If you’re reading this blog, I think most of us would agree that cheerleading is an activity unlike any other. The bonds I have created, the memories I have made and the experiences I have gone through have all been simply better because of cheerleading. Over the years, I have also discovered that being involved with this sport can help offer magical healing powers for whatever you are going through. I recently spoke with Stephanie, a cheer mom from Texas, who wanted to share her story with me about what cheerleading has done for her life and her daughter’s life. And now, I want to share her story with you.
Maddie is an eight-year-old cheerleader at the world famous Cheer Athletics All Stars. After taking gymnastics for two years, she decided to make the switch to cheerleading and now tells her mother that she wants to be a Cheer Athletics coach when she grows up! On the outside, Maddie is an energetic, talented young girl, but her past has left her with a few scars.
Maddie is adopted and her biological mother’s drug usage has left her with a few more obstacles to overcome. She has been diagnosed with ADHD and struggles with mood disorders, such as depression, and other violent tendencies. School was not easy for Maddie. Kindergarten and first grade were difficult because many teachers labeled her as a “problem child”. For a young girl already struggling with depression and low self-esteem, this was dangerous. Thankfully, that’s when Maddie joined Cheer Athletics.
Cheerleading became Maddie’s safe haven. Instead of being labeled as a “problem child,” Maddie’s coaches and peers saw her as a talented athlete. Once she discovered this, cheerleading became much more than a hobby for her and her parents.
“Cheerleading has helped save Madeline from some of her darkest days when cheer was the only good thing that week or month- and to a parent, that means everything,” said Stephanie.
Being a part of a team has helped Maddie and her family in more ways than one.
“People need to know that cheer is a positive sport. I also believe that parents should not be afraid to admit we need help and we are not perfect or be embarrassed to admit that. Maybe more cheer family members will read this blog and relate and know they are not alone,” said Stephanie.