Early Choices

At this time of year, the time when football becomes all the rage, the cheerleader in me rears its ugly head. How could it not after so many years of standing in the sidelines rooting my heart out and jumping around like a crazy person? I mean, the squad and I spent entire summers learning new skills and performing in competitions so that we could start the football season out right, all polished up for everyone to see. And just taking a whiff of the autumn air sends that whole excited feeling of anticipation right back at me again just like a tidal wave. Gotta love it.

Why am I blogging about my old rah-rah days? Well, because I was enlightened this weekend. You could even call it an epiphany that I experienced. As Catholic Son watched football on television, a band tune caught my attention and sent me into a pep band routine that I can still perform just as if it were 1988 all over again. CS looked at me and said, “Mom! You know how to do that stuff?!” To which I responded, “Like you wouldn’t believe.” Then Catholic Girlie stopped over to watch as I repeated the moves, also in disbelief. That’s right, Mom can still do all that cheerleading stuff. So what?


What exactly did cheerleading contribute to my adult life? If we’re talking about learning how to deal with competitive, jealous, backstabbing and otherwise catty-like people, then being a cheerleader provided lessons in that like no other. Or if we’re talking about having muscle flexibility and the ability to shake it up on the dance floor, then yes – it gave me that, too. But as for actual marketable skills that are useful down the road in life, not a chance. At least not for me as a technology professional, unless I decide to encorporate dance routines as a way to woo potential clients. Somehow, I don’t think that would go over very well.

Coincidentally, Catholic Girlie and I found ourselves at the Symphony Orchestra the same night of my home cheerleading performance, and a certain advertisement in the back of the music program caught my attention. It said, “Playing Football, Cheerleading, Playing the Piano. Which activity will your child still be doing at age 40?” Perhaps the question should be replaced with, “Which activity will be of use to your child at 40?” Personally as a mom nearing 40, I reflect back and wish I would’ve had the opportunity to play an instrument, and then I feel a sense of pride knowing the Catholic Kids are blessed with that option today. And I truly believe that at 40 while playing Greensleeves for the family during Thanksgiving dinner, they will think back to the choice they made so early in life and know they made the right one – as opposed to performing a dance routine in the middle of the living room as a Super Bowl halftime show.

Not nearly as entertaining.

Why does this all seem so much like a Jack Handey moment? Deep thinking does that to a person, I guess.


6 comments so far

  1. coffeebeanqueen on

    determination to reach a goal, teamwork, and the ability to surprise your kids once and awhile? all very marketable skills, IMHO.

    I played an instrument, and though it rarely comes out from under the bed anymore, i am glad i did it.

    I think all of those expirences we had as young people shape us in how we are today. My guess is your life would have somehow been different without your cheerleading expirence.

    wow, now you are making me think deep!!! and it is my day off, i really can’t have that!

    Peace to you!

  2. hishairwasperfect on

    I finally made it over to the new site. Yes, our early choices are so important…I suppose thats why we push our kids so hard to make the right choices eh? I wish I had more time to read more, but its been a busy year….i’ll be back.

  3. bigdogmompam on

    I don’t think you’re giving your cheerleading past enough credit. I’d bet that it’s because of your cheerleading background that you did so well with George’s fitness challenge. I’m actually proud that you can still do the routines and wow the kiddos all these years later! I think the kiddos are proud of all your accomplishments – cheerleading, business woman, CCD teacher.

    But I do see your point about giving kids skills they will need in their future. But it’s also important to give them the chance to be a kid.

  4. incognitocatholic on

    @cbq – how nice! Yeah, determination and the ability to surprise the kiddos has to amount for something. But truly, I always wanted to learn an instrument and even self-taught on the piano a wee bit. Too bad it didn’t work out – that just always bugged me. Thanks for your words of wisdom!

    @hhwp – WOW! I’m pleasantly surprised to see your comment and can’t thank you enough for posting after all this time. Hope you’re doing well these days and will pop in every now and then? That would be most excellent. 🙂

    @bdmp – I’d love to give myself more credit for the rah-rah’ing of the past but can’t seem to find a place for it in my present life. Maybe I need to pursue coaching, or something like that. Anyway, thank you so much for your motivating post. It’s like I didn’t waste my time at all! (My mom would agree w/you 100%.)

  5. mznadine420 on

    Yes I believe that being active in childhood groups are good for endeavors later in life. Cheerleading has it’s merits. Teamwork, pride and passion, and let’s not forget flexibility. That one I really miss…a lot! It seems frivilous and let intelligent than piano or boy scouts.

    And I like Mike Meyers too…I think it’s time for him to grow up and stop playing with his penis.

  6. incognitocatholic on

    @mznadine420 – Thank you, as always, for your profound thoughts. Now if MM could leave his penis out of DVD’s, the world would be a much better place. 😀

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