Cheerleading?

By , Park Ridge, IL
Cheerleading-some people say it is the most dangerous sport ever. I am currently a junior in high school and I am apart of my schools cheerleading team. By the tie I become a senior my best friends will be starting college-they will be having the time of their lives and I will still be stuck here in Park Ridge.

One day my mom asked me “Are you going to do cheerleading next year?” it really got me thinking I had a decision for once. I could go visit my friends at college, and go on vacations, and actually have couple hours after school to do my homework. “Gee wiz mom, your letting me have a choice this year?!” I thought to myself. Bu in reality I said “I don’t know.”

You would think us cheerleaders were crazy.

But I just LOVE everything about cheerleading-Getting kicked, punched, slapped in the face is just what we love. I mean come on guys, who wouldn’t want to participate in a sport where you become so sore it feels like you just ran a triathlon? And having a bald guy with the most annoying southern accent telling you to get off the floor and pull the tumbling pass you just fell on your face trying to do? Also the spanks- those are hands down the best because they are guaranteed to give you the worst wedgie you will ever have.

It truly is great.

Well it took me such a long while to think about whether I wanted to try out or not. Obviously my mind was leaning towards freedom. I mean think about it, what would you do?

I could actually have a life my senior year.

I remember my freshman year the team went to an away camp for four days. I have to admit to you those were the longest, most tedious days of my life. I barley knew anybody on the team because I never cheered a day in my life before tryouts. The only reason I did cheerleading was because my best friend, Lindsay, was a cheerleader. The only problem was she on varsity, and I was on the freshman sophomore squad... So at this camp I was really sick but I was too nervous to say anything to the coaches. We were in our stunt groups learning how to do double downs (a double down is when the flyer spins twice in the air). Well as this girl thought she knew what she was doing, her exact words “uh, I’ve done it a couple of times.” That was a definite lie because as we threw her in the air she freaked out and I got both of her elbows smashed in my face.

Of course I had to have braces.

My blood was everywhere. I could feel my skin in my mouth dangling from my cheeks, and my nose was so bad I wanted to cry, but I didn’t want to feel like a wimp. So I sucked up the pain and tried it again. “BAM” I got hit again, same exact spot too but this time I fell straight to the floor with her tumbling on top of me. So for the next two weeks I had two huge fat lips and a bruised nose.

I still had quite some time to make my final decision. One day my mom asks me the same question again, only this time she seemed concerned. I asked what was wrong, and she explained to me how she didn’t think were going to be able to afford to put me through nursing camp and cheerleading also. She made it clear she would rather me do the camp to help decide my future. Well then I felt like I knew what my decision was going to be. It was kind of a relief but I still didn’t know if that’s what was best.

I must say all of my best, and worst memories mostly come from cheerleading. I’ve never met so many girls who get along and that I love so much. Cheerleading, even though a pain, is like my second family. You have us cheerleaders who love to joke around and have fun together.

I remember this one time at a completion we didn’t perform our routine as well as we wanted. Everyone was kind of upset but we still had time to kill before awards. So we all decided to put our fake eyelashes in between our eyebrows and the other one above our lip to look like a mustache. We thought it would be funny to casually walk around with them on. Everybody gave us the stink eye. Of course our coach wasn’t very happy with us when we wore them to awards. But she wasn’t mad when we placed first place. It was the greatest feeling ever-the feeling of beating the team that placed first at state the previous year. Tears and smiles were plastered on our faces the rest of the night.

Pure glory is the greatest feeling ever.

My coach is pretty much my second mother. She only wants the best from every single one of us, and if were not performing to our potential she gives us some motivation so we stop horsing around. Only her motivation for us is not doing extra miles after practice. But she also get very emotional like any mother, after every competition she cry’s and tells us how good we did. If we’re nervous she helps us shake the fears away and encourages us to go out there and do what we do best.

I remember this year our point flyer found out she had mono the day before one of our biggest competitions. When we found out we all freaked out- how could we change our whole routine in 3 hours? We had to beat our biggest rival, Niles North. We worked out butts off for week perfecting this whole routine and there was no way we were not going out there and competing. So for those 3 hours we put together another routine without her in case she was too sick to perform. 15 minutes before we were supposed to go on she showed up ready to do the routine-she was green almost translucent and she couldn’t stop shaking. The only thing running through my mind was “What if we mess up.” Half the gym was taken up by our family and friends, which made us 10 times more nervous because no one ever comes to our competitions. Our coach told us to stop worrying and focus on what were supposed to do.

A couple minutes before we were going out our coach comes out with gangster chains on and a huge speaker on her shoulder blasting “California Love” by 2Pac. We were all so confused and she just started rapping along, she knew every single word. It made all of us ecstatic-she got so into it and all the other teams came over and cheered her on. For those four minutes we forgot all of our fears about completely messing up the routine. We stood there eon the mat waiting for the music to start –just standing there smiling looking at hoe big the crowd is. My stomach felt like it was all the way down to my feet.

That’s how nervous I was.

The music turned on and it felt like slow motion but after the 2 minutes and 36 seconds it was over, and we nailed it. Everything was perfect; we had never felt so good about it. And our teammate who pulled it off was the hero of the day. Even though she was as sick as a dog she went out there and did everything she was supposed with a huge smile.

So after weeks of thinking and thinking I decided I really want to do cheerleading my last year. I thought to myself that I was crazy for even considering not doing it. Cheerleading is what makes me happy. The girls on my team are like my second family; we are always there for each other. If someone is having a bad day we are there to make it better. Cheerleading is truly a part of me, and some of my best memories eve had in my life is being on the squad.

Looks like I’m not going to have a life next year.





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