Here’s to the people who say cheerleading isn’t a sport and that cheerleaders aren’t athletes. The very definition of sport is, and I quote, “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature.” We practice just as much as you do. Every day of the week, 2+ hours. We condition, We run, We do ab workouts and pushups and planks. No, we don’t lift weights, we lift our athletes-and we hold them 10-15 feet in the air until our arms shake. Until our legs quiver. Don’t doubt the flyers either. We have more muscle than you seem to think. The amount of balance, leg muscle, and core tightness it takes to stay in the air is unbelievable to someone who has never done it before. We run full speed at nothing, then flip in the air, twist, and land on our feet. We jump. We jump high-without a trampoline. Concentrating on pointed toes, extended legs, tight arms, jump height, facials, and smiling… Ever based a basket toss? You get blood blisters on your hands. Softball sized bruises start to appear like magic. As for the flyers, if you’re not tight, expect to have your back jammed into your bases knee. Don’t forget about the backspots. We are the lifeguards of cheerleading. We save lives everyday. We get concussions, hit, and rammed into the ground. Without us, your flyers would be injured. Sprained ankles, broken fingers, and pulled muscles don’t slow us down. You practice like it doesn’t hurt. Now you have 2.5 minutes on a paneled mat. You have 1000+ people in the crowd every time you go on that floor. 4 judges. 2.5 minutes of horrendous physical activity and we make it look easy. Perfection doesnt exist, but here we go reaching for it anyways. You hit or you miss. Toes weren’t pointed? Deduction. Didn’t stick your tumbling? Deduction. Stunt didn’t hit? Deduction. You all think we’re the prissy girls who always have to have perfect hair and makeup. You’re wrong. At practice, we have messy buns and running makeup. Competitions? Sweats until we absolutely have to get ready. Do you think that cheer uniform is comfortable? It’s not… Sure the hair and make up is fun and gets us in the mood to perform, but ultimately it’s to unite us as a team. To be uniformed and have the same look. Think we don’t eat & are obsessed with being skinny? Good joke. We love food. Not all cheerleaders are mean girls who think they rule the school. We have really good grades and don’t hang out with the “cool kids” and go parties every weekend. We don’t all have starting quarterback football boyfriends or even any boyfriends at all. People see us as stereo types. Its wrong. Cheerleading is in the top 5 most dangerous sports in the world. Did you catch that? Sport. Proven to be in the Top 5 most dangerous, and you still have the nerve to say its not a sport? You’ve got to be joking. Cheerleading is something you have to want and work for. You have to love it and have a passion for it. So you doubt us? Fine. We’ll prove you wrong. Say we’re not athletes? Okay. Come to a practice. Compete with us. You’ll think differently. Say what we do is easy? Try it. I dare you.