night before a big gymnastics meet.

Me neither. But I have to finish this report.

And it was so cool reading about other athletes, it didn't even feel like homework!

So, how are you feeling about the meet tomorrow?

I still haven't stuck my dismount on the beam.

Coach Isabelle says that I'm still holding back.

But every time I go up there, I think I'm gonna fall.

I can't...

I can't attack it like I did before.

I guess I'm scared.

Well, what's the worst that could happen at the meet?

I blow it and fall down.

And then I don't get to be a Competitive Gymnast like I've dreamed of being my whole life.

I don't even know who I am without gymnastics!

I do.

You are my wonderful daughter.

Come here.

And my wonderful granddaughter.


I have something for you.

Oh, my goodness.

It's beautiful.

Thanks, grandma.

This is for you to remember that no matter what happens tomorrow, you're always a star to us.


Please welcome the Keystone Kips!

Flippant Gymnastics!

Panther Gymnastics!

Fantastic Gymnastic!

Bring your clap!

Shooting Star Gymnastics!

And Performance Plus!



She sees us.

She sees us. Hi, baby!

Hi, baby! Hi, baby!

Good afternoon to everyone.

And welcome to this year's Regional Qualifying Gymnastics Competition.

Floor Routine Competition begins in 10 minutes.

All participating gymnasts please report to the judges' table.

Whoa. She's good.

Yeah, Megan Murphy is pretty much a shoo-in for one of the three spots.

Good luck today.

Thanks. You too.

All Uneven Bar Competition begins in 10 minutes.


You came!

Of course I did. I would not miss this.

How are you feeling?

You know how you said that I was fearless?

I don't feel that way right now.

I know you can do this.

You were brave that day at the ranch, and you'll be brave out there today, too.

Come here.

Good luck, okay?

McKenna, have you seen Toulane? I can't find her anywhere.

Floor exercise starts in five minutes and she's up second.

Don't worry. I'll find her.



Toulane? What's going on?

I threw up.

Oh, no! Is it nerves? Or are you sick?

Yeah, I'm sick.

I'm sick of my mom wanting me to be as good as my sister before her stupid injury!

I'm sick of the pressure! I'm sick of all of it!

Sometimes I wish I would break my wrist. Or my ankle.

Then I'd have an excuse not to do this anymore.

But what about going to the Olympics together?

Don't you still want that?

Well, I know I got mad at you for keeping a secret, but I guess I have a secret too.

What is it?

I don't want to do this kind of gymnastics anymore.

What? Why?

It's not fun for me anymore.

My mom never lets me forget that all that matters is winning.

You're the only thing keeping me here.

Remember when we watched the rhythmic gymnasts practice?

The way they just let go, and feel the music.

That's what I want to do.

Well, how about you go out there and try to talk to your mom?

I can't talk to her now!

Why not? Because...

Because I just can't.

Look, I'm not sure I want to go out there either.

I'm really scared I'm going to fall.

But, I need to do this.

I guess we both do.


All right. Let's go.

Ready to work?

Ready to fly.

Oh! Are you all right?

Everything is fine.


Then let's do it!

All right?

Next up is Toulane Thomas from Shooting Star Gymnastics!

Whoo! Go, Toulane!

Next up, McKenna Brooks from Shooting Star Gymnastics.

Next is Sierra Kuchinko on the uneven bars.

Whoo! Go, McKenna!


Go, Sierra!


Next up, Megan Murphy from Performance Plus.

Next up, Toulane Thomas from Shooting Star Gymnastics.

Score is 9.5.

So far, so good, McKenna.

You've done great!

Yeah, but what if I mess up on the beam?

Oh, you're not gonna mess up on the beam. Beam is your best event.

Go get 'em, okay?

Next up, on the balance beam, McKenna Brooks from Shooting Star Gymnastics.

This is it.

Knock 'em dead.


Go, McKenna!

Blue skies in, gray skies out.


We did it!

Whoo! Go, McKenna!

The three gymnasts to qualify for the Regional Competitive Team are...

Toulane Thomas from Shooting Star Gymnastics.


Good for you!


Hey. Congrats.

Megan Murphy from Performance Plus Gymnasts!

And taking the final spot on the Regional Competitive Team is...

McKenna Brooks of Shooting Star Gymnastics!

Oh, McKenna! Oh, my god, McKenna!

Hey, Toulane. Wanna come to the coffee shop?

Yeah, gimme five minutes.

You looked incredible out there.

I'm very proud of you, sweetie.

For someone who just made the Regional Competitive Team, you don't seem too excited.

I'm not.

What are you talking about? This is what you've wanted for years.

No, mom. This is what you've wanted for years.

And you never let me forget it.

Toulane, this is what we both wanted for you.

Listen... no.

I'm not Tasha.

I know that.

I never thought you were.

You really want to give all this up?

Yes, I do.

If it's what you want, Toulane.


I'm dropping off the Regional Team.

My mom is telling coach Isabelle right now.

She's not thrilled, but she gets it.

Sierra was first alternate, so this means she'll make it. And she deserves it.

And you can come watch me kick butt on the Rhythmic Gymnastics Team any time you want.

Oh, I will.

Let's go get some lemon cake!

Hey, do you guys wanna invite Sierra?

Sounds like she's in the mood to celebrate too.

Sounds great.

Some people think that athletes only define success by whether they win or lose.

But the most successful athletes know that winning or losing isn't the only thing that matters.

They are able to balance sports with all the other important things going on in their lives.

That's why balance is an important theme in this book.

Another lesson in this book is that no one achieves greatness without help from others.

Everyone runs into trouble and everyone gets scared.

But you can get through any problem, and turn even the worst days into the ones that make your dreams come true.

As long as you have the support from your family and your friends.

Shooting Stars!

You've got to believe in yourself and know that you can do anything.

But you also need to believe in the people who believe in you.

Because they're the ones who will always be there for you, win or lose.