Sydney, our youngest daughter, is a member of the local Cheer Savannah competitive cheerleading team. Last week our family attended our first ever cheerleading exhibition to watch Sydney, along with the several hundred girls that are involved in this wonderful program, demonstrate all the skills and techniques they have learned over this past summer.
Cheerleading competitions are just around the corner and I must admit, after seeing all the jumps, flips, stunts, pyramids and the like, I was a nervous wreck by the end of the program.
As Jennifer and I watched the performance of each routine, it became increasingly clear that any one of these girls — including Sydney, could be seriously injured. Our hearts jumped and our blood pressure rose with each herculean stunt and challenging move. Plus, the routines became increasingly more complicated as the night progressed.
It was a “on the edge of your seat” experience if there ever was one. I believe we were sweating more than the athletes themselves. By the end of the showcase I commented to Jennifer that I was getting too old for this sort of thing.
Whatever happened to cheers like, “2-4-6-8, who do we appreciate,” with simple coordinated arm movements and maybe a leg kick at the end? In competitive cheerleading everything is choreographed to music and there are high-flying acrobatics. No chants or pom-poms for these girls — they are all business. Everybody has a job to do and a place to be throughout the 2.5-minute routine.
The precision-like movements were impressive to say the least. Best of all, I could tell from all the smiles that the girls were having fun and enjoying the appreciation from the audience.
We left Tiger Arena that evening feeling good knowing that nobody was injured and that all of the girls performed extremely well. We applauded the coaches for their hard work and dedication to give these girls the skills and confidence to perform at such a high level.
On the way home we decided to stop by Mom’s place so Sydney could model her uniform for her grandmother. What a wonderful surprise it was when Sydney entered the room. Mom happened to be playing cards with her friends that evening and was beaming with good old-fashioned grandmother pride. There’s something special about a grandchild in a uniform.
With several more cheerleading competitions scheduled over the next few months, it would be nice if Sydney’s grandmother could attend a competition in person. However, Mom gets more nervous at these things than I do. Plus there are bleachers to climb — yikes! And it’s usually a major hike to the bathroom — strike two. Oh, and heaven forbid that her granddaughter receive an injury while she was spectating. That would undo everybody.
Ok, looks like it’s time for a simpler plan. Maybe I’ll just video record Sydney’s competitions on my phone. I could send them to Mom via email and she could watch her performances from the safety and comfort of her own apartment.
Hmmm … Christmas is just around the corner and it may be time to get Mom an iPad. I love technology.
Live well my friends.
DeLong is the executive director of The Suites at Station Exchange. Email him at Suites.StationExchange@gmail.com.