The Cheerleader

It had been a full twenty years since Kimmie Marsden had to pull off a pyramid, high flying basket toss, thigh stand or cobra, but she still considered herself to be one of the best cheerleaders going.  The outfit she used to wear back in her days at Deep Valley High was no longer required (Thank God!), but the same level of enthusiasm was mandatory.

“Ladies, I’ve been thinking,” she said to her girlfriends over their annual New Year’s Eve lunch.  “We should all commit to something big next year.”

“You mean, like a New Year’s Resolution?” her longest and dearest friend, Marcy asked.  “Those things never work.”

“Yeah, those things never work,” her other friends, Jacqueline and Sheryl both agreed.

“I’m not talking about New Year’s Resolutions.  I’m talking about game changers; things that could really change our lives for the better.  And I bet that with each other’s help, we could succeed.”

That Kimmie, always the bright ray of sunshine; just as you would expect a cheerleader to be.  For awhile, she hadn’t been as positive as she was at that luncheon.  Life had got to her, just as it had for her friends and millions of others.  Grown up obligations replaced carefree school days, loved ones passed away, dreams were laughed at or shattered…over time it seemed better to play it safe than to take risks.  But over the past few months, Kimmie felt a shift in the way she thought.  Wasn’t the definition of crazy doing the same things over and over and expecting different results?  If she wanted things to improve, if her girlfriends wanted things to improve, then they were going to have to stop waiting for their fairy godmother to come along and save themselves.

“What if we became each other’s support team?” she continued. “If one of us feels like giving up, there will be three other people waiting to prop that person up.  Come on!  Are any of us one hundred percent happy with our lives?  Then let’s do something about it!  Marcy, surely there is something you’d like to do.”

“Well, I’ve always dreamt of learning Spanish,” she said sheepishly.

“Do it!  Jacks, what about you?”

“Um, you know how everyone’s always saying what a great baker I am?  I sometimes thing it would be fun to have my own bakery.”

“You totally should!  How about you, Sheryl?”

“This probably sounds silly, but I’d love to train for a marathon,” she said.  “How about you?”

“I’d love to coach cheerleading at my daughter’s school, but I’ve always been too afraid to go in and ask on account of the weight I’ve gained over the years.  But I bet I can lose it, and I bet you three can accomplish your goals, too.  What do you say?”

They all gave an enthusiastic “Yes!” and agreed to meet once a month to share their progress.  If someone hit a wall before their monthly get together, they’d be free to call any of the other three ladies and get the pep talk they needed.

One year later, the three ladies had much to celebrate.  Marcy learned enough Spanish to backpack across Spain.  Jacqueline secured a small business grant and opened her own bread store.  Sheryl had successfully run her first marathon and was looking forward to running more.  Kimmie, everyone’s favourite cheerleader, lost the weight and started sharing her love of the sport with her daughter and her classmates.

They didn’t change the world by committing to a goal, but they did change their world and that’s a good place to start.





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