Cheerleaders come in all shapes and sizes. There are bases, backs and flyers. Sideline cheerleaders and all-star competitors. I could go on for days, but it’s pointless, because once you’ve nailed your last eight-count, you’re officially labeled an ex-cheerleader and lumped in with the rest of us.
If there’s anyone who understands the struggles of a former cheerleader, it’s Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi. The 28-year-old ended her cheerleading days when she became a cast member on Jersey Shore, but she still relives them as frequently as possible. If you’ve ever counted to eight and started back at one, you can definitely relate to these 10 signs that you’re an ex-cheerleader.
1. You can kind of still do all of the things you used to do.
Sure, you can try pulling a Herkie, but you might pop your hip out. When “Party Like a Rockstar” comes on, you swear that you still remember the halftime dance you did to it, but you forget an eight-count once it’s time to actually bust it out. Either way, your coach always told you that “can’t” is not a part of your vocabulary, so you always try your best anyway.
2. You turn any small living being into a flyer.
Toddlers, puppies, even your short friends are forced into flying when you’re feeling bored. (And if you were a flyer as a cheerleader, you’re pumped to finally be able to switch it up and base for once.)
3. You take every casual dance session way too seriously.
Your friends are sometimes annoyed by the fact that you are incapable of simply bobbing your head along to a song. You must go all out for every dance session. (Yes, that means facials, too. Blame your coach for that one.)
4. You will never get rid of old cheerleading paraphernalia.
Your warm ups, hair bows and Soffee shorts take up way too much room in your closet. Even though you’ll literally never wear any of it again (unless you’ve recently lost weight and are checking to see if they fit), you can’t part with anything.
5. You live for any conversation where you can mention that you were the captain of your team.
Captainship is not for one season. It is for life. Subtly bragging that you were voted captain is your second favorite activity. (Besides cheerleading, of course.)
Bonus points if you can add that you made varsity as a freshman.
Yep! Made Varsity freshman year and
became Captain ???? “@BreannaTaylorGa: Were you a cheerleader all 4 years in highschool ? @snooki”
— Nicole Polizzi (@snooki) April 27, 2012
6. Your future children will be cheerleaders.
You may still be years away from parenthood. You might even change your favorite baby name on a weekly basis. The one thing you’re certain of is that your children will be cheerleaders (whether they like it or not).
How early can I start my daughter in cheer?! She's already flying and her balance is on point. Let's go girl make mama proud ????????????????????????????????????????
— Nicole Polizzi (@snooki) May 2, 2016
7. When you get back together with your old cheer friends, anywhere becomes a cheer gym.
Remember when you used to worry about rolling out mats before throwing a stunt? Those days are behind you. (Sorry, coach.) Pools, beaches and basements are where retired cheerleaders practice their skills.
8. You decide you’re going to start cheerleading again like, four times every year.
Anytime you see a team of cheerleaders (even just on Instagram), you start Googling adult cheer teams in your area. The closest one is a two hour drive away, but you’re still stalking their Facebook page to see if you like their uniform.
9. No debate will ever get you as fired up as the “is cheerleading a sport?” argument.
It IS a sport. Anyone who says otherwise has clearly never suffered a concussion after being dropped out of a stunt or watched a teammate tear an ACL trying to land a jump.
No prob! Will always support cheer!! Cheered my whole life & people who say it's not a sport doesn't cheer. ❤️❤️❤️@SpinneyTaylor
— Nicole Polizzi (@snooki) March 8, 2014
Bitches, cheerleading IS a sport. @GirlCode ????
— Nicole Polizzi (@snooki) June 26, 2013
10. Thursday is your favorite day of the week, because that means you can shamelessly share your cheerleading throwback photos.
Ugh, the pain of finding a cute photo on a Monday. LOL, JK. You will show anyone your old cheerleading photos anytime you please.
*NCA Camp instructor voice* Let’s hear it for all the ex-cheerleaders!
*Disclaimer: This article was written by an ex-cheerleader who really wanted another chance to brag about being captain.