While chatting with my Beloved Cheertator yesterday at work, I happened upon a revelation. Moving to Chicago has been somewhat of a forced Cheerleading Detox, along with the forced realization that I was firmly addicted. Since I wasn’t able to join the Chicago Spirit Brigade due to practices being on Sunday (the Lord’s day for brunch, also I travel a hell of a lot of weekends) and haven’t found an all star team that allows anyone over 18 to join, I’ve been without cheer in my life for over 3 months now. And I’m starting to feel it, and not going to lie, fiend for it a little bit.

Going from balancing Cheer San Francisco, Premier All Male and group stunt practices with Tap That, along with work, family and friends who weren’t involved in cheerleading in some way (I had a pretty damn busy life in San Francisco. I’m not even going to mention dating, cause it never happened, and now I know why.) to Chicago where I work three days a week, my only formal obligation, has been somewhat of a life shock.

Detox hasn’t been easy. For a long time the past 4 years, conversations have usually included talk of cheerleading of some sort and now, I’m at a general loss for how to socialize with the world. I’m not a total social nitwit, but I think I may just be out of practice from making new friends. That whole, finding something in common thing, proves a bit more difficult than I remember. Luckily most of the people I’ve met here are raging homos, so we can always talk about sex and Designing Women.

What to talk about with the other people I meet, I have no freaking idea.

So what did I do before cheerleading? Before watching hours of Maddie Gardner (and spending even more hours making that stunt happen) and Top Gun Allstars, talking about baskets, dance sequences and motions? I uh…sometimes I would…uh…

So what do I do now? What shall I talk about? Weather, eh. Video games, not well versed in anything other than original Nintendo and really only specifically, Super Mario Bro’s 3. Anime, negative ghost rider, never caught on to that one. Politics, God no, the last thing you want to hear about is the way I vote. Religion, fuck that, its much easier to steer clear, cause people get preachy and when people get preachy, I get punchy. Which leaves me with, Pop Culture and gossip.

Fuck me gently with a chainsaw.

The only things I’ve got to talk about are tween movies and the last time I cried watching Animal ER. FML. But, I’m a smarty, I know I’ll figure something out. I’ve been able to go out with a few different groups of people and keep the awkward silences to a minimum, and I’m getting better.

Of course, I still keep cheer videos on my phone, but they’re really only for me. But maybe I should take them off. I don’t think you can fully detox if you still have your addiction lying around in hidden places. Then again, I still haven’t given up on cheerleading, and I tell myself, I’m just taking a break. Yeah, thats it. I don’t have to fully detox, cause it’s just a break. Lord knows I need it after doing this.


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