A Day in the Life: Happy Hooper

A Day in the Life: Happy Hooper

Get a glimpse into the day-to-day life of Ace Cheer Company tribe leader Happy Hooper.

8:00 am: Wake up. The first thing I do is check emails—this morning = 45 new messages overnight. I try to answer them all, even sending an email to say I’ll get back to them when I have an answer to their question. I check Facebook and Twitter too—and I just joined Instagram, Vine and Path.

9:30 am: Grab Starbucks. My drink of choice: a grande nonfat no-foam latte.

10 am: Go into the office and meet with my business and state directors to go over financials.

11 am: Time for coach mode! I review tapes of run-throughs on every gym’s YouTube account. Afterward, I contact the site director about tapes from the day before. In terms of thinking ahead, I always try to do memos every week for our coaches to know what to do better for [maximizing] the scoresheets.

Noon: Every Thursday, we have a directors’ conference call to discuss what worked and what didn’t at the gyms—just to tackle what happened this week and prepare for the week to come.

1 pm: Zoë’s Kitchen for lunch! Now it’s a national chain, but it started here in Homewood (where the Birmingham gym is located). Zoë Cassimus is a great friend of mine. I ate there every day for three months and ordered the exact same thing: a lean turkey pita with fruit and pasta and an unsweetened tea. Since I’m such a creature of habit, all my staffers know how to order for me anywhere we go to eat. I find it comforting. 

3 pm: Make playlists for the gyms from services like HitDisc and PrimeCuts. I make sure to have music playing in the gym at all times. It seems like every song has some bad words in it, so we have to make sure to use the “clean” version. Music is very important not only for our teams, but for setting the energy level for the gym during classes. I think the high energy helps to create an atmosphere that makes kids want to be there.

3:30 pm: Meet with class, all-star and staff directors on anything needed and objectives going forward.

4 pm: Classes begin. I try to walk around the gym or lobby once every hour to high-five athletes and say hello to parents during classes.

6 pm: Teams begin practice. I try to allow the coaches to coach but at the same time ensure that routines and athletes are being prepared properly according to the scoresheet we are approaching.

9 pm: Classes and teams finish.

9:15 pm: Call my parents after I leave the gym, as I do every night. When I leave the gym, my mom knows that more than not, I’ll be calling them. We talk about cheering issues, athlete issues, even scoresheet stuff; we’ll also go over the teams that we’re competing against. Their biggest advice to me is: “You’re never gonna please everyone; you’re never gonna win every one.” As long as you know that, then you can be of somewhat sane mind.

9:30 pm: For dinner, I always go to GianMarco’s and either get the daily special or lasagna. GianMarco’s is a very local Italian restaurant and it’s amazing—the place I go and relax. Not only is it feeding my body and helping me decompress mentally, but socially and business-wise, I get to network. Any given night, you can catch the ACE staff at GianMarco’s.

11 pm: Head home and spend time with my husband. Every night before we go to bed, I answer emails and check social media from my phone (sometimes he gets frustrated with me for doing that). Then I turn on “Law & Order: SVU” and try to fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow!

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