Cheer leading, typically thought of as a girls sport, or not even a sport at all, but not usually associated with males. This stereotype is very untrue. Cheerleading has tons of males involved in it, especially during the competition aspect of it. Cheer involves lifting people in the air, not throwing a 2lb ball. There are extensive workouts because it involves and requires all of your muscles to be used. A little background on myself, I have never cheered a day in my life until my senior year here at CU. I did pageants, modeled, sang, and played soccer and basketball as a young child. In high school I was competitive dancer for all four years. Again, the stereotypes of dance are untrue; it requires for a person to be conditioned and physically active. I came back to Campbell this year wanting to find a way to get active and get back in shape. Cheer I thought was a good option. Little did I know how much physical activity it entailed, I love cheering. Collegiate cheering is much different from high school and competition cheer. From the way we stunt, to the way we tumble, and also to the rules that we have to follow. One thing that differs us from competition cheer is the fact that we only get one chance to prove ourselves in the cheer world. One competition to show off all of our skills that we have worked so diligently on during the year. From my perspective I look at the football and basketball games as simple practices and ways to keep ourselves involved. Cheer is honestly based off of muscle memory, hitting the same stunt 40 times in a row, and then doing it after a month without practice and hitting it comes from muscle memory. If we are being completely honest here, my favorite part of cheering is the chants and showing spirit at the games, it’s the stunting and building relationships with people that I otherwise would not even speak to if it wasn’t for cheer. The feeling of putting on that uniform on game day is so different. Even if some may argue that statement, putting on that uniform knowing you’re a representation of your university, makes you want to go out and hit all of your stunts, and land all of your tumbling. Cheering for me isn’t just about the scholarship, or working out, or even putting the hard work in, it is honestly all about the friendships, and  being a part of something bigger. Walking around campus and people recognizing me because I stand on the field or on the court with a uniform boosts my self-esteem. Cheering during a game is so much fun because you are the one who starts the chanting, you are the one who tries to get the crowd pumped for the game. Win or lose a game, WE ARE CU! GO CAMELS!

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Written By: Austin Ivory Phelps

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