40-year-old mom becomes Saints cheerleader

A 40-year-old mom of two has defied the odds by dancing her way through auditions and onto the New Orleans Saints cheer squad.
A mother of two has defied the odds and her age, by dancing her way through auditions and onto the New Orleans Saints cheer squad.

Kriste Lewis has the moves to rival any NFL cheerleader, but there's something that sets her apart

"I'm 40-years-old and I'm a mom of two boys," she said.

As a 40th birthday gift to herself, the longtime dance instructor decided to fulfill a lifelong dream and try out for the New Orleans Saintsations. Most of her competition was between 18 and 30.

"It was a fear, I will not lie," she said. "There were a lot of young beautiful girls."

And her age wasn't her only obstacle.

"Fourteen years ago I was diagnosed with polysistic kidney disease," Lewis said. "Eventually my kidneys will shut down and I will be in need of dialysis and need of a transplant. That had a lot to do with me auditioning as well. I didn't want to waste a day."

And a waste it was not. After three rounds of tryouts it was a unanimous decision she -- made the team.

"The day I got the news I was just really beside myself," she said. "It was really exciting."

Now an official member of the Saintsations, Lewis says she's certain her daily workouts and practices are helping her battle her health problems and can't wait to make her NFL debut on opening day in Sept.

"I cannot wait to get to the Superdome," she said. "I cannot wait for us to run out for the first time and we run out on that field."

And on top of being the oldest cheerleader the Saints have had on their roster, she's now officially the cool mom among her son's friends.

"They're all really jealous of me," said son Jake.

Other son Rob added, "I'm especially proud that she made it and she's just the best mom a child could ever have."

A pride shared by her husband Tim.

"It's just amazing to watch her dance," he said.

Lewis herself who knows she's a living reminder to never give up on your dreams.

"I think as moms we are hardwired to give and we give and we give and we give," she said. "I think it's important to think back to what made you excited as a child."

Lewis says her advice to anyone is that today is the day, not tomorrow. She says to wear your best shoes and don't save that bottle of the wine, just live each day to the fullest.
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sports New Orleans Saints cheerleading parenting exercise fitness health u.s. & world distraction Louisiana
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