Remember when I used to cheer?

High school feels like it was yesterday and a lifetime ago.

When did I get so old?

My high school cheer team, 1 year on JV and 3 years on Varsity. You all were the closest thing I had to a sisterhood at the time and the best support system that I could have imagined during high school. We were together through some really great times and some unimaginably hard ones, too and I wouldn’t have wanted any other group of girls at my side. So, I’m saying thank you and I’m sorry.

First off, lots of thanks for those of you that were able to get me in the air. After the freshman 15, I can confidently say I will never hit another ‘lib’ or any other stunt in my life unless I’ve got brick houses underneath me.

We will never be apart of another rivalry game together, or chant on the bus ride home after finally winning a football game or be apart of the Pep Squad when they get into fights with the opposing team during basketball game. [Or if you’re me, get in a full blown fight with the Squad because they refused to have a Christmas themed squad. I’m still salty about that.] And to be honest, sometimes I miss all of it. I miss the feeling of hitting a stunt or when you hit the routine really well and the coach was *finally* satisfied. I miss Pine Forest and sleeping together in ratty cabins, with cold showers, and ants in all of our belongings. So thank you, for all of those incredible memories and the stories I have to tell to embarrass my children someday. But what I don’t miss is the feeling of being inadequate, or working so hard that we forgot we were supposed to be having fun and enjoying ourselves because high school cheerleading wasn’t supposed to be taken so seriously.

Remember the feeling when we came in 3rd place at UCA Nationals in 2013? Wow. That was an incredible feeling. Being in Disney, in Florida, competing at nationals with a cheer squad so close and so unified, every person could genuinely say that we were all friends on that team. It was truly never the same after that. Actually, come to think of it, that was even the last time I ever competed on any mat. The effects of cheer-gone-wrong, I guess, and groups not working together. I’ll let y’all know when I can *finally* get surgery on this shoulder.

And lastly, I wanted to apologize for quitting our competition team our senior year even when I requested that “Fancy” was featured in the majority of our routine. Cheer became less of a priority and more of an obligation for me. And I began to hate the sport that I had loved for so many years. I didn’t want to associate such negative feelings with something that had given me so many amazing memories. I don’t know if it was the coaching, the group of girls that year, the time in my life, or maybe a combination of all three, but what I do know is that I made the best decision by quitting that October.

I feel blessed to have been able to finish out our senior Football season together, even if we were mostly always on the losing team. I loved seeing you cheer at the basketball games and rooting for you when you all competed. I’m happy for each of you when I see you all doing so well in your lives and I’m so lucky to have found some of my best friends and future bridesmaids at PAHS. I feel honored to be able to say that I was cheerleader with all of you.

Here’s to a part of my heart always beating for the P-A-T-S. Go Patriots! xo

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