Thursday, April 17, 2014

Being an All Star, My Personal Story

The Work is Worth it.- National Cheerleading Association

Something I don't post a lot about is my personal experience as an all star cheerleader and gymnast, the catalyst of my crazy fitness journey. 


I can pin point for you the exact moment I became obsessed with all star cheerleading. It was a moment that has shaped my life forever there after. I was maybe 6 years old, watching tv, and on ESPN there they were- These college all star cheerleaders from Kentucky. It was the early 90's and they were incredible. I was taking gymnastics at that time and just about the age to start on a competitive gymnastic team, which would require my mom to drive me 30 minutes away to a new gymnastics gym. She always supported whatever activity I wanted to pursue but she was not so keen on commuting me to a big competitive gym. I watched these cheerleaders and I announced to my mom that I wanted to be a cheerleader like that. I distinctly remember because she said ok, and she signed me up to be a part of a pop warner cheerleading team. I quickly realized that this was not the same kind of cheerleading. It was a friend who I met through this who showed me a video of Florida's Top Gun cheerleaders. Girls my age, on an all star team, doing the things I had seen those college cheerleaders do. We decided we needed to start an all star team then and there.

In 1993, we got a coach from pop warner to leave her job and the first all star team in Santa Cruz county was born!

 We were not very good. We didn't win any championships that year, but we did compete. And I loved it. The blinding lights, the cameras, the roar of the crowd, I was hooked. Fast forward a few years and you would find me winning national championships, being on ESPN myself, and competing on multiple teams.

I spent 10 years of my life deeply entrenched in that world and have since found no workout like it. I still follow the sport, and many of my fellow alumni are still cheering or owners of their own gyms. It's a world that once you enter, you never really leave. 

But all star cheerleading for one of the worlds greatest Cheergyms, has left me with injuries and limitations in my adult life that I can't deny. I've posted about how I can't run because my knee swells, but the extent my injuries is so much more than that. I have a torn rotator cuff in my shoulder, cartalige and ligament damage to my knee, nerve damage in my elbow and hips, pain in my back and hips from years of over stretching, I have generally bad ankles, and tendentious in both my feet. 

Still all of that has been worth it. I know my body, I know it can do much more than appears, and I developed true strength of heart and confidence in myself. I can say that, for the time I cheered, I was one of the best. And I credit that experience with my obsession to push my physical limits and for playing an important role in a lot of my achievements in life. As of yet, I've found nothing as challenging, but I love working out and will still tumble around a cheer gym from time to time ;) and am always down to try a new workout or class. 

It's so important to know yourself, own it, and to share our fitness stories. I was a cheerleader, what's your story?