Rah, Rah, Blah

Last weekend was the first cheer competition of 2014 with our cheer gym.  There was one competition in December, and the girls’ team placed last.  This time they were against two teams, and one was a really good gym that is often in first place.  So it was amazingly awesome when the girls’ team won not just first place in their category, but also division champions for their level.  They have worked so hard, and they were so excited, and all of us parents were excited for them.  With this being Oldest One’s last year (since she will be in a different city for college) it was especially great for her team to do this well.

We also had basketball games the same day that the girls cheered at and Husband and I did concessions for.  My bottom was done with bleachers by the end of the day.  This weekend is going to be easier because we don’t have club cheer, only 5 basketball games, of which Husband and I are doing concessions for three.  Piece of cake, right?

Unless of course the cheer gym adds in yet another fundraiser that is Mandatory for the girls to attend or they get branded somehow for not being good team members.  A fundraiser that really doesn’t seem like it will make much money, but gee golly it will help to get the gym name out to the public.  And make the weekend way more difficult.

Yes, I am quite burned out on club cheer, or maybe it is just our gym.  It probably doesn’t matter what the reason is, because the reason isn’t going to change my mounting frustration and resentment for what we have to do or have the girls do, or both.  I am pretty sure any parent whose child does any club sport for years gets to this point, where we still love to watch the girls compete, but don’t enjoy the forced schedule and activities that come with it.

When we joined our cheer gym seven years ago it was (still is actually) small, was not a travel gym, and was proud that the families could have a life outside of cheer.  Today that isn’t the case.  Last year there were four out-of-town competitions.  That gets expensive fast.  This year there are only supposed to be two, but a third one is already being tossed around by the owner.  I can’t afford the third, and the timing will be awful, so I’d have to pull the girls from that one.  Besides, this third one is really more so the owner can say she took the team to a prestigious competition for a second year…nothing is ever mentioned that the bid wasn’t gained from a first place win, or how many gyms turned it down until it got to us.

I am tired of how much money it is costing now.  I’ve been told it isn’t more than previous years, but I’m pretty sure if I went back through my old check registers (don’t laugh, they are a great reminder of what you were doing once upon a time) I would find I pay substantially more than I used to.  Uniforms alone went up 112.5% for the ones we had to buy this year, and we just bought new ones 2 years ago.

Then there are the extra practices that get scheduled the girls HAVE to be at, never mind what we already planned around the existing cheer schedule.  Or the fact that the third big fundraiser is being planned, with a fourth looming in the future.  These are in addition to the little fundraisers, like selling cookie dough or pretzels.  We don’t have family to badger into participating in these fundraisers, or workplaces where it is acceptable to bug people, and I’m not hitting up my neighbors who currently like us.  Oh, but the fundraising was going to be limited this year…we’ve already exceeded what was done last year.

Don’t get me wrong, Husband and I never tire of watching our girls compete, and we are always there to cheer them on.  We know that being in a club sport has benefitted the girls, and helped them grow into confident teenagers.  I would just like to be in the gym we originally joined, and not part of a gym trying to be something it isn’t.  My family has been proud of being in club cheer, and over the years we have had a lot of fun doing it.  So if it isn’t fun for us, the parents, and if one of the two girls isn’t having fun, maybe it is time to evaluate if this is really for us anymore.