Saturday, March 16, 2013

It's been a while

I started this blog as a school project my senior year of high school and after graduation forgot about it. However, today I decided to log on to find some cheering videos that I had posted and found that some people had commented on a post about cheerleading diet and exercise plans.

First off, I am now cheering at the college level and am currently a sophomore. I am still a flyer and the top girl in most of our two-level stunts, meaning that I am being held by other flyers who are being held by bases. I've also learned to do back-tuck baskettosses, switch-ups (tick-tocks), and full-ups. Along with practices, we also do work-out with the colleges athletic trainer twice a week.

Most of our work out are focused around strength training right now, so I also like to go on runs on our off days. I will usually run about two miles or mix it up with a mile run and then alternate between sprints and walking for the second mile. As for our strength work-outs, we do a lot with 8 pound weights. We do different exercises for chest and back, usually only 1 or 2 sets of 12. However, I can't seem to find pictures of the types of exercises we do, but I found this no-gym, no-equipment work-out which works just as good and we also incorporate a lot of these moves into our work-outs.

Along with this routine add in some simple crunches and planks (start at 30 seconds till that becomes easy then try for a minute, and so on as each amount of time becomes easier). The key to keep making improvements is to never let your body become bored with a work-out so after doing something for a few weeks and if it's becoming too easy, add more weight or more sets / time. Along with this, if your running routes becoming to easy try incorporating more hills into your route or go an extra half mile. 

As for a diet plan, keep in mind that I am in college and trying to eat healthy in a college cafeteria / planning meals around my class times. 

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
Breakfast (7 a.m.) - 1 pack of instant oatmeal (Quaker Weight Control Variety Pack)
Morning Snack (10 a.m.) - 1 banana or apple and 15 almonds (no salt)
Lunch (12 p.m.) - sandwich (wheat bread with either provolone cheese, hummus, and cucumber or with turkey and mustard)
Afternoon Snack (3 p.m.) - either carrots or celery
Dinner (6 p.m.) - a salad with grilled chicken and lots of veggies with oil / vinegar dressing 

Tuesday and Thursday
Breakfast (7 a.m.) - 1 Yoplait greek yogurt
Morning Snack (10 a.m.) - 1 Kashi trail mix granola bar
Lunch (12 p.m.) - a salad with grilled chicken and parmesan cheese with Ken' fat free raspberry vinaigrette dressing
Afternoon Snack (3 p.m.) - 1 apple
Dinner (6 p.m.) - soup (whatever the cafeteria is serving, usually some sort of variation on chicken noodle) and some steamed veggies 

I only drink water and carry a bottle with me at all times; I try to drink 6 bottles a day. The only other beverage I drink is coffee (black) and green tea is also a good choice. To sum it all up, sugar and salt are a no-no, and always choose fresh food over processed.

Hope this answers the questions people had about diet and exercise plans for cheerleaders!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Goodbye to a Friend

Yesterday we had to put our dog, Tanner, to sleep. It was sudden and unexpected; we were supposed to take him home after his visit to the vet but that didn't happen. He started throwing up Thursday night so we took him to the vet on Friday. He had x-rays done which showed a blockage in his intestines and they referred us to an animal hospital to get whatever was in there removed. When we took him on Saturday to the animal hospital, they told us that he had lymphoma and that the blockage was a bunch of tumors. They gave us the option to put him through chemo and surgery but it was not guaranteed that the treatment would fix him. So we decided to put him down to end his suffering. He was always a happy and energetic dog, even in his last moments he was wagging his fluffy tail. I'll miss being greeted at the door every time I come home, but he's in a better place now.

R.I.P. Tanner
July 4, 2004 - June 4, 2011

Saturday, May 28, 2011

High School Competition Squad of the Week

Chattahoochee High School 2010-2011 Competition Squad

This small squad of only 12 girls, with a crazy name, proves that you don't need a lot of girls to rock the floor. With some creativity, this squad pulled off stunts that normally would be done by a larger squad. Even though they placed second at this competition, they still did an amazing job.

We Do More Than You Think

,Today was my first day back to the work force. After a long school year, it was time to put my lifeguard suite and whistle back on and sit up in that chair. This will be my third year guarding and I'd like to fill you in on 15 things we lifeguards won't tell you, according to

1. We clean the bathrooms ...
Everyday my duties include wiping down sinks, cleaning mirrors, and the extremely dreaded chore of cleaning the toilets.

2. ... and run the concession stand

3. We can't watch everyone
 "Even the best lifeguards can miss something while watching a crowded beach with over 200 swimmers. Never assume that the lifeguards will do their job perfectly."
-- Noah, a Jersey Shore ocean lifeguard for more than 10 years

4. Our pool shouldn't smell like chlorine

5. We don't always clear the pool after an "accident" ...

6. ... and if we do, it's not always real
 "At one point, a fellow lifeguard and I sank a Snickers bar so we could have an hour break and make everyone clear the pool. It was the best time ever ... we ordered lunch from a local pizza shop."
-- Alan, a Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, lifeguard for two years

7. We need you to watch your kids

8. We swim after we eat

9. Thunder is our best friend
On days when we know that there is a chance of a thunderstorm, all the guards pay especially close attention to the sky and for thunder. The second we think we hear some, even if it might be a passing truck, we clear the pool. And we're not letting you back in for 30 minutes.
10. We hate floaties
"Arm floaties or swimsuits with life jacket-like belts sewn in are, in fact, dangerous. It's a false sense of security. An arm floatie can pop and strand a weak swimmer far from a wall or shallow water. The life jacket belts can just as easily hold a kid upside down on the surface as right side up. There is no replacement for teaching your kids water safety skills and keeping a close watch."
-- Mary, a San Francisco lifeguard for 10 years

11. The thought of doing CPR scares us

12. We know when you drop your kids off
"If you're leaving your children at the pool for more than four hours every day, we're going to be on a first-name basis and know your entire life story -- even if we've never met you."
-- Greg, a Texas lifeguard and pool manager for five years

13. We have rules for a reason

14. We care about tan lines
Although highly discouraged by medical experts everywhere, tanning is a part of sitting in the sun all day. So it makes sense that lifeguards are the unofficial experts.

15. We're still kids ourselves
 I started life guarding when I was 16 years old.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Genetic Testing To Find Your Inner All-Star

I tried gymnastics, cheerleading, basketball, and field hockey before I decided to stick with cheerleading. Most children, like me, will have tried at least three different sports by the time they are in middle school. According to The Washington Post, two companies have begun selling tests that claim to help match kids with the sports they are genetically programmed to play best.

The DNA scans, the first of an expected wave of attempts to use genes to enhance athletic performance, can steer children toward games they are most likely to win and perhaps get scholarships to play, the companies say. The tests also let children and adults tailor workouts to their innate skills, the firms say, as well as spot those prone to life-threatening heart problems, concussions and other injuries. “The main purpose of the test is to maximize performance in the minimum amount of time and minimize risk,” said Bill Miller, chief executive of American International Biotechnology
Services in Richmond, which began selling the test three weeks ago.

Critics, however, see the kits as the latest in a flood of questionable genetic tests that entrepreneurs are hawking. No one can accurately gauge the influence of genes on athletic abilities or vulnerabilities, they say. The results may be needlessly alarming or falsely reassuring, they say. Skeptics also fear that the trend will encourage overzealous parents and coaches to push kids into sports they dislike or discourage them from physical activities they enjoy and might succeed at despite their genes.

“This is really disturbing,” said Lainie Friedman Ross, a pediatrician and bioethicist at the University of Chicago. “Sports and physical activity should be fun for kids. It shouldn’t be, ‘You’re going to be the world’s greatest athlete’ or ‘Give up now, kid, because you won’t have a chance’ because of your genes.”

This seems like an article straight from the movie GATTACA. While our genes might hold some secrets into which sports we will be best at, I see more bad coming out of these tests than good. What if everyone is made to get these tests done before becoming part of a varsity sport? And what if their test comes back saying that they are not a good match for the sport? Can the coaches discriminate against them and not even let them tryout? I feel like this would become a big issue, because lets face it, sports coaches are out there to put together the best team possible and if someones genetic test says they're not a good match for the sport then coaches are probably going to cut them. Also, these tests take away the experiences a child gets from trying new sports. These experiences teach a child to persevere and how to fail. But with all those pushy parents out there, who want their child to be a super-star athlete, these tests might be done more often then we'd expect.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

High School Competition Squad of the Week

Grave County High School Competition Squad 2011

This coed squads performance at the 2011 UCA National Championships looked more like that of a collegiate squad than a high school squad. Grave County definitely used their man power to their advantage, using them for their amazing stunting and tumbling abilities to set them apart from the other coed squads. They received the title of National Champs in the Large Varsity coed division. With this title they became the second team to win the division 3 years in a row. Also, the second team to win the division 5 times.

International All-Levels Championship

Varsity All-Star created this program in order to give all squads, no matter what level, a chance win a first place title. During the competitive season, squads qualified at over 400 partner events.

Watch the --eightpart award show on Varsity TV. The show includes highlights from every level. And who knows, maybe the hosts will mention your squad if you participated in this event.