40-year old mother of two Kriste Lewis has earned a spot on the 36 member New Orleans Saintsations roster for the upcoming 2014 NFL season.
The Saints' cheerleading squad known as the Saintsations opened its doors to applications to join their roster for the new season and 40-year old dance instructor Kriste set herself the lofty aspiration of making it on to the 36 member team.
Lewis had last performed as a cheerleader in her high school days and hadn't even attempted the splits or a high kick since, however she had set herself the goal of making the team in New Orleans and wasn't to be denied.
Despite her drive to make the squad, she believed there wasn't really a chance that she would make the team, she understood that she would be in fierce competition with many participants and most of the attending woman would be half her age.
Lewis explained: "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, her husband and two sons live in Hattiesburg Mississippi, which is about 100 miles north east of New Orleans where the auditions were being held, Lewis reiterated: "Honestly, I really did not think I was going to make it."
Lewis is one of only two cheerleaders in the entire NFL to be above the age of 40, the other dancer is 45-year old Laura Vikmanis who has been with the Cincinnati Bengals since 2001.
Lesslee Fitzmorris is the director of the New Orleans Saintsations and has been since 2001, he believes that Kriste Lewis is the oldest cheerleader to ever audition for the team.
Fitzmorris commented saying: "the applications hadn't been processed when the dance auditions started, so the judges didn't even know Kriste was 40 until she had made it through three rounds of cuts and revealed her age in the interview round,"
Lewis also revealed the true drive behind her ambition of making the Saintsations, she has been diagnosed with debilitating kidney disease that will eventually lead to a kidney transplant.
Several family members have died of the disease, and her mother has already undergone dialysis and a kidney transplant that her body twice rejected.
Lewis explained that she had been given doctors permission to try out for the team, her diagnosis is what fuels her to follow her aspirations and make the most of every opportunity.
You can check out a little more about Kriste Lewis here: