Cheerleader Karolyne Day on How #TheWorkIsWorthIt

To learn more, follow @ncacheer on Instagram and explore the hashtag #TheWorkIsWorthIt.

“You just have to love it,” says Karolyne Day (@karolyneday15) before heading onstage at the National Cheerleading Association All-Star National Championship. “It takes a lot of hours and determination to get through cheerleading. There’s a lot of pressure coming into a competition.” The 15-year-old from Houston started with her team Woodside Elite five years ago.

“We’ve been together for a few years, so we’ve all been close friends,” she says. “It helps that we’ve hung out outside of cheer and we all love the sport so much.” The intensity of a 2 ½-minute performance can be stressful so practicing stunts in the gym and exercise is crucial. “I pretty much come in almost every day.” Regardless of how stressed or tired she is, Karolyne’s passion is cheer and gymnastics tumbling. “It’s always been my stress reliever.”

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unclench your fists, my lover, the war is over now. 
     (i’ve forgotten how to uncurl my fingers from the trigger.)
be gentle, my lover, the war is over now.
     (i don’t remember what it’s like not to have gunsteel in my bones.)
come home, my lover, the war is over now.
    (i’m back at the place i left but home is gone where i cannot find it.)
sleep, my lover, the war is over now.
    (the war follows me into sleep. i’m afraid i’ll never leave it behind.)
kiss me, my lover, the war is over now.
    (my fingers still drip red and i do not want to stain you with them.)
—  teach me how to be at peace again ( j.p. )

Leaked NFL handbook reveals the sexist rules cheerleaders put up with for abysmal pay

If you want to be an NFL cheerleader in California, you’ll have to learn to keep your legs closed. 

Literally.In 2014, the Los Angeles Times released excerpts of the 2012 Raiderettes etiquette agreement. 

Mic obtained a comprehensive copy. It provides an unsettling overview of the rigid and blatantly sexist double standards cheerleaders must endure with a smile, because “negative facial expressions” are prohibited. Read more. (2/16/2017 5:00 PM)