Ready? Okay!

(Truth – the only time those words have come out of my mouth, they have been completely sarcastic!)

I was never a girl-y girl. I swear, if I went back in time and told my 12 year old self that my twenty-something self became a cheerleader, joined a sorority, and was obsessed with Lilly Pulitzer, my 12 year old self’s head would explode. I’m starting at my closet right now. My eye is twitching a bit from the amount of pink.

So getting back on track. I became a cheerleader. I’m not sure exactly how it started, but I think it started with my friends renting the movie “Bring it On” when I was in eighth grade. Most of my friends at that point were cheerleaders, so we spent this gathering learning the dances and cheers from the movie. I think I still have the opening cheer memorized. Within weeks, the high school that we were all planning on attending announced that they were holding cheerleading tryouts AND that it was open to incoming students. I had absolutely no intentions of playing any sports in high school, unless you count “competitive saxophone-ing” as a sport but somehow I got suckered into it. I might have spouted off that “cheerleaders are dancers gone retarded” line in front of my friends one too many times.¬†Now if I hadn’t made the team, this post would not exist. I won’t bore you by telling you about tryouts. I can’t really remember the nitty gritty details anymore. I just know that it was winter and I was dancing in the cafeteria to Britney Spears and then next thing I knew, it was summer and I was going to the high school for cheerleading camp. ME. CHEERLEADING CAMP.

Somehow, I made it through that year with only minor humiliation one truly embarrassing story. There was all sorts of drama, including a last minute coaching change. The following year, I didn’t return. Don’t get me wrong – I have some wonderful memories from that year. I really enjoyed it. But at the end of the day, I had to choose between cheerleading and everything else I loved. And I chose everything else. And I enjoyed that too.

Unfortunately, I had been bitten by the cheerleading bug. It came in handy sometimes. When my friends needed to reach something high, they’d quickly throw me in the air to get it. When CMT announced that it was doing a show about the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, I was GLUED to the TV. I was regularly doing parts of the DCC’s routines in my parents’ living room. I thought it was all I was going to get until I had a little girl of my own and could coach a pop warner team.

Fast forward a few years to my first second week of college. I started seeing posters advertising – GUESS WHAT – tryouts! I hadn’t cheered in AGES but I still decided to give it a go. For being such a large college, there was a surprisingly small number of girls trying out. Similar to my high school days, tryouts were a week long – the first part was spent learning different routines and the second part was the actual audition. I didn’t tell anybody what I was doing. I wanted to surprise my friends and family. Some people were planning on visiting in October, so I had to keep it a secret until then, but I wound up quitting the team before any of my friends could arrive on campus. I couldn’t afford the uniforms and the shoes and everything else.

Fast forward a few more years. While watching “Making the Team” one night, I suddenly had the craziest idea. I live near a major city with an NFL team. What if I tried out just one more time? I went through with this insane idea. I drove to Philly for different workshops and got to meet the coach and the returning cheerleaders – it was a pretty awesome experience! Very early on I realized that I had a very, very minuscule chance of making the team. I was competing with girls that were DANCE MAJORS. But I stuck it out just to say that I did it. Surprisingly, they waited until the second round to cut me. A benefit of going through the process – I was in the best shape of my life at the end of it and I wound up with an impressive collection of make up.

I chatted with the one in the front!

 

Now, at the ripe old age of 26, I have officially retired from cheerleading. Yes, I still watch “Making the Team” and occasionally I break out one of my old workout videos, but I will not be hauling my butt to Philly (or any other city) for auditions any time soon.

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12. Find My Bucket List from 2001

When I started this blog, I remembered that back in 2001, I had used an extra binder to make some sort of bucket list/scrapbook-type thing. After I got back from Florida, I went to my parents’ house and looked for it. It wasn’t too hard to find…even after all my moves, it was still in my bedroom. I really wanted to see what was on my list back then and what (if anything) I had accomplished since then.

There's 13 year old me in the middle!!

There’s 13 year old me in the middle!!

Reading the list itself is rather amusing…it provides a little peak into the mind of thirteen-year-old-me. Graduating from both high school and college were really important to me. So was being a cheerleader and going to prom. Some of the things on the list seem really dated. I listed that I wanted to go on MTV TRL Studios. Does that show even exist anymore?! I also wrote that I wanted to make my own mix tapes¬†or CDs and that I wanted to own a laptop some day. Owning a laptop was considered a big deal in 2001! I don’t even think my school had it’s laptop cart yet.

The one thing I always remembered from that list is that I wanted to keep a journal for five years straight. Well little me, I did you one better. I kept a journal for twelve years and I’m still going! In the beginning, I wrote mostly about things that happened during the day, but as I got older, I wrote more about how I felt about things. Every so often I go back and read it (it’s all online – heck yes!) and I am constantly amazed at how smart I sounded when I was younger. I don’t remember feeling that smart! And how on earth is my own advice still applicable five or eight years later?!

From my list of 50 things, I’ve accomplished 38. I’d say that’s pretty good considering that I nearly forgot about this list. Some of the things I HAVEN’T done include visiting all 50 states (only 21), meeting the President, and riding a horse. Oh, I also never got to go on TRL. Shucks.

Clearly my biggest regret.

I plan on adding some of these things to my list of things I’ve done…I definitely want to tell you all about the time I “met” Rachel Maddow. It’s a good one.