We all hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving and, if you went out shopping yesterday, we hope you found some great deals! Becki, Korinne, Trisha, and I spent our Black Friday at the Pop Warner Mid-South Region Cheerleading Competition in Raleigh. What an exciting day!!!
I know you are all anxiously waiting to hear about the results, but I feel as though I need to mention a few details first.
The girls placed first and second in the Pop Warner local cheerleading competition back in October. They were more than thrilled to make it to the Regional competition, especially since that put them one step closer to the National competition held in December at Disney World! Along with advancing came more practices, tweaking of routines, and adding more difficult stunts. The girls put all they had into every practice, encouraging each other and pushing themselves to do better than their best. Despite the anxiety I was feeling, the girls all seemed to have theirs under control. Although, as the competition date approached, I am sure I am not the only one that was constantly thinking about cheer and feeling a kaleidoscope of butterflies in her stomach. At last Competition Day was here! It was an early start to the day as the cheer teams had to be in Raleigh, ready to cheer by 9am! Hair fixed, uniforms on, bright white competition shoes eager to hit the mat, fingernails trimmed, and the beautiful faces of our cheerleaders shining bright with anticipation. These girls were ready to cheer!
I have to add a side note here. Just as we were walking out of the parking garage and making our way to the competition, my cheerleader, Caroline, said that she was nervous. Literally, a moment later we saw Becki and her cheerleaders, Ella and Taylor, walking toward us. Instantly, Caroline felt better. Still nervous, but now a bit more excited. It is funny how that happens. So many times in life we are given little gifts, like friends when we need them, to let us know everything is going to be alright.
Okay, back to the competition. Team after team took the mat and cheered their very best. Between the four of us, we have daughters on two different ASA cheerleading teams. When it was time for each of the Apex teams to perform their routines, families and friends gathered in the reserved seating area to support the girls (and each other). There were cheers and tears and we all clapped for our teams. Warning: I am going to sound like a proud (and biased) mom in the next couple of sentences. They were AMAZING!!! Stunts were solid, landings were stuck, and they looked and sounded exceptional!! YAY, COUGARS!!!
Now, came the hardest part… at least for us parents. The waiting. Time went by so slowly. We nervously watched the rest of the competition and awaited the awards ceremony. Finally, after a parade of teams and a little dancing with the judges, the winners were announced. Screams of pride, excitement, and happiness filled the venue as the MC announced that the Apex Jr. Pee Wee and Pee Wee teams took first place in their divisions! We moms hugged each other tight! Our girls did it!!! Their hard work and dedication paid off and we will be heading to Disney in one short week!
We of course will keep you updated on what happens next! Right now, I am looking forward to watching these incredible young ladies cheer on stage at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports.
I am so proud of what these girls have accomplished! I am amazed at how they work so hard at cheer, schoolwork, and other activities at the same time – and they make it all look like so much fun!
I need to give a shout out to the ASA coaches! They are truly an inspiration! They dedicate so much of their time to our girls without expecting anything in return. I just hope they all realize that they are helping these girls learn more than just cheer routines and stunts. I have seen, in just the past few months, these girls become more confident and truly believe in themselves. They have given these girls a special part of their identity and have taught them the value of hard work, practice, and commitment. Thank you, coaches!!
I was never a cheerleader myself, but was told back in August (I think by Becki) that I would totally understand the sport and the bows by the time the competitions started. She was right! I love this sport! I find now, that I am a cheerleader and my squad is made up of all the other moms (and dads, too) as we support our daughters during this exciting part of their lives.
Congratulations to all the ASA teams!! Good luck at Nationals!!
Stay tuned, stay healthy, and stay Pretty in the Peak
Marianne Lindgren, MS, RD