#CHEERLIFE

A Thank You Letter To Cheerleading

Ashleigh Shannon

“A cheerleader is a dreamer that never gives up”

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Dear Cheerleading,

I still remember being a little 4th grader looking up at my mother asking if I could be a cheerleader. Of course, my mother was excited because I was never an athletic child, but I don’t think either of us knew at the time the importance that cheerleading was going to be for me. Like most athletics, there are many ups and downs to this sport. There were many times where I wanted to throw my pom poms in and call it a day, and there were other times where I never wanted to leave the eight panel mat. I was a CVC grand champion, a regional champion, a national finalist and also a national champion.

I have gained lifelong friendships throughout the sport as well. If you ask any high school senior that played a sport, the last game, meet, competition is always the saddest. The last day of cheerleading, I cried so many tears. I was no longer Ashleigh, the cheerleader. As I look back on my cheerleading career, I don’t think of all the competitions I won, the stunts I’ve hit or the dances I’ve danced, but all the life lessons I learned from the sport.

Thank you for teaching me to trust

Cheerleading is one of the most dangerous sports in the world; trust is one of the most main parts to it. Without trust in a stunt group, everything could go wrong and someone could get hurt. Trust is always important throughout life; it’s important to trust in your family and friends. It’s also important to trust your boss to have your best interest at heart.

Thank you for teaching me patience

To gain a skill in cheerleading, you have to have patience. It takes a while for hard work to kick in. Sometimes I would have to practice a skill a 100 times before I finally got it right. Patience is important skill to have in life, especially if you plan to have a child one day.

Thank you for teaching me to be a Leader

The name is in the title of cheerleader. It was important to watch my actions and be careful how I represent myself, as well as doing the right thing. Being a leader is important in life because that is what most jobs look for in a person. Also, who wants to be a follower, anyway?

Thank you for teaching me dedication

Cheerleading required a lot of time and effort. It was important to always be there 100% physically and mentally. I gave up a lot of special events in my life for it because of how dedicated I was toward the sport. Dedication is important in life because it teaches you to always do things 100%.

Thank you for teaching me to be outgoing

Before cheerleading, I was very shy. I was the little girl at family parties that stayed with their mother the whole time. Cheerleading taught me to branch out and to be loud. I have definitely broken me out of my shell.

Thank you for teaching me to manage my time

Cheerleading took up a lot of time. I usually had practice for two hours everyday after school, plus games or competitions on the weekends. I also had a part time job and different extra curricular activities on top of my schoolwork. This helped me learn to manage my time and become a little more organized.

Thank you for teaching me teamwork

Teamwork is the most important skill to have in the sport. If the whole team doesn’t know the count, it could throw off the whole performance. If one part of the stunt isn’t working, it’s teamwork that helps to figure out why. Teamwork is important because without it, the performance could fall apart or,even worse, someone could get hurt.

Thank You Cheerleading

Cheerleading has taught me many life long lessons that I am going to take with me for the rest of my life. There are many other things to thank cheerleading for like:

Thank you for teaching to get right back up even if I just got kicked in the head

Thank you for teaching me how to spell.

Thank you for teaching me not to care what people think.

Thank you for all the relationships and friendships I have gained.

Thank you for the many trips to Disney World.

Thank you for letting me escape from the world just for a little.

Thank you for giving me a second family.

Thank you for all the bows and all the glitter.

Thank you for Friday night lights.

Thank you for teaching me not to care what people think.

And most importantly,

Thank you for teaching me to keep smiling.

– Ashleigh

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