“Cheerleading Is My Life”

Here, we come, the BLUE, BLACK, and WHITE. Panthers, All-Stars, Cheer and Unite!

So a few updates: Regionals went quite well last night, and I think we all felt pretty confident out on that floor! I was a little bummed that the nerves got the best of me, so I didn’t fully pull up my scorp during the partner stunts and instead went right to scale, but it didn’t look like a mistake when I watched the video so it wasn’t too bad. The other CCA teams that I watched (Black and Silver) did really good too. Black had really cute stunts, and Silver’s tumbling was awesome!

In this blog post, I’d like to share a few personal reflections on my love of this sport. This past weekend has really made me remember why I love cheerleading so so much, and it makes me so happy, that I feel the need to advertise it to the world!

It’s during competitions that I always vow that I’ll never stop cheering. Just having practices for a while can get kind of repetitive and tedious sometimes, but as soon as you come out and shine on that floor, you know that those grueling hours were well worth it! It’s during those 2:30 minutes that you fly to the moon and back, figure out the meaning of life, and restore peace to the world. You solve world hunger, you love with all your heart, and you live like you were dying. Because during those 2:30 minutes out on those 9 blue mats, you just know that anything is within your reach, and all you have to do is grab it.

For me, it starts about one week away from competition. That building excitement. It’s in the back of your head, poking its little glittery face around the corner. It’s all you ever want to talk about, and your non-cheer friends don’t get it and wish you’d stop bugging them about paying $15 to come watch you for two-and-a-half minutes.  You whip out the self-tanner and you make sure you have adequate quantities of bronzer and sparkles for the big day. You make sure to stretch every day, and do some conditioning to get your body into tip-top cheer shape. As the last practice before competition nears its end, you’re feeling confident. We got this in the bag.

The night before, you nervously fall asleep and dream of twisted routines, backstabbing handsprings, mocking judges and embarrassing uniform mishaps. You keep waking up  and checking the time every hour, until finally…

Eating Bananas before cheerleading competitions is one of my cheer traditions. What are some of yours?

You get up with a little knot in your stomach, you eat some bananas (bananas calm your nerves :)), and you begin your big day routine. You shower while mentally going over your cheer motions, and counting through the whole routine. Taking your time, you put on your uniform and do your hair and makeup carefully, while in the background your routine’s soundtrack is on replay. You lay out all your competition necessities on your bed, mentally checking each item off. Cheer shoes – check. Extra eye glitter – check. Lipstick – check. Uniform skirt – check. Bananas – check. Water bottle – check. Snacks and drinks – check. You look yourself over in the mirror, straighten out the giant bow on your head, smile, and pop your team jacket’s collar. Today is your day.

Arriving at comp, you can’t stop smiling, and you keep looking around at the other teams curiously. During warm-up, you give it your all, but  somehow it seems far from perfect. Stunts that were always solid at practice are all of a sudden falling down. Handsprings that were once a given are now hiding behind a sheet of nerves, causing injuries before the run. But you are strong. You are part of a team. And that team is with you in everything you do, and they won’t let those ugly nerves get to you, because they want that gold just as much as you do. And behind the curtain, ‘I’ becomes ‘WE’. And as our team is called out to the floor, WE BRING IT. WE smile so hard our faces ache. And those smiles aren’t fake – they are smiles because at this moment, WE are so happy. WE pull those sheets of nerves aside, and WE expose amazing handsprings, high jumps, and strong pyramids. “What injuries?” – WE say, and  WE pull our motions so tight that WE might snap in two at any moment. WE DO NOT BAIL, even when things go wrong. Shoes will fall off, bows will fly out, uniforms will come undone, and WE’ll still be going strong. WE pull those arabesques, heelstretches, scorps, and bows [okay maybe we’ve still got a bit of work to bows] like no tomorrow. Because during those 2:30 minutes, there IS no tomorrow. THIS IS OUR LIFE. WE LIVE TO CHEER.


Battle wounds after our run!


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