Did I ever tell you that my daughter Sophia was a cheerleader? No? That’s because she wasn’t but this did not stop her from thinking that she was. Sophia took it upon herself to perform a cheerleading stunt in her bedroom. The stunt consisted of her jumping off her dresser into a toe touch and having her vjj land on her headboard. I rushed her to the ER during rush hour traffic and thankfully, no real damage was done. What Sophia learned from this experience was that jumping of a dresser a cheerleader does not make.
Since that awful day over a year ago, my husband and I decided it would be best that her cheerleading be supervised by some professionals. We researched a couple of gyms in our area, got a call back from one and signed them up a week later. During practice, I noticed that my daughters were not doing spirit fingers nor were they holding up a bull horn and the pom poms. Where were the pom poms? My husband and I come from a world where the cheers our cheerleaders did (if there were any cheerleaders) were very close to the ones chanted by the cheerleaders in the movie, Wildcats. This was not your Kelly Kapowski, Buffy the Vampire Slayer cheerleading. This was a little something called, All Star Cheerleading which should really be called, Gymnastics on Steroids. I watched little girls walk through that gym with six packs, I saw them doing insane flips across a mat and then landing on someones hands as they were tossed in the air. “Holy shit, so how the hell are they going to do this with pom poms?” was all I could think. My daughters quickly fell in love with the sport and we were invested sans pom poms.
It’s a year later now and while a little piece of me dies whenever I see a girl from that gym being tossed up in the air. I admire their endurance, their loyalty and dedication that they have not only to their craft but to their peers. It’s a world that I still do not completely understand but since have learned to never ever ever ask an All Star Cheerleader where her pom poms are. Like, ever.