Go Fight Win

November 12, 2008
By Abby Bertholf, Park City, UT

In most rulebooks, my sport is not considered an official sport. It is more like an activity, according to rulebooks. An activity where every motion is sharp, yelling at the top of your lungs without screaming, and tossing girls in the air. Some people call it, “the support for the support.” Not an activity, nor a sport. In my mind, I consider this activity a sport. It requires athleticism, strength and stamina, along with having determination and motivation. My sport is cheerleading.

During the spring of 2008, I was an eighth grader attending Treasure Mountain Middle School. The bell rang, and it was time for first period. I headed towards the locker room; my first class of the day was PE. A bright, florescent pink flyer hung upon the wall reading, “Cheerleading Tryouts! This Friday!” I headed to the office, retrieved an application and filled out all of my forms.

Tryouts were very hard, and stressful. All the older girls were going through tryouts like they were no big deal. Jumps were high and their toes were pointed and their motions were sharp and on time. Tryouts were the hardest thing my body had done in years. I sweated, and spent many hours at my house practicing. I practiced the dance, worked on my flexibility and attempted my tumbling. At one point, I was deciding if all this hard work was worth it.

It was the night that we found out if we had made it or not. You could feel the nervousness and the tension was like a tight rope. Around nine at night, we all met at Silver Mountain in Prospector, blindfolded by black bandanas and sitting outside in the cool springtime air. The coaches spoke to us, and lead us around the complex. Little did we know our final destination was by the edge of the pool.

If we made the squad, we would be pushed into the pool. Splash, splash, splash! After about ten girls, it was my turn. Hands were on my shoulders and with a little push I found myself floating in the pool. I had just made the squad.

I love my sport. It is a lot of hard work, sweating, teamwork, and tears and fights, but in the end I would not give it up for anything. Anybody who claims cheerleading is not a sport, and then you should ask the 1.5 million cheerleaders who participate in the sport as well.

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