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“Be a LEADER over your health”

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“Be a LEADER over your health”

September 8, 2023 “Be a LEADER over your health”


The way you see yourself determines how others see you. If you feel other people aren’t giving you the respect, you’d like to receive from them, then ask yourself, how are you failing to respect yourself fully? Respect from others begins with self-respect. Likewise, if others aren’t giving you the responsibility you’d like, ask yourself, where are you failing to take responsibility?  If others seem to let you down and break their promises with you, ask yourself, where are you failing to honor the promises, you make to yourself? Where are you short changing yourself?


When I was 7 years old, my aunt started taking me to the infamous Westside Cubs cheering tryouts. My family were legacies in the organization. Her daughter was an amazing cheerleader for years, and my uncles were the best coaches. There were a lot of big shoes to fill.


I had never cheered before; I was extremely tiny. I could do the splits but not the Chinese splits, I could do cartwheels, roundoff but I couldn’t do an aerial cartwheel or the back flips like most of the other girls. I wasn’t the fastest learner of cheers or routines. But what I did have was determination. I would arrive extra early to practice my flips, splits and cartwheels and sought help from whoever was willing to give me some extra training. I would practice at home for hours. I would ask lots of questions and often ask the instructors to repeat steps, that didn’t always make the other girls too happy. I was always positive even when I was feeling defeated.


When it was finally time to pick the team to see what girls made the prestigious cheering squad, we all sat in the bleachers excited and nervous. I was holding one of my girlfriend’s hands so tight, I’m sure I hurt it.  As each name was called, I cheered loudly for each person. I was genuinely proud of each person. All these girls truly deserved to be on that team. They were the best of the best. Now there were only two spots left and several girls still waiting to hear their name. The coaches stated, these last two girls will be our Captain and Co-Captains.  My thoughts, oh well I will try again next year. So, as they named the Co-Captain everyone cheered this girl had been on the cheer team for 2 years and then they said, “Our Captain is LaTasha Lewis”. I could have passed out.


They stated, LaTasha may not be the best in stunts, but she is the best leader for this team. She shows up early every day, she is always positive, motivating and encouraging others, she gives 110% at each practice, she is the loudest when cheering and although she is the smallest on the team, she has the biggest heart. I cheered from 7-14 years old, every year we had to try-out and name new leaders. Every year I was named Captain.


When I got to high school and started running track, I was named Captain my sophomore to senior year. Whether I was in Junior Achievement or nursing I was always appointed and excelled in a leadership role.


People who find themselves in positions of leadership aren’t put into those positions because they are well connected, lucky or charismatic. They are put into those positions because they have created an identity of being a person who can get things done, who can gain the trust of others, who can solve problems and get people to align around a common goal.


I know that you want others to think highly of you. Let’s face it, who doesn’t? So, if you want to up the ante on how others think of you, then up the ante on how you think of yourself. Believe in your ability to achieve great things whether in your relationships, in your job, in life or especially in your health. Refuse to settle for less than the best from yourself and you will find that commitment to yourself will filter down into every interaction you have with those around you and ultimately to the influence you have on those around you. Ask yourself these 5 questions?


Do you respect yourself?

Do you keep your promises?

Are you a person that gets things done?

Do people trust you?

Do you set goals and accomplish them, no matter how long the process takes?

Healthy ways you can show respect to yourself, keep promises, and build trust; eat the right food, drink plenty of water and get sufficient rest; show up every day for bootcamp or your personal trainer when the times are scheduled; complete the reps or sets or the exercises instead of bailing from doing them; support your teams during team activities and in individual times and set health goals daily, weekly and monthly and accomplish them.


What I learned from my cheering experience is people treat you how you treat yourself. When I walk into places where I am known, people offer me the “Best” seating, quality of food, experiences, and opportunities. They offer me these things because I do them for myself. If people offer you junk food all the time, they don’t value your health because they see that you don’t value it yourself.


So, don’t short change yourself by believing you are anything less than the magnificent, unique, one-of-a-kind person that you are. You have so much to offer the world and it would be such a shame to limit that by defining yourself as anything but the multi-talented person you truly are. Don’t let who you have been in the past determine who you are going to be in the future. Likewise, don’t let other people’s opinions of you define who you are. You get to redefine who you are for yourself and for others every day, in every moment of the day. You get to write your own story and create your own identity in the world. Create one that inspires you. Create one that is No Mess!

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