ARE YOU READY TO CHEER?
Having never participated in any team sport, I am often jealous of the emotional bonds clearly displayed during competition. Last weekend, I binge watched the docuseries
Cheer on Netflix. I was mesmerized by the nation's best junior college squad from Navarro College as they prepared for their Championship. How have I made it this far in life without knowing the difference between stunting, tumbling, jumping, and stumbling? I fully believe that cheerleaders are serious athletes, but I never grasped the danger involved in what they make look so easy. With the skimpy uniforms, spray tans, makeup, and bows it is easy to dismiss the cast of characters on this reality show as nothing more than superficial youth caught up in trying to gain the most followers on social media. And yet, by the end of the series I had nothing but deep admiration for the individuals that had so bravely shared their personal suffering.
Monica Aldama has spent over 24 years at Navarro College, and there is no doubt she has created a winning program. More importantly, she has changed the lives of young people that often had no where to turn. As the episodes unfold, the backstories of these young men and women is revealed. Topics such as incarceration, abandonment, abuse, bullying, homophobia, death, and suicide are just a few of the issues openly discussed. There is nothing pretty or shallow about the tears that are shed as the narratives come to life. Coach Aldama and cheering saved my life," is a sentiment repeated many times over.
Watching the team practice and perfect the routines is entertaining, but witnessing the miracles that took place in order for some of these individuals to survive is beyond inspiring.There were a multitude of lessons that I was able to take away from my over 6 hours of viewing time. I certainly would benefit from some additional abdominal work, there is life-altering power that is released when one person believes in another, refuse to allow your past wounds to prevent you from accepting healing love, adopting high expectations creates an atmosphere of dedication....and the list goes on and on. As a coach, my Dad often shared that the gift his father gave was that he
believed in him. I desire to be that type of person that has such faith and high standards for myself and others, that people leave my presence feeling like they can do mighty things. Perhaps it is time for you to pick up your pom poms and begin to cheer for the hurting people in your own life as each of them strive for personal victory.