An Open Letter To Cheerleading (and to parents who are struggling with letting their kid try a new hobby)

I remember my first ever cheer tryouts. I was a shy and awkward 6th grader who worshiped her one and only Hollister shirt because having it meant, in my mind, that I would fit in.

(I wish I could dig up more pics from middle school cheer, 
but I can't so I'll share the pics from my cheer career that I COULD find)
Cheer camp at the Wisconsin Dells with University of Northern Iowa, summer of 2013.

To those of you who know me and my loud mouth now you would be shocked to know that I was kind of shy at this point in my life. It didn’t help that just one year prior I had fallen off the monkey bars at recess and knocked my teeth parallel to the roof of my mouth. There was blood everywhere, including on my favorite pair of jeans. I cried out of concern that I’d have to throw the pants away, never mind the teeth. Naturally, it took some time for those teeth to find their way back from the roof of my mouth into the front of my mouth where they should be, in a smile. On top of that, it was only 6th grade and I was already taller than most guys in school, I also didn’t know how to do my hair yet, I had just learned how to attempt to pluck my eyebrows. Oh, let’s not forget I was right around the corner from getting teenage acne.

I was awkward. I’m not sure what possessed me to try cheerleading. I’m putting my bets on the fact that I had been doing gymnastics for years already, so this was the logical next step.

Anyway, I made the cheerleading squad! The awkward 11 year old girl who was trying to find her voice in the world made the squad! Hellllooo popularity! Or so I thought.

Turns out, cheerleading didn’t end up being this huge quest for popularity that I thought it would be. Sure, in middle school, that is exactly what it was. But as I not only grew older, but also grew in my passion for cheerleading, I grew into someone completely different, with a different mindset.

Cheerleading, you helped me blossom into the fearless, confident, and strong woman that I am today. Not only that, but through it, I learned at a younger age than most, how important it was to be nice to everyone. Does it sound cliche to say that out of all sports, cheerleading, was the one to shape me into the woman I am today? Maybe. But I know damn well that I wouldn’t be where I am today (like physically would not be living where I am), have the relationships i do, hell I probably wouldn’t have the career path I have, if I didn’t make the squat.

And it started in that musty middle school gymnasium, in small town Illinois, on a hot May day back in 2004.

I made the squad Y’ALL!

Now let me time out for a second:

To all the parents out there reading this,

or any hopeful parents-to-be let me tell you my one piece of advice. Its advice coming not from a fellow parent, but from a daughter who is thankful that her parents did this one thing for her.

Let your kids choose their passion and let them love it hard.

It doesn’t matter what sport, hobby, or extra curricular they fall in love with, let them love it. A child learning to be passionate about something all on their own is a really special thing. Because when they get older, and when it comes time to start making decisions about their life, all on their own, it’s their passions that will drive them to those decisions more than anything else.

My parents were both jocks, like they were each amazingly good at their sports. So it made sense that they enrolled both me and my brother in various sports growing up. I played softball for 10 years, up until my sophomore year of college and I was good. I tried volleyball, that was a bust. I consider basketball but couldn’t make a lay up to save my life, so sayonara to basketball.

Had my parents “forced” me to stay in softball when I wanted to quit because of a coach that ruined it all for me, then I would not have finished my high school career, and then my college career with cheerleading. Hell, I would have gone to a different school entirely had I been in the mindset to stay on the track to “play ball at the collegiate level”. My parents were jocks but they let me try, and then excel at cheerleading. And when it was the sport that I fell in love with, they supported me without blinking an eye. They would even drive 3 hours to watch me cheer in high school at a far away football game, in the freezing freaking cold rain. My dad became “Super Fan Dan” as my high school squad got good at competitive cheer, and made it to the state competition finals year after year.

They saw my passion, they saw me fall in love with it, and the supported me SO HARD.

And because of that single passion, I have molded into the person I am today.

You see cheerleading, you were more than just a “oh let’s see if I’ll like this sport”, you changed the trajectory of… ME.

Had I not made the squad, I wouldn’t have fallen in love with cheerleading, and then I wouldn’t have done it in high school.

Had I not done it high school I would have put my attention and efforts into softball.

Had my efforts been in softball, I would have tried to play at the collegiate level.

Had I tried to play at the collegiate level I’m 99% sure I would not have ended up at the University of Northern Iowa.

Had I not ended up at UNI, I wouldn’t have met my best friends.

Had I not met my best friends I wouldn’t have met my husband.

Had I not met my husband, I wouldn’t have my 3 animals. I wouldn’t have moved to North Carolina. I wouldn’t have begun volunteering with Triad Golden Retriever Rescue. I wouldn’t have become an Orangetheory Coach.

I wouldn’t be HERE.

On top of that, I wouldn’t have developed the skills and traits that I have now, that have helped me go for things I wouldn’t have otherwise.

My outgoing nature?

I can thank cheerleading for that. It’s pretty damn hard to be an enthustiatic cheerleader and also be a total introvert. Is it possible? Yep. But that’s not how the cards played for me, and I’m glad. Because with this extroverted and outgoing nature, I have tried SO MANY THINGS that I don’t see introverts around me trying.

Cheering in front of crowds of thousands in college? What a freaking experience.

Walking in two fashion shows? Some would say hello NERVES. I said hello EXPERIENCE.

Being a fitness coach? Try doing that without an outgoing personality feeding into your energy.

My strange comfort in public speaking?

Yep, let’s thank cheerleading for that. I mean cheerleading is public speaking after all, we just change the pitch of our voices

But for real, it’s weird, I actually really like public speaking.

My most looked forward to school events and assignments? Presentations. PowerPoints, etc.

Without my innate ability for public speaking, combined with my extroverted nature, I wouldn’t have been selected in college to be on a team of 3 to go present a topic at the National Convention for Society of Public Health Education- and get second place in the nation!

My ability to be friends with virtually anyone, and my desire to include everyone?

You guessed it. Cheerleading.

Now, let me pause and say that all cheerleading squads I was apart of were not your stereotypical “bitch” squads, like you might have guessed. Because of that, I think my friendly nature that I already had, had a chance to thrive even more.

My excitement about LIFE?


Learning how to be excited about a turnover, a 3-point swish, a touchdown, an interception, or whatever, and being excited about those time. after. time. instills a deep excitement for everything! I’m proud to say I’m generally a very optimistic and excited person now-a-days.

Once a cheerleader. Always a cheerleader.

Not to mention the friends I made or the connections made because of cheerleading

It’s been like a rollercoaster that keeps picking up speed. It started with cheerleading. Then it was meeting the friends I did, deciding to go to a college because I had heard about it from someone I used to cheer with. Then it was getting to college and deciding to cheer, which introduced me to new people, my husband, etc. The roller coaster kept picking up even after I was done cheering as it led me to becoming a fur-mom, into a new state, into a new career path, and so much more!

Just like any other sport, hobby, etc. Cheerleading put me on this roller coaster of excitement, and even though I’ve been out of cheer for 5 years now, my roller coaster is not. slowing. down.

Some kids might fall in love with football or soccer like you envision them to. And those sports might turn into passions that catapult them into greatness such as playing on scholarship in college, or hell for the amazingly talented and lucky few, going pro. But for other kids, theater, piano, tae-kwan-do, fine arts, or even cheerleading might be what they become so passionate about that it’s impossible to ignore.

So don’t ignore it. Help them in any way you can. But ultimately, let them make their decisions about where they want to go with that passion and what they want to do. Not only are they learning to make decisions on their own, they’re molding themselves into pretty fantastic human beings.

Who would have thought that cheerleading had the capacity to change the trajectory of my life so much?

But it did. It all started in a musty middle school gymnasium, in small town Illinois, on a hot May day back in 2004.

And because of that, from my 26 year old self to my 11 year old self, I thank you cheerleading. And I thank everyone who I came in contact with throughout my time as a cheerleader, and every experience I got out of it.

Thanks for reading!

Share this to your social, just copy and past the link!

Share this with a friend or subscribe to my email list here

Or, from one cheerleader to another,

Or one passionate person to another, follow me on Instagram!
Love, Carly

Who is LifeofCarlyb_?


Let me…. reintroduce myself!

Nearly four years ago I started this blog. The general intent behind it was to educate YOU guys about various health and fitness topics. Within the first few years I wrote about topics from proper exercise, recovery, nutrition, and provided fitness challenges and tips. Then I kind of…. slowed down, to a near stop with all of my posting.

Within the past few months I’ve amped it back up, but in a new way!

The original title(s) of this blog were InFITiny Health (the idea that your health should last you to infinity, and not temporarily) and Commit Fit Carly (the idea that you should COMMIT to your fitness, with me!). Now, we’re at Life of Carly B, which is the same thing my instagram handle has changed to. Why the change? Simply because I want to share with you more than just nutrition and fitness topics. LIFE is about more than that. WELLNESS is about more than that. And quite frankly, I like talking about my dogs, and being blunt about controversial topics now more than I care to write about how to do a proper squat (for that, come chat with me in person 🙂 ).

So let me say again,


My name is Carly. Or as some like to call me, Carly B. My last name is Buehler, by marriage, which I guess you can saw is also by choice 😉 I’ve had that last name for just over half a year now and have already heard FERRRISSSSS jokes approximately 429580103 times.

You can also call me: dog mom, fitness junkie, optimist, realist, down to fuggggin earth, muscle barbie, whatever floats your boat. Insult me? I’ll brush it right off these strong & bulky shoulders of mine.

I grew up in IL, spent the first 19 years of my life there before moving to IA where I attended school at University of Northern Iowa (Go Cats!). There, I double majored in Exercise Science and Health Promotion. I loved school. Like if you want to pay me to go to school for the rest of my life, I think I would! I like the structure of the schedule college requires, I actually enjoyed research, and presentations, speaking in front of crowds, and just learning. My last four semesters of college I had anywhere from 18-21 credits going at a time, and I f*cking rocked it!

While studying exercise, I began my career in Exercise as a Personal Trainer while in school in 2013. As I’m writing this, I’ve worked in the industry for six years. I’ve done nearly it all. Personal Training, group exercise, fitness management, small studio management, and social media marketing for said gyms. I’ve worked with 13 year old athletes, D3 athletes who underestimated my skill as a female kickboxing instructor, and 70+ year olds, some who were training to hike the grand canyon, others who were training to be healthy with two stints in their heart. I’ve started my own online training business, and then quit it because quite frankly it was not fueling my soul. You want to know what DOES fuel my soul? Writing. This right here. Oh and animals…. and Orangetheory, the beach, my family, my friends, and a good ole MIMOSA.

I’m an animal lover, I volunteer with Triad Golden Retriever Rescue on a weekly basis, putting in anywhere from 1-5 hours of volunteer work per week. I have two English Creme Golden retrievers and they f*cking rock my world. Oh, let’s not forget the rescue cat that behaves just. like. a. dog. As previously mentioned, I’m married. I met my husband in college through a mutual friend (s/o to Luke Nuehaus) at a party (#noshame). My side hustle is coaching at Orangetheory Fitness, and I will never give that up – TRY TO MAKE ME OR JOIN ME!

I grew up being friends with everyone, but somehow always find myself being one of the guys. #lessdramahoney at the same time, I take pride in trying to out-lift your ass (yes guys, I’m talking to you). I preach, encourage, and shout to the world the importance of being a strong & strong-willed BOMB ASS WOMAN (insert fist pumping emoji here).

And if you haven’t been able to tell yet, I like to cuss, and no I will not change my language for the sake of you and YOUR opinion.

I get it, I can be a little bit much for some people. Sorry- not sorry. I don’t live my life to impress. My life quote? You have to get comfortable being uncomfortable. My life song(s)? Meghan Trainor “Me Too” & Drake “Headlines”- I might be too strung out on compliments, overdosed on confidence. You catching onto the trend here? Love yourself first. If you don’t, no one else will. And I do not lack in that category. Like I said, I can be a little bit much for some people.

I speak the truth. I’m constantly spilling the tea #realtalk. I’m working on saying no more frequently and explaining the reasoning behind my actions less. I love my friends and family fiercely. I’m a humungoussss extrovert, I’ll likely make friends with anyone and everyone, especially if you show me a picture of your dog. I’ve got a creative side, I used to make all of the banners for the football and cheerleading teams in high school because I have surprisingly great handwriting. Oh and all 5’10”, 155lbs of almost pure muscle of me used to be a…. cheerleader. SURPRISE! And I was good. We competed in high school, I cheered in college. My biggest perk? I could lift the top girls like the guys could #musclebarbieforlife.

I lift heavy and also run half marathons.

I look like a hot mess express in the gym 
yet have also modeled in two runway shows.

I like dogs and cats.

I drink water and drink beer (& wine, tequila, rum, and whiskey).

I'll eat a salad a legit whole pizza by myself in the same weekend.

I'm friends with people of ALL kinds
- regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, LGBT community, etc.

You can catch me in a bikini at the peak of my physical ability...
as well as at the peak of my greatest bout of bloating #BODYPOSITIVITY

I listen to both sides of any argument or opinion.

I can be a basic bitch and the biggest tomboy within the SAME day.

Clearly, I don't discriminate, no matter the topic.

Oh and I like to travel the beautiful fricken world

So hey, nice to meet you. Come get to know me!

Subscribe to this here, truly honest, open to all topics, mostly vulgar blog.

& find me on Instagram @lifeofcarlyb_ 

So adiossss to the old “Meet the Carly” post. Hello WORLD. It’s me. Let’s chat 🙂


& In case you missed it, click here to SUBSCRIBE & be added to the newsletter list