This school year has been busier than previous ones mostly because the kids have gotten more involved in extracurricular activities, such as field hockey, in addition to their regular saxophone, piano and swimming lessons. Plus, our church has been offering more activities for them so we try to get to those as much as possible. On any given week, our Google Calendar is a rainbow of color; I color code per family member to help me keep track of who is who and what is what. Jon is green, I’m red, Maria is blue, Lucia is pink and Christopher is purple, all our favorite colors, making it easy to quickly identify. The vast majority of the pink entries have to do with Lucia’s new favorite activity, cheerleading.
One day last spring, Lucia came home and said, “Mom, I want to be a cheerleader.” Just out of the blue. I asked her if her friends were doing it and she said, no. I asked her if she knew what it entailed and she said, no. So, over the summer she enrolled in a FUNdamentals cheerleading camp to see what the sport was all about. She ended up not only completing that six-week session, but also participating in a weeklong cheer camp, too. After seeing that she was enjoying it so much, I asked the gym what her options would be going forward. They suggested she join a competitive prep team. Fast forward a few months and she’s in the midst of training for her first competition with Little Winds, a mini prep team with girls ages 5 to 8.
She tumbles, stunts and dances. They have a routine they are working on and they spend two hours every Sunday perfecting it. A couple of weeks ago, they participated in their first exhibition and they did really well! It was their first time in front of judges and a crowd. In addition to the Sunday practice, she also has the opportunity to enroll in extra classes during the week or clinics with nationally-recognized cheer coaches, such as the one she took part in this morning to work on her tumbling skills. All in all, it’s a lot of time and resources but I can see the payoff. She’s learning to work as part of a team, meeting new friends and developing good discipline.
Come January, we’ll be starting a four-month long series of competitions and exhibitions, some as far away as Erie, Pennsylvania and Buffalo, New York. If she continues with the sport, she may even have the opportunity to travel to bigger U.S. cities and even Canada. Time will tell.
The cheer gym she is a part of is called CNY Storm, an all-star gym with the distinction of being the first in New York State when it opened in 1996. I had done a great deal of research before deciding to enroll her here. It’s run by a mother-daughter team with a great deal of experience. I was in awe of the championship banners throughout the gym and how friendly the other cheerleaders and parents were. While it’s been a challenge learning the all-star cheerleading scene and all that is expected and all that goes on, it’s been interesting and fun! I’ve even met a few new people!
Developing a new hobby is a little bit like searching for that elusive amazing wine that you haven’t experienced before. It can take time and resources to find a good one. I read Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast, as well as follow hundreds of wine influencers, distributors, winemakers and enthusiasts like me. It’s the main way I learn about new wine, and hear about ones to try. Tonight, I’ll be trying a new Barolo I picked up at Maximum Wine and Liquor this morning. Plus, I’m certain there will be lots of wine when we go on those cheerleading trips next spring. The other cheer moms and I are already planning! Give “cheers” a whole new meaning!