For some reason, my high school stories seem to be the most popular posts, at least according the stats.

Here is one about how I became a cheerleader, and how I almost died.

Yes, I could have died. Well, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but it’s a stuck-on point, for sure.

Like every other girl that went to my school, I tried out for junior high cheerleader in the sixth grade. And again, like a lot of girls, I didn’t make the squad. I didn’t try out again until the 11th grade.

I still remember when I found out.

After try-outs, I’d went with my health class to a conference. On the bus ride home, a classmate who’d been cheering her entire life called the cheer coach to find out details.

“Well, what is it?,” another girl asked.

My classmate told us who’d got the head position, who was co-head, and who’d been cut. She said nothing about me. I knew I hadn’t made it.

“What about me?,” I asked.

“Oh yea, of course you made it.” She’d said it like it was so obvious.

I was on cloud 153. I’d was going to be popular. I was going to be a cheerleader!

That summer came, and we sold donuts and went to cheerleading camp at UA. I was on top of the world. My own world, granted, but still.

Then came that fall. Since our school didn’t have football, we cheered at all of the basketball games. One day, we were practicing out in the courtyard of our school.

Being one of the smaller cheerleaders, I’d been practicing all summer to build – to be the one at the top of the pyramid, so to speak. That day, we were practicing an extension, where I’d go straight up to extend to the top of their outstretched arms.

I remember exactly what happened before the build.

A dark green ’67 Mustang drove by the school.

“Ready, one, two, up.”

Then I fell.


I awoke and it my alarm clock. I didn’t want to go to school that day, and I wasn’t getting out of bed.

“Where does your dad work?”

Do, huh, what now?

“Where does your dad work?” Why on Earth is someone asking me where my dad works? And why is my alarm clock made of grass?

Fifteen minutes later: “Who is the president? What year is it?”

“What hospital are you in?” How was I supposed to know what hospital I was in if I’d been in the back of an ambulance with no windows the entire time?

I was fine. I had to wear a neck brace and had apparently had a grand mal seizure, but I was good. I was even up and cheering again in just a few days.

It’s funny – I wouldn’t trade my cheerleading experience for anything. I loved it. That still comes up every time in “what’s the worst injury you’ve ever had?”


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