I was part of a team that won a national championship in college cheerleading. We were on ESPN2 and it was amazing. And I can't believe it's already been ten years. Cheerleading was a huge part of my life back in the day. I was on my high school cheer team, an all-star cheer team, and then went on to cheer at a community college in Coffeyville, Kansas. Cheerleading paid for my first two years of college and created many memories that I keep in two plastic tubs in our basement.
The best cheerleading shoes? High top Reebok sneakers with velcro. Yes, I kept them.
Lawrence Cheer Academy uniform. I may or may not still try it on from time to time to make sure I can still
squeeze fit into it.
In 2003, we went to the UCA College Cheerleading competition in Orlando, Florida. We went there thinking, "ugh, we suck, let's just try and not get last". In prelims, we went out there, dropped half of our pyramid, and were absolutely astonished to find out we were ranked first going into finals. Us? First? We could not believe it. We thought, "all we have to do is hit everything and we win!" And that's exactly what happened.
We did the really fast jumping up and down that cheerleaders do when they win. We celebrated for an embarrassing length of time and got our trophy. All four feet of it. We were beyond excited and I think you can see it on our faces below. This is a group of people who will be forever bonded by this national championship.
Stuntin' is a habit.
When we got back, we started the process of ordering our national championship rings. Since it's been ten years, I started getting sentimental and thought I better look for my ring. Luckily, I found it in the bottom of a box. Phew.
It's hard to read, but the inside of the ring says, "don't suck, stick it". It was our slogan for the season. It sounds inappropriate but in cheerleading world, it makes perfect sense.
The next year, we went back to try and do it again and we got second. We were upset. We got beat by a large 4-year college while we were the only community college in our division.
We still had fun and even ran into former teammates.
I will never forget my cheerleading years and neither will my joints for that matter. I will never forget the months and months of practice. The two and three-a-days with no time off during the holidays. The "do it again", "one more time", and "don't be scared, just throw her up there". The bruises, bloody lips, and falls. The jumping, lifting, throwing, catching. The literal blood, sweat, and tears. All for two and a half minutes? Worth it.