2020 – The Cheer Year That Wasn’t

Every single one of us is continuing to feel the impacts of our whole world crashing down around us. As the current season was put on hold, only to be eventually brought to its bitter end, we sit and wait. We try to keep positive thoughts toward the new season. We are filled with so many questions, but there are no answers, and that is the hardest part for all of us. Everything went downhill so rapidly; it is still difficult to process.

For us, out here on the west coast, it all started on a Thursday morning. We were getting prepared to travel to Phoenix, AZ to compete. Some of us were already in the air or on the road…only to receive the news that the competition was being postponed until a later date.

Then the schools shut down.

Then the gyms shut down.

Then everything shut down.

Everything. Shut. Down.

We were all left simply waiting for this whole pandemic to clear up. We were all so excited for the season, as this was to be the first time in our small gym’s history where every elite team had earned a bid to D2 Summit. For some kids, it would have been their first time…and for some others, it would have been their last time.  For a while, there was still some glimmer of hope, as Varsity was pushing out the event to a later date with the expectation that things would get back to normal eventually. However, for safety reasons, teams had already decided to end their season and not continue to put their athletes through the agonizing waiting game. With the Worlds and Summit events ultimately being cancelled, we all had to come to the realization that the season was over. Just done!

About two weeks into the quarantine, I woke up in the middle of the night to my daughter screaming and crying. Everything had finally hit her and sent her right into a nervous breakdown. I felt helpless. I can handle my own world crashing down, but my kid’s world crashing down is a whole lot worse, especially when I have no answers or wisdom to give. This is new territory for all of us. We have no answers. We have no idea when, if ever, things will get back to normal. As a parent, not being able to help your kid is the hardest thing. At times I feel like I am letting her down, as I cannot assure her of anything at this point. All I can do is try to be strong and try to find the positives in this horrible nightmare.

Cheer gyms across the country took to having virtual meetings and classes via Zoom, which did help a bit to bring the athletes together…kind of. Any little bit of joy…I will take it!

In my own world, I have been going through a lot of challenges as well. At my job, I was told to grab what I needed and leave the building. A few weeks later, many of my co-workers were told their services were no longer required. My own world was also crashing down, and I have often been on the verge of a meltdown myself.

As I am writing this, we still have no answers as to what the new cheer season looks like. Right now, they can’t even practice together. When I try to comfort my daughter, all I can tell her is that we must take things day by day and see what happens. It is a cheap cop-out of an answer, but it is all I’ve got.

I have so many friends with kids graduating from high school, from college, kids going to college on sports scholarships, etc. My own daughter was looking forward to getting her driver’s license in a couple months. All these milestones that should be celebrated in a huge way…. gone. Drive-by parades and such are nice and all, and we do participate in those, but our kids deserve so much more. So much has been taken away from them.

I want to be able to look my daughter in the eye and tell her it will all be over soon, and everything will be all right. Unfortunately, I cannot do that, and I hate it.

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2020 – The Cheer Year That Wasn’t Every single one of us is continuing to feel the impacts of our whole world crashing down around us. As the current season was put on hold, only to be eventually brought to its bitter end, we sit and wait. We try to keep...