Walking the halls of my high school in my uniform was one of my favorite moments in life. That single uniform bonded me with 20 other girls I would come to know so well. After countless practices, ice packs and braces, my world was turned upside down by the sport of cheerleading. Whether it was Friday nights spent on the sideline of that football field or Saturdays spent in high school classrooms and warm-up mats getting ready for that two minute and 50 second routine, high school cheerleading changed me, and I hope to the girl that is now wearing my uniform. I hope it changes her in the same way it changed me.
Cheerleading taught me how to work as a team. It taught me how to work with different personalities. As a team, we worked to meet our goals, even though we always didn't get along. Cheerleading taught me how to work hard for something you want, even when you keep failing time after time. It taught me to deal with bruises and broken ankles. It taught me who I was. It taught me I was a leader. It taught me to be a team player. It taught me how to be a comforter and how to deal with my emotions. It taught me how to defy stereotypes and to be a caring and thoughtful person.
Cheerleading was my whole life. Between practice every day after school, tumbling classes and competitions on the weekends, cheerleading and my team were everything. My best friend in high school was also by my side on Friday nights. Through middle school cheerleading to our senior year at state, we became the women we were supposed to be because of each other and the sport of cheerleading. I made bonds with people I never thought possible, all in the name of hitting that stunt or landing that tumbling pass.
From middle school football games to high school state championships, there was always cheerleading. Through the hours spent crying over boys, there was always cheerleading and the memories it brought me. Through the drama and the failing grades, cheerleading was always there to pick me right back up. Cheerleading was there during those bad days to tumble out your feelings. It was there to yell on the sidelines when you wanted to be yelling at someone else.
Cheerleading changed my life. It shaped me into the woman I am today. My role models came from the older girls on my team, and I always hoped to pass on the knowledge and memories to the younger girls on my team. Cheerleading gave me everything, and I hope for the girl who wears my uniform that it gives her everything it ever gave to me.