I have no rhythm. For some reason, when guys used to see me on the dance floor, they’d think I’d be a great dance partner. The only time I can dance is if I am intoxicated. 😉 I share all this to emphasize my inability to move my body and hear the beat. So you can imagine how hard it was for me when becoming a cheerleader when I was in Middle School. I have no idea how I made the cheerleading squad; maybe they needed diversity or felt bad for me. I definitely showed no signs of adding value to their team. Despite this known fact, I worked my behind off to learn how to cheerlead and dance. (By the way, cheerleading is a sport! ;)) I drew stick figures to learn the routines and practiced all the time. I didn’t become a talented cheerleader, but I definitely became a better one! During an award ceremony, I was awarded “most improved.” I remember thinking, “Gosh, that sounds like a bad award to have…” In my mind, and what I highly prized, would have been a “most valuable player” award. To me, the award I received sounded invaluable and in a way, generalized. When given the award, my coaches told me, “Please take this the right way. We have seen you improve immensely since you first joined the squad. Keep up the good work!” Their comments never sunk in until I reflected back on it in my mid-20s. They were right; to be acknowledged and viewed as “most improved” speaks volumes! It shows my determination, hard work, and perseverence to become a better person/ cheerleader. Many times I wanted to give up because my lack of rhythm made learning to dance and cheer even harder to master. I did end up becoming a valuable cheerleader in High School when I became a mounter (the girl who is lifted up) who never fell from a mount during competition. Big deal!! Looking back, I celebrate that award for it is a high honor to receive it. Now, as a mother, I recently went through the same award scenario, but in a much more informal way. The other day, one of my girl friends acknowledged my growth as a mother. I didn’t need specifics; somehow I knew what she meant and has observed. I feel it myself. I have improved in this role by changing my perspective and attitude, and allowing the journey to grow me. Although I wouldn’t mind receiving a “mother of the year” award, I’ve learned to embrace my own “most improved” award in this realm of my life.
How do you view the word “improve” when it pertains to your personal growth?