Thursday, August 14, 2008

Perhaps "spunk" needed more explanation than that

OK, so when I posted my amusing tale of Roo spunk yesterday, I think I forgot something.

I think what I forgot is that you guys don't hear the part of the conversation that I had in my head as I was writing.

And after I emailed the same response to three different -- yet similar -- comments, I figured I'd better explain myself.

Cheerleading.

There are two kinds.

There is the football kind, where the girls stand on the sidelines and dance and jiggle and tumble and lead the crowd in many kinds of yelling and ... ahem ... cheering.

This is the type that has the reputation that one thinks of immediately when one says the word "cheerleader." The ones who (God forbid) sleep with the football players and are kinda ditzy and mostly blond. (No offense to any football cheerleaders out there -- this is the stereotype I'm talking about!)

This is the type that, I'm assuming, some people don't want their children to grow up to be.

Then there is the other type.

The competitive cheerleader.

This cheerleader is an athlete, plain and simple. This girl trains like any other athlete -- complete with an intensive conditioning program of running, cardio and stretching.

While competition routines might contain some crowd-leading cheers, the basic content is precision dance, stunting and tumbling. Lots and lots of stunting and tumbling.

Yes, there is some ick in this particular subculture (the uniforms, the hair, the makeup *shudder*), but it's ATHLETIC. It's also GRUELING.

My daughter belongs to this group.

The Roo-girl (along with her mom) has been immersed in the competitive all-star cheer world for more than six years. Let me tell you, from firsthand experience, it's not the same as football cheer.

So the introduction of "you live to serve" into Roo's cheer-soaked brain was a little like electro-shock therapy.

In other words, WHAT THE HOLY FREAKIN' HELL??????

Now, I knew it would be this way when she left the all-star competition arena and entered the world of high school cheer. She did not.

Unfortunately, in our little world, she can't have the competitive team without the football part. The varsity competitive team -- about 12 girls -- is by invitation only, from the ranks of the 60-plus on the total squad.

And lest you think these are little pansy-ass, whiny girls, let me offer you a preview of what is expected of them in the several weeks remaining before school starts and "real" practices begin:

The coach issued the following things as the MINIMUM DAILY REQUIREMENTS for the girls:

* Run a mile (or 20 to 30 minutes of dedicated cardio)

* 20-30 minutes of core work (situps, pushups, etc)

* 20 to 30 toe touches (the mechanism and motion used for toe touches -- the jumping splits kind, not the lean-over-and-try-to-touch-your-toes one -- is the same as a back tuck.)

* 20 to 30 minutes of stretching to improve flexibility.

That's the MINIMUM requirement every day. More would be appreciated.

So the Roo-girl will cheer JV football -- and apparently bring Gatorade to the football players.

Which will give her the privilege to compete -- as a freshman -- on the varsity team.

Her righteous indignation about it made me laugh, but it unfortunately will be the world she inhabits so that she can have thing she loves.

19 comments:

nikki said...

Let's just hope she doesn't lose her spunk. She is a force to be reckoned with.

LceeL said...

I suppose there's a life lesson there - gotta take the bad along with the good - or some crap like that. but if any of those jocks think they're going to get over on Roo Girl - well, they got another think comin'! 'Cause I'm from Chicago - and I KNOW people ... I'm just sayin'.

Melissa said...

I totally got what you meant. I live in central Texas, which is not only the Holy Land of HS football, also has more cheer teams than you can shake a pointed stick at. Once I learned about competitive cheer, I thought it was so cool. But the rah-rah stuff? Can get stuffed.

Go Roo-girl!

Janet said...

AH - Now i get it. Here every girl that wants to can be a cheerleader, and all the cheerleaders do the competitions as well as the sideline stuff. And Lord knows, you do NOT have to be in any kind of decent shape. You would think that at the end of the year at least after all that exercise they would lose SOME weight anyway. But when you eat McDonald's for every meal, I guess even competitive cheerleading is no match (Wow, who's stereotyping now?)

And for the record I never slept with any football players. In high school.

texasholly said...

I always wanted to be a cheerleader...are you surprised? The problem is that I am not that coordinated, OH, and my small school had no sports. If it weren't for those barriers I would have totally rocked the cheerleading world. Yep. totally.

Marmarbug said...

Ack! Is she the one they throw around!!!!
I have seen way too many Bring it on movies!
And I say Go girl!!!
Oh and tell her to give her gatorade to the hottie guy!

Sarah said...

Yay for spunk. But yeah, I'm with lceel...unfortunately the great in our life always comes with challenges and things we don't want to do!!

Karen said...

I knew what you were talking about. I am impressed a lot with Roo, for being so dedicated to something she loves.

but, oh the holy crap of making those fucker football players think they are so IT by having the lowly girls bring them a drink!!! If I was one of those girls' mothers, I would have a thing or two to say about that! Let them get off their entitled little asses and bring their own!

Burfica said...

I would cause a stink and say that's sexist, that the football players should bring the cheerleaders a gatorade. hehehehehe

Burgh Baby said...

I'm just glad I'm not the only one that thinks there is a big difference between sideline and competitive cheering. Only one requires a brain and real effort. ;-)

http://anglophilefootballfanatic.com said...

I knew what you meant yesterday, but I guess since I wanted to be a sideline one so badly, I don't get her being upset. It's perspective.

Jenni said...

I knew plenty of cheerleaders like that first type when I was in school. In the small town where I spent my sophomore through senior year, though, that was not the norm for cheerleaders. First of all, our school was too small for a football team. We had basketball, cross country, track, and the girls' sports which did not get cheerleaders.

The valedictorian of the class that graduated the year before me was a cheerleader. She got a full scholarship to Johns Hopkins--and not for her cheering. She was also 16 when she graduated. She was an overachiever in every sense of the word. Our youngest daughter is named after her.

The valedictorian of my class was also a cheerleader. She was an overachiever, but she also had a lot of stress to go with it. The girl had ulcers by the end of her junior year!

Two of the girls from dh's class who were cheerleaders were gymnasts who didn't have anywhere to do gymnastics but on a cheer squad (and not the competitive kind). They were good students, though not the highes in their class. Another cheerleader from that class was the salutatorian.

Thinking back to graduating classes several years before mine, that seems to have been the norm. The smart, overachieving girls were the cheerleaders. I was smart, but I wasn't one of them. It didn't matter. These girls were also some of the nicest people around.

VDog said...

I "got" that from the previous post - but the longer explanation definitely helps!

I agree with lceel - sometimes we do things we don't like or agree with to do the thing we DO like and believe in.

Junebug said...

My youngest daughter also was a cheerleader for 7 years. They were a very competitive team but still the cheerleaders were expected to cheer at every game, football and basketball. They had to make posters and give the football players candy and cookies and drinks and prizes. All the girls had at least three maybe more boys that they had to make glittery signs for every week. Talk about the glitter nightmare! I still have glitter in my carpet and even in some of my cabinets. I don't like glitter. :D

Karen said...

That competitive cheerleading is harder work than any other athlete I've known.

Our friend's daughter does competitive cheerleading and it's brutal to say the least.

Joy T. said...

The last time I heard anything about cheerleading was on the news and some mother trying to pay a hitman to kill another cheerleader because there were only so many spots open and it was between her daughter and another girl. With the other girl dead it would have guaranteed her daughter a spot on the squad...team...whatever.

So I won't even pretend to know anything about cheerleading, but this was really good to read. Because what I had in my head about cheerleading was much worse then a cheerleader bringing a football player a gatorade. Although I personally think the little punks should go get their own damn gatorades.

Sandy C. said...

There is definitely a big difference between the two. I applaud Roo-girl for her dedication and sticking it out. I'm sure it's a LOT to have to suck up for now.

Skye said...

Anyone who has seen Bring It On knows the difference. :)

Pamela said...

I read something recently about cheer leaders and injuries... right up there with the players.

 
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