Let’s talk about the importance of the stereotypical cheerleader. I know the sport of cheerleading has many meanings. I was that girl in high school on the competitive team where each athlete had to have the skills of a gymnast balanced by the stamina of a marathon runner and the strength of a weight lifter. We trained and trained and competed in local, regional, and national competitions.

But this is not that. This is the other side of cheerleading. The side that drew me to the sidelines of football and basketball games season after season, year over year, both as a cheerleader and as a cheerleading coach.

When I was a child, I would watch adults immerse themselves in sports, and one trait always emerged in every game.


In every sport where there are cheerleaders and dancers or both cheerleaders and dancers on the sidelines, there are also people in the audience hoping their team wins. And one side will leave victorious and the other will not. But that is the beauty of sports—beyond the moments sacrificed for hours of training, the competition has a way of instilling hope in the viewers and the players.

I found an image on Instagram that says, “She builds others up because she knows what it’s like to be torn down.”

I love this image. I live by this image. I have won and I have lost, and still, I entered each competition—game—with hope.

I love hope. Hope means there is possibility, and I never want to lose that feeling.

So this year-end, I made a Ta-da List for 2017. I took the time to be my own cheerleader and I reminded myself that whether big or small, memorable or insignificant, I achieved many goals this year, even when it didn’t feel like it, even when it might have felt like I was losing. Even when I thought there wasn’t hope for a different outcome.

And beyond that, because I love lists, I’m making two more for the upcoming year: My Hope List for 2018 and My Adventure List for 2018. Some people make resolutions, some choose a word to be their word for that year, and me… well, for this year, I have two words to remind me of the direction I choose to live: hope and adventure.

So what about you? Do you make lists? Have any New Year’s resolutions? Choose a word to help direct your year?

As always, thanks for stopping by. Thanks for finding me.

xox ~Risa


One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.