Lulu was just 4 years old, I took her to first all-star cheer gym. The gym had a little picket fence separating the sitting area from the large blue spring floor. There was no AC in the gym, the doors were open and mega fans were drowning out the noise on the floor. She stood mesmerized. Her little toes pressed against the edge of the mat. Her eyes were as large and green as I have ever seen them. She had pig-tails in her hair and she kept whipping her little head around at me and giving me the biggest smile I had ever seen. That moment is burned into my memory. Given permission, she took off her sneakers and bounded onto the spring mat with the other girls and never looked back. On that day, 4 years ago, she didn’t even know how to do a simple front roll, however she was hooked.
On that blue mat she gained confidence and skills. She grew passionate and eager. She walked out on stages of bright lights and yelling fans and she radiated happiness. She never once has been scared to take the floor. If anything she thrives on the energy and team-work. Being a cheerleader is as much a part of who she is as her own skin.
There have been many challenges and new adventures for her this year and as coaches I commend you. I was really nervous when they placed her “up” on the next level team. I wasn’t sure she was ready but your confidence in her put me as ease. Your faith in her skills and your obvious love for this team is evident every time I see one of these girls run to you for a hug or praise. The two of you have had a tremendous impact on my daughter and I can’t express to you how grateful that makes me.
And for all of that, I humbly thank you.
Thank you for making this year amazing for her. Thank you for believing in her as she blossomed under your guidance. Thank you for being gentle on her when she felt weak and needed encouragement. When you knew she had the ability but fear was standing in her way, thank you for pushing her beyond her comfort zone. Thank you for noticing when she worked extra hard, learned a new skill or took on a challenging task. Thank you for filling her days with praise.
Thank you for teaching her to accept her mistakes and giving her opportunities to try again without harsh commands or criticism. Thank you for holding her accountable to her team, for instilling the value of practice, for recognizing her potential and helping her achieve new heights. Thank you for your ability to see her inner sparkle and to make every day in the gym a positive and rewarding experience.
See you at the Summit