Cheering Through Life’s Seasons

Discussion in 'Cheer News' started by jenni.parrish, May 22, 2012.

  1. jenni.parrish

    jenni.parrish Guest

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    [​IMG]On December 5, 2003, while driving due west, I witnessed the most beautiful sunset ever; the colors—pink, blue and orange—were all swirled together like a jarred sand sculpture you make as a child.
    That was the night my husband died and I thought the sun was setting forever. Only 27 years old and seven months pregnant with my first son, my heart carried the weight of grief and uncertainty. I remember the tears that soaked my shirt and my swollen belly beneath.
    My son was going to need a cheerleader – in the most fundamental sense of the word.
    Someone to cheer for him.
    Someone to lead him.
    Someone to support him.
    My resolve was tested at an early age. And I’m thankful for that. I’m thankful that through an excruciating challenge, I was able to tap into life lessons and outlooks that were forged as an adolescent; many of them learned through cheerleading. I now have clarity of what’s really important in life, and I have the rest of mine to gratefully and joyfully align my view of the world with longstanding values and principles – and support those around me in the process.
    Cheerleading develops the skills that last a lifetime: Leadership, determination, commitment, and support for those you cherish through all of life’s seasons.
    Focusing on others feels good.
    You learn that in cheerleading.

    Providing leadership with your actions, your words, your thoughts, your hopes and dreams.
    You learn that in cheerleading.
    Being an advocate for those who don’t always have a voice.
    You learn that in cheerleading.
    Knowing that a loss today isn’t indicative of the future successes or failures.
    You learn that in cheerleading.
    Optimism is essential.
    You learn that in cheerleading.

    Hard work pays off.
    You learn that in cheerleading.

    Attitudes are contagious.
    You learn that in cheerleading.

    These are all principles you learn in cheerleading.
    My life has changed dramatically since that December day. My eight-year-old son—introduced to the world during a tumultuous time—has the heart of an angel, and an extraordinary can-do spirit that will pave his way forward.
    I’m remarried to a man who inspires me daily, and we have a three-year-old son who embodies all my greatest hopes.
    The story of my life is ongoing. There have been chapters punctuated with grief and others filled with overwhelming bliss. But one constant, woven into every paragraph, is the outlook of eternal optimism. There will be more setbacks, but there are none I can’t overcome.
    I learned that in cheerleading.
    – Jenni Parrish