~As I hold hands with my teammates after we assemble into a group huddle before performing, I hear the cheering crowd behind the curtains. My blood is rushing, my heart is racing, my hands are shaking and I can barely contain my excitement. For three minutes, we will give it our all. For three minutes, we have to jump higher, throw harder, and smile larger than we ever have. The second we get on that stage, everyone knows who we are and they themselves can see our passion. The countless hours put into perfecting this routine will all pay off now. We live for this moment. We live to cheer.~
As I’ve mentioned in my first post, I’ve been an active person my whole life. Though I love all sports, there is one that I keep very close to my heart and will forever have a passion for- cheerleading. I’ve been both a gymnast and a dancer when I was younger, so when I first heard of cheerleading (thanks to the Bring It On movies- my favourite!), I thought it would be the perfect fit for me! During my freshman year of high school, I practiced the try-out routine a million times and stretched so much I’m sure I grew five inches because of it. From the moment I made the team in grade 9, my life changed.
Cheerleading is NOT all glitz and glam; it is an extremely intensive sport that requires both physical and mental strength. Though we may look pretty on the sidelines of a football game or on the competition floor, there is grueling work that is put on behind the scenes. In only 4 years, cheerleading has shaped me into the person I am now and I am forever grateful of that.
Cheerleading combines dancing, stunting, jumping, tumbling and everything in between. Not only has my physical strength improved because of the sport, but I have gained extremely valuable skills as well.
1) Commitment: What I love about cheerleading is that it is a team sport and each member is of value. There are no benchwarmers or second tiers; everyone is on the floor at all times. Because of this, having everyone at practice is crucial. My devotion to the team caused me to never miss a practice, even when I had to wake up at 5am.
2) Perseverance: Through all the bruises, cuts, kicks, and punches to the face (I told you cheerleading is intense), I kept going. There is nothing that would stop me. There would be times when I felt like I couldn’t breathe, and my muscles ached, screaming at me to stop, but I kept going. The mental strength that I have gained because of cheerleading will help me throughout my entire life.
3) Teamwork: Whether it means picking them up when they’re down, or catching them before they fall, being a good cheerleader means being a good teammate. To perfect a stunt or be in sync during the dance, everyone needs to work together. I will never forget the bonds I have made with my team throughout high school.
The dedication and passion I have towards this sport will never cease. My high school cheerleading career ended last weekend during our last competition (*cries*), but I hope to continue with the sport after high school, maybe one day competing on a competitive team. I want to thank my wonderful coaches for pushing us to the limit and having faith in us even when we didn’t have faith in ourselves. I want to thank my teammates for giving me an experience these last 4 years that I will never forget. We put our blood, sweat, and tears into that team. We’ve cried, we’ve laughed, we’ve lost, we’ve won, and we did it together. I will always be a cheerleader at heart.
Until next time,
PS. Check out my sponsor, Limelight Cheerleading Allstars! (Their coach has been my high school teams amazing choreographer for years and he has helped us climb to the top! Guaranteed success and an absolute blast with him!)