Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cheerleading 101 - too fat to cheer

Everyone has that person from high school that they carry with them and want overcome, mainly because they picked on you, made fun of you, started a rumor, or just was downright mean.  I didn’t have just one person; I was a “lucky” one and had an entire cheerleading squad!

I wanted nothing more than to be a cheerleader. I loved being able to put that skirt on and go onto the field or court and dance. I loved the fact that I got to get in free to all of the games, nothing better than a free front row seat to a football game. Cheering was my life… I practiced like all the other girls, tried out like all the other girls, made the team like all the other girls, and even put my uniform on like all the other girls. In reality though, I wasn’t like all the other girls at all. Cheerleaders were thin and well let’s face it, I wasn’t.  But just like I stated, I made the team fair and square (and no my parents didn’t pay for me to be on the squad, heck they struggled to make ends meet at home and I had to sell candy like it was going out of style just to pay for my uniform and camp cost).  

People, especially teenage girls, like to shun out the person who is different. Lucky me, I was the different one in this situation. I remember 9th grade year (Freshman Cheerleader) we had to decorate the Science hall for Homecoming Week. We went all out and even hung a huge picture of our team in the hall wishing the Football players good luck. Monday when I arrived at school, I walked to my Science class and as I passed the photo of the team, I saw one of the meanest things I have ever seen. Where my face was in the photo, someone had drawn a black “X” and wrote “too fat to cheer”… Talk about a knife to the stomach, who could be so mean? Why did they not like me? What did I do to them? I was devastated because from that minute on my love for cheering started to slowly dwindle. Year after year more and more situations like 9th grade Homecoming happened. I remember going home and crying almost every day, but I wasn’t a quitter and I wasn’t going to let them win. I quit cheering my junior year because of a knee injury, but the hate from those girls has always stuck with me.

I was listening to ‘Fighter’ by Christina Aguilera and it made me think of those girls. They were evil for no reason, they made me cry, they made me hate cheerleading but in the end they made me a strong person with thick skin. And from now on anytime I am ready to quit the journey I am on I am going to remind myself of those girls. Remind myself that I have put up with the caddiness of high school cheerleaders and didnt quit, so why quit now?!

After all you put me through,
You’d think I’d despise you
 But in the end I wanna thank you
‘Casue you made me that much stronger
Makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
Makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a fighter
Made me learn a little bit faster
Made my skin a little bit thicker
Makes me that much smarter
So thanks for make me a fighter

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