Conditioning practice–two dreaded words thrown recklessly about by your coach far too often. You know that your coach wants to get the most out of practice time and means well, but there’s just no mercy when it comes to conditioning. You definitely need to walk tomorrow… but how? You wish cheerleading scientists could invent in a lab a whole new way to go full out without putting in the initial training, but that would be too easy. And you know it. And that day hasn’t come yet, so you report to conditioning practice on time and with a heavy heart. However, no matter how much you want to hate it, you know deep down that there are certain things about conditioning practices that you love. Don’t worry: we won’t tell your teammates how you do, in fact, enjoy running those drills!

The number one most beloved thing about conditioning practices is an obvious one–the results! It’s not just the results you see in your routine, it’s the results you see in your health and wellness. Who wouldn’t be stoked to be so swoll? Your muscles become more defined, your energy levels rocket to an all-time high, and as a result, you feel more confident about yourself. Cheerleading causes your self-esteem to escalate for several reasons, and feeling good about yourself is a main one. Also, by participating in conditioning drills, your body begins to work more efficiently: it not only fights off disease better with a heightened immune system, but also makes you less susceptible to injury. If your muscles are all regularly engaged through conditioning, then your body is working with a better framework when you accidentally land wrong during a stunt, for instance.

When your body is pushed heavily during a workout, it shocks your system enough to burn fat, up your adrenaline levels, and release a large amount of endorphins throughout your body which make you feel happy. You know that elated feeling at the end of conditioning practice when you feel like you can run up a mountain, even though you just burned off a whole day’s calories? Well, that’s not just because your coach says conditioning day is over; it’s that fun endorphin surge rocketing through your system making you feel on top of the world.

You probably don’t realize it, but conditioning practices stand as much more than a mere workout. Each conditioning practice is a team-bonding event. That may sound silly to you, especially since you usually train so hard that you have literally zero chance to talk to any of your teammates until after practice. The lack of socializing aside, conditioning still constitutes team bonding due to the fact that you all despise it equally–it’s the lowest common denominator of cheerleading. Nobody will ever want it, ask for it, look forward to it, or enjoy it. The loathing makes it a team unifier, and the fact that you all struggle through it together makes it uniting.

Lastly, you love conditioning practice because it reminds you–each and every time–that you’re on the road to achieving your goals. Whether those goals are based in your personal life or they are team-oriented, it’s the fact that you are pushing yourself towards progress that matters. Having definitive goals and being able to cross them off in time is the best feeling in the world, so maybe don’t cringe so hard the next time conditioning practice rolls around.

What do you secretly love about conditioning practice? Tell us in the comments below!