Today was my last home basketball game as an OKWU cheerleader.
I have wanted to be a cheerleader since I was in the fourth grade. We had a “cheer squad” at recess back then. Of course, all the popular girls (who I wanted to be just like) were in charge of it and I joined because like I said, I wanted to be just like them. But somewhere along the way, I fell in love with cheerleading.
I got to cheer during recess for that year but when I started getting older and entering the world where I could actually try out for a real cheer squad my parents, and God too I guess, wouldn’t let me. There were lots of reasons why but namely the fact that those girls weren’t the role models I should be following after. It took me a lot more years to figure this out and be okay with it, but I was always sad that I didn’t get to cheer.
Dancing around the house was a normal occurrence for me – still is really – and it is something I have always loved. I don’t know what it was about cheering, besides the popular girls being a part of it, that made me want to do it so badly. It was just a dream I always had. It was a dream I had to let go of at some point during high school when I realized it was never going to happen for me.
But even after I resigned to have my cheerleading glory days contained solely in fourth grade recess I would watch the cheerleaders at every sporting event I ever went to, though they were few and far between as I’m not particularly a sports fan.
To my surprise, when I came to college, though my dreams of cheering had long since been put to rest, they got resurrected again.
It was the beginning of my sophomore year and there where rumors circulating that there was a cheer squad starting up at OKWU. I remember
calling my dad to ask him to pray about whether or not I was supposed join the team. When he told me yes I jumped up and down in my room and almost cried with happiness.
My dream was coming true. Nearly ten years later, my dream was coming true.
It was such a sweet blessing to receive something I had so long prayed for and thought God had answered “no” to. Little did I know that His “yes” just wasn’t in my timing. Sound familiar? The timing part, not the cheerleading part.
Today, three years of cheerleading later, my dream has come to an end. I cheered my last home game, got to walk across the court with my parents and grandparents and be honored as a senior in a sport – something I never thought would happen to me being that I don’t really do sports – and complete something that I have so long dreamed of.
It was a beautiful moment for me.
My years of cheerleading have had their ups and downs. Sometimes we hadn’t practice in weeks because of snow, there was some cheerleader drama (which actually happened rarely – a benefit of cheering in college and not middle school), or we cheered six games in one week and my feet hurt so bad I thought they would fall off. But for me it was mostly just ups because no matter what happened, I was getting to do something I loved.
I lived a dream and an answered prayer, and I couldn’t be more thankful.
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(I’m adding a ton of pictures, mostly because we take a ton, but partly to remind me of all the great memories.)