My younger daughter made a competitive level cheerleading team last spring, but I’ve been ill-equipped for the social challenges her involvement presents. I’ve been thrown into an environment I don’t know how to navigate, and I’m not sure I want to.
Now, when I say cheerleading I’m not talking the pom-pom waving skin show stereotyped at professional sporting events, rather this is stunt cheer – a group athletic event that combines gymnastics and dance. If you’ve ever watched these athletes perform, their gymnastic skill, strength, and coordination is impressive. We recently had a chance to watch teams qualifying for the World Championships. Eye-popping stunts, full back twisting layouts – this should be in the Olympics. Not joking.
But I had no idea how expensive cheer is. Now, any competitive sport is going to be expensive, but to quote Bing in White Christmas it’s “somewhere between ouch and boing!” I’m not independently wealthy – far from it. My daughter and I had to work together to earn the money for cheer. I sold a few more articles – she took a paper route to pay for half the monthly fee (you have to be dedicated to the sport to deliver flyers every week even in the snow). It’s been a sacrifice, but I don’t regret giving her this opportunity. [Read more…]