Why Cheerleaders Are My Favorite People
After many years of being a cheerleader, I did what most eventually do and hung up my cheer shoes for good and gave my body so much needed rest. While there are many things to miss about being a cheerleader, there was one thing that was more subtle than the others. Sure I missed learning new routines, traveling, and competing, but there was something else that was missing.
Cheerleaders, especially all-star, are their own breed of humans. It takes a special individual to endure the harsh realities of being a high-level athlete including the time commitments, the injuries, the never-ending soreness, you know what I’m talking about. What I missed most after I stopped cheering was the people who surrounded me on a daily basis.
But, it wasn’t individual people I missed, but the type of person you’re most likely to come across in the cheer world. Most cheerleaders have one or many of the following personality traits, all of which make a person into a pretty well-rounded individual. Most cheerleaders I know aren’t bubbly ditzs either, so let’s put that stereotype to rest.
All-star cheerleaders are hardworking. That adjective is so overused and common that it almost doesn’t have meaning. But, once you leave the cheer world, you realize a lot of people have a different definition of hard work than you do. You’ll hear people talk about how busy they are and you’ll just nod and think “ok”. Cheerleaders not only have to work their butts off at practice, but also have full class schedules, jobs, families, and other extra circulars. Cheerleaders know how to work hard and work smart.
Listen, all-star cheerleading is hard. Flipping your body over, lifting people, getting punched in the face, it’s not always fun and glamorous. Not only are cheerleaders physically strong, but also emotionally. It’s not always easy, and those effortless performances are deceiving. Another good word for this is determined – cheerleaders know how to get the job done.
Cheerleaders are some of the most persistent people out there. In the gym, they’re persistent to hit a stunt or land a new tumbling pass, and outside the gym, they pursue their other passions and tackle goals like it’s nobody’s business. From beauty school to business school, cheerleaders make it happen.
Not only are cheerleaders persistent, they’re courageous. Turns out that learning how to do dangerous stunts and tumbling skills all day teaches one not to be afraid of anything (or at least be less risk adverse). Taking risks is in our nature, and choosing to take the path less traveled is scary, but it’s inevitably more rewarding.
Respectful and Willing to Take Criticism
The majority of cheerleaders I know respect authority and know how to take direction. Good cheerleaders know how to take criticism and then use it. That’s a life skill that will help you long after you’ve performed your last routine. You’re never going to be perfect at everything and/or succeed on the first try, and that’s why being receptive to criticism is so important.
And above all else, what I love about my cheer friends most is their passion for life. Cheerleaders are some of the most passionate people I’ve ever met. They often possess a zest for life that follows them far beyond the gym. I can think of countless teammates who’ve gone on to do incredible things and live their dreams because they know what it’s like to put your head down, work hard, and build something meaningful.
These are the same people who work hard and get excited about both small wins and large victories. It’s all about the hustle and loving the game.
So, Cheers to You Fellow Cheerleaders
So if you’re a strong willed, hard working, passionate cheerleader, give yourself a pat on the back. Whether you’re still cheering or many years retired, I hope you’ve found the same characteristics in your teammates. Never let that fire inside you die out. It’s a gift that many never experience.