One of the best things, we assume, about being a non-cheerleader is that when you're sick you can actually stay home from school. You wouldn't necessarily mind staying home and skipping school when you're sick, but schools usually have a rule about not being able to attend practice if you weren't at school. So while regular kids stay home and watch E! True Hollywood Story on DVR all day long, you sniffle your way through classes so you don't miss practice.
We get it. You're hardcore. If you have a few breathes in you, you'll be out there. But that's not always best for the team. If you have a bad cold, continuing to cheer is probably OK. You'll just be kind of miserable due to not being able to breathe/talk normally, and you probably shouldn't share water bottles with anyone. But there are times when you're too sick to compete. Here's a guide:
- You're too weak to function. If you haven't been able to keep food down for an extended period of time, like a couple days, you don't have the energy to compete. Even with that competition adrenaline rush that will normally numb a sprained ankle, you can't fight not having any energy whatsoever. Know what else you might not be able to do? Catch your flyer, land your jump, complete your back handspring, etc. That's not really a risk you—or your team—wants to take. If you haven't been able to eat in a couple days, take one for the team and sit this one out.
- You're too nauseated. If you've been...you know, revisiting what you last ate pretty often, that might be OK. Plenty of people get sick from nerves right before or after their performance. However, if your stomach has been pretty active and you think there's a good chance you might get sick during the performance, it's probably a good idea to not put you or your team in that position. While your dedication would be admirable, the judges probably won't be impressed.
How do you decide if you're too sick to cheer?
- You're contagious. Being on a team means sharing a lot of things, and colds are one of them. It's unfortunate and annoying, but that's just how it goes. (Of course, you can drink a lot of water, eat healthy, and get plenty of sleep to keep your defenses up.) While all getting the same cold is almost a tradition for any kind of team, there are some things you shouldn't pass onto your teammates, like a severe flu, for example. Not only will a bad flu most likely meet the first two requirements for sitting out, but it will also not win you any teammate of the month awards. Be a good friend and stay home if you're experiencing things you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy.
(Images from Giphy)