Monday, April 05, 2010


I thought I had her.

Sage and I were watching the NCAA womens basketball tournament on TV the other night. UConn, my alma mater, was playing Baylor in a semifinal game.

I pointed out to Sage that these were girls playing.

"Look how much fun they're having," I told her. "Look at their muscles. Isn't that cool?"

Sage looked somewhat interested.

"And see that coach? When Mommy was young, that coach? For Baylor? She used to play basketball. She had long braids and she was awesome."

Sage seemed impressed by the idea of the hair.

"You could play, Sage. You're tall. You'd love it."

Sage thought for a moment. "Yes! I will play basketball. And soccer. And tennis."

"That's awesome! See? You don't want to be a cheerleader. They have to sit on the sidelines. They don't get to play."

We watched. I tend to provide some, um, running commentary during games. Loudly. Especially when UConn is playing.

Sage still sat with me.

And then she killed me. Just stuck the knife right through my heart and twisted it.

"Mommy? I think I want to be a cheerleader. I'd get too tired if I had to play basketball. I'd want to sit down. Like the cheerleaders. That's what I want to do."

Just so she could prove to me how exhausting it is to even CONSIDER playing basketball, she proceeded to fall sound asleep on the couch two minutes later.

Thankfully she's only 4 1/2. There's still time to lure her away from the Dark Side.


Irazmi said...

heeeeey, cheerleading is not the darkside! at least not competitive cheer. sure there are still a bunch of slacker sideline cheerleaders that make the rest of us look bad but in my world, cheerleading is hard stuff!
and ps - i'm 30, i still do cheer stuff, inlcluding coach and in my "off season" i run marathons AND :P

check this out
A recent study led by researcher, Hermann Engels of Wayne State University, concluded that competitive Cheerleaders are in the same league physically as Olympic soccer and gymnastic contenders.

The study, which was one of the first of its kind, measured the fitness and physiology of 33 female high school Cheerleaders. The group of Cheerleaders consisted of a mix of competitive Cheerleaders and sideline Cheerleaders (Cheerleaders that cheer for a sports team at school). The researchers then put the Cheerleaders through some rigorous days of testing which included workouts on treadmills, stationary cycles and bend-and-reach tests. These tests measured the cheerleaders workout capacity, flexibility and lean body mass.

The results were not totally surprising to anyone familiar with Cheerleading. The competitive cheerleaders ranked very high in their fitness and strength. As a matter of fact, they ranked as well as any top level athlete and showed "superior athletic fitness."

* There are approximately 3 million cheerleaders in the United States.
* American Cheerleader magazine estimates that 225 colleges and junior colleges award full and partial scholarships.
* There are approximately 72 national or regional competitions for college, high school or youth teams - up from eight in 1988.

still not convinced?

or this one

or this little girl who is only 11, she is on the national team for tumbling as well and will most likely be at the next olympics

Julie said...

Um, Cheryl? Do you know what Cheerleaders actually do? All the competitions? All the workouts and routines and SPORT they put in, in addition to sitting on the sidelines? They may have a game at 5 pm, but they've been working on their competition routines and drills from 1-4:30, again at their halftime breaks, and will again practice after the game. Because, in addition to cheering on the team, they have a huge competition the very next day.

And there are CAREERS in cheerleading? It'll be in the next SMR book (by Beth and Ciaran).


(No hard feelings. You just touched on something because cheerleaders are constantly fighting for recognition and respect.)

Andrea (PARENTise) said...

That's hysterical...she'll come around! My girls love to show me their muscles - my 3 yo gets all serious when she does it and my 19 mo gets a big smile as she pulls her arms into her chest and shows off her "muscles"...too cute! Hopefully my girls will play a sport they love...just like I did.

galena said...

I share your fear! Moms united will conquer the forces of darkness....can we work on reducing those pink and glittery things in stores too?

Cheryl said...

Okay, you crazy cheerleaders! Calm down! I know you work just as hard as everyone else! LOL

Seriously. First, our neighbor does competitive cheer and she's in phenomenal shape. Second, I know competitive cheer is completely different than sideline cheering.

It's just fun to mess with you guys.

But I still want Sage to do soccer or basketball or something like that. Why? Competitive cheer is just too expensive!

Dawn said...

The cheerleaders at the local high school now are way more than they were in the 80's, when they could be lazy chicks. There are serious gymnastics involved now. I was impressed. My girls cheer now (little kid cheer- not competitive), and my mom made the same assumptions based on cheerleaders of long ago. Times are a-changin'! Cheering is gymnastics!

Eli's Lids said...

LOL! I was 5'10" and a cheerleader! People always asked if it did sports. It was annoying. The only bad thing is I was too tall to go anywhere with it. My ballet partner would have had to be 6'4" for it to still look right while I was on pointe! Ha!! You'll like whatever she does.

Irazmi said...

cheryl, you are soooo right on the cost of competitive cheer being astronomicaly high! when (and if) I ever have kids, they are playing chess...even if I am still coaching :) fact is, somehow most of the girls I coach in cheer play at least one other sport...the top of the list being soccer, softball & swimming :) sage will be good at anything if she is anything like her mommy!

Cheryl said...

Dawn - I know it. But really, is it any fun to do cheer if you're not a flyer? She'll probably be stuck lifting all the other kids LOL

KN - You're 5-10? Did you play basketball? Kidding!

Irazmi - too funny! but actually every sport is expensive. Little League is sucking the life out of us!

And yes, I will support her in whatever she does. But my job as a parent is to guide her - and then bite my tongue when she proceeds to ignore all my advice and does whatever she wants! As long as she has a passion for something that involves physical activity, I'll be happy! Tho if she joins drama club i'll also be happy!

Christi said...

Ha - I LOVE this post! I don't have anything against cheerleading, but your daughter's response absolutely cracked me up. Thanks for a great laugh in the middle of a busy day.

Anonymous said...

i want ava to be a brooding poet, artist, chef, fashion designer or actress. i've given her five options. i think that's fair.

and if my daughter was a cheerleader i'd be a tad frustrated too. but only because clapping and smiling are my two biggest pet peeves.

The Mayor! said...

LOL....I fell right in the middle with my 3 daughters, who, BTW are only 9, 6, & 4....but I played soccer for 9 years growing up, then hit high school & became a cheerleader! Gave my girls all their options, as they watched their brother play soccer & hockey forever too...but, at the end of the day, they are all girlie girls, & all 3 are now competitive cheerleaders....& work their BUTTS OFF man! My 6 yr old has a real talent of them all, she has been a flier for 2 years & is one of the top tumblers on her team....never ceases to amaze me what she can, & will, do! Incredible athleticism! But I'd have been just as happy to see any of them follow my soccer path too LOL!

Natalie at Mommy on Fire said...

Funny story - I am not the cheerleader type either but I do realize it is totally different than what it used to be back in my day. I love that she feel asleep on the couch - good Lord, what 4 1/2 year old does that? She sounds precious.

Cheryl said...

Christi - Yes. It is just SO exhausting to be 4 1/2, isn't it?

csf said...

I laughed out loud three times reading this - great stuff!!

Cheryl said...

ac - yes, there is all that smiling and clapping. didn't think of that!

Mayor - In truth, I am excited to see where her passions lie - it'll be interesting to see. I'm just exposing her to different stuff at the moment. She does dance and will do soccer this fall, so we'll see!

Natalie - she's a big couch sleeper. Plus it was after 8 p.m.!

csf - thanks!!

Adelle said...

You go, mom. I wish MY mom had pushed me/encouraged me to pursue sports more! I really do - she wasn't an athlete, so it never occurred to her to do so. I feel like i missed out on a intergral part of childhood!

(I did always want to be a cheerleader though. Not coordinated enough.)

mrs.notouching said...

Hahaha! Most girls are afraid to grow up and be like their mothers - use reverse psychology and go crazy supporting those cheerleaders :-)

Kristy said...

Yes, I am tall and totally wasted it. People ask me - did you play basketball? Did you play volleyball? Nope. Totally wasted the tall.

WhisperingWriter said...

I don't mind if my daughter wants to be a cheerleader. So long as she's not one of those overly perky ones. Then I'd have to disown her.

Mayhem and Moxie said...

I desperately wanted to be a cheerleader when I was in highschool, but my mom put her foot down. I ended up playing volleyball and tennis.

The morale of this story is that there is hope! At only 4 1/2, you've still got plenty of time. ;)

The Boob Nazi said...

I was a cheerleader... And I agree with the others that it is just as physically demanding as other sports! Sigh, I miss it. And lifting the other girls is way more fun than flying...

The Lady of the House said...

Ha! I was a cheerleader in high school (and an athlete), but I chose to be the mascot in college b/c I could ignore the fact that I don't trust someone to hold me 6 feet in the air no matter what his major is and I could STILL travel with the team and be up front for the games. =) Try encouraging that one =)

Cheryl said...

Adelle - That's why you have kids - so you can live vicariously through them. KIDDING!

Mrs. Notouching - You make an excellent point..Hmmm

Kristy - Very sad you wasted The Tall. Just think of the heights you could've reached... ;)

WW - Yes. Perky would be bad. Especially in the morning.

BoobNazi - Really? Lifting is better than flying? Interesting! I guess she'd be able to keep all her teeth if she was a lifter and not falling to the floor..

Lady - The mascot? Did you ever get sucker-punched? I've talked to some mascots and they've told horrible stories!

Cheryl said...

Mayhem&Moxie - so do you regret never being a cheerleader? I don't want to strong-arm her (not that I WON'T, just hope I won't have to!) if she has her heart set on it.

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