An NFL cheerleader at the age of 40 will be on the sidelines cheering for the New Orleans Saints this season? Talk about an inspiration to millions of women in her age group — and beyond!
Kriste Lewis from Hattiesberg, Mississippi is a mom to two boys — Jake, 14, and Rob, 11. The beautiful 40-year-old becomes an NFL cheerleader at a time when youth is widely prized in American culture. She has literally defied the odds, which is no easy feat when it comes to that.
ABC News interviews Lewis on her breaking ground accomplishment in a fiercely competitive field. She’s a dance instructor who’d always wanted to be a cheerleader and didn’t let her age stop her from fulfilling that dream. In April, Kriste entered tryouts for the New Orleans Santsations and she made it to the squad. Lewis shares the initial feeling of entering and seeing girls between the ages of 18 and 30 there:
“There were a lot of young, beautiful girls. It was a fear. I will not lie.”
It wasn’t just age that hindered Kriste’s chances, but a health issue after being diagnosed with plysistic kidney disease 14 years ago. The NFL cheerleader will eventually require a dialysis and a kidney transplant when her kidneys shut down. She says that’s partly what motivated her to audition for the team:
“That had a lot to do with me auditioning as well. I didn’t want to waste a day.”
Judges noticed the striking 40-year-old and put her on the roster as one of the 36 women as finalists for the 2014-2015 cheerleading team. It took three rounds of tryouts for the placement. Kriste recalls the awesome news of hearing she made it to the squad:
“The day I got the news I was really beside myself. It was really exciting.”
In September, Kriste Lewis will make her debut at the Superdome. You know all eyes will be on her. She says:
“I cannot wait for us to run out for the first time and we run out on that field.”
Lewis practices daily on her skills and has the full support of her sons and husband, Tim. Her son, Rob, says:
“I’m especially proud that she made it and she’s the best mom a child could have.”
Tim says it’s “just amazing to watch” his wife dance.
As Kriste says, she hopes she can serve as an inspiration to other women. She also understands that mothers are “hard-wired to give and we give and we give and we give.” She also concludes:
“I think it’s important to think back what made you excited as a child.”
A Twitter post by the New Orleans Saintsations was posted July 14, reading:
“So proud of Kriste….read her amazing story here!… http://fb.me/44Z1PRpMV”
Are you excited to see a mom at the age of 40 become an NFL cheerleader?
[Image via Hot 107.9]