If you’re like me and freaking out about inching closer and closer to 30, then Kristie Lewis is about to give you a new lease on life.
The 40-year-old dance instructor is proving the old saying true, age really is just a number.
Lewis hadn’t cheered since high school, but she decided she wanted to give it a shot and go out for the New Orleans Saintsations anyway. Faced with competition of women, mostly whom were half her age, realistically Lewis never thought she’d make it. Then she did.
“I wanted to set a goal for myself, and the audition was a specific date that required specific training, so my goal was just to make it to the audition,” Lewis said. “Honestly, I really did not think I was going to make it.”
The mother of two is one of only two NFL cheerleaders in her 40s, and she’s the oldest to ever audition for the Saintsations, said Lesslee Fitzmorris, director of the squad since 2001. The other dancer is 45-year-old Laura Vikmanis, who has been with the Cincinnati Bengals dance team, the Ben-Gals, since making the squad at age 40.
Its not just Lewis’ age that makes her an inspiration though. Her will to make the most of every day since being diagnosed with a debilitating kidney disease that will eventually lead to dialysis treatments and the need for a kidney transplant, is truly inspiring.
“I know my time is limited,” Lewis said. “I don’t want to let any time go. I want to make every day count.”
Lewis will take the field with the Saintsations when the New Orleans Saints play their first exhibition game of the season Aug. 15 at the Superdome against the Tennessee Titans.
“I can’t wait to get on that field,” she said. “Just being able to put a cheerleading uniform back on and go at it for my favorite team is unbelievable to me, and I’m having a blast.”
Lewis lives with her husband and two boys in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, right over 100 miles outside of New Orleans.