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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Looking at the List #2

12. Find my bucket list from 2001.

In eight grade, I randomly decided to make a bucket list/scrapbook in one of my old Trapper Keepers. I really don’t know what prompted me to do it. If I recall correctly, there were two occasions that year where we had three snow days in a row. I think it’s safe to say that I might have done this out of boredom.

I can’t remember everything on that list…a few stand out. I wanted to learn a language. I’m not sure if I meant to master a language or just to learn how to say a few key phrases. But twelve years later (!) I know some Spanish and some ASL. That counts, right? I wanted to be a cheerleader. Done. I wanted to be in the newspaper. Julie and I were photographed walking to our busses the next winter. We were on the cover of the News Times. I wanted to visit all 50 states. I don’t think I’ve added too many states to that list since 2001.

I would love to find that list now and see what I wanted to do back then and if I’ve done any of it since. This is a task for the next time I head back to Connecticut!

13. Attend a national Delta Phi Epsilon event

Before I went to college, I never gave much thought to sororities. When I got to college, I swore up and down that I would never join one. And then I did. What happened? I tell people that I was lured into it…these girls I knew from work asked me to come over and make tote bags. Did I want to make a tote bag? Hell yeah, I wanted to make a tote bag! That was on Monday. The next thing I knew, it was Friday and I was nervously waiting in my room for some sorority girls to come knock on my door and change my world.

Early on in life, we’re taught not to stereotype people based on the color of their skin or the language they speak. Stereotypes are false, we are told. So then why is it we still believe in stereotyping people based on other reasons? It’s crazy to think that I crossed off ALL sororities just based off of what I had seen in the media and my interaction with a handful of sorority members from one particular sorority.

I truly enjoyed my sorority experience when I was in college and I managed to turn it into a career! When I was still in grad school, I was looking for ways to volunteer with my sorority as a national organization. Just recently, I became a chapter advisor for a chapter in Philadelphia. It’s been amazing meeting women that are from other chapters and already having something in common with them!

While I have been able to visit our IHQ in Philly, I have yet to go to an event sponsored by them! This past year, they held a Founders’ Day celebration, but it was while I was volunteering in Missouri. Next summer, they are hosting convention in DISNEY WORLD. Unfortunately, I do not think I am going to have the funds to make that trip. In 2017, our sorority is turning 100 and I’m sure they will do something big for that and I hope to be there!

Fall Down

Some of my lovely family members including my big, my little, and her little!!

20. Attend Brick City

My undergrad didn’t have football and when I was a student, they didn’t make any big deal about any sort of homecoming celebration. Granted, when I started at RIT, there was barely any school spirit on campus. Things definitely changed (for the better) while I was there and now Brick City has turned into more of a homecoming celebration. Instead of football, our homecoming revolves around hockey.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to attend since graduating from RIT. When I first graduated, there were other events that I’d much rather go to. I still knew a lot of students so I would rather see them at sorority or music events. Now that I don’t know too many students, events that draw alum back are better so I can see more of my friends. Last year, Brick City was the same weekend as Albright’s homecoming, which I had to work for. This year, Brick City was the weekend BEFORE Albright’s homecoming, but I was on call since I have my big trip at the end of the month. Hopefully sometime before I’m 30 I can go enjoy a Brick City weekend!!

23. Put $30 in savings for each goal I accomplish

I’ve looked at other peoples’ lists for inspiration and a lot of people have a similar goal. Most that I’ve seen have been $5 or $10…but $30 just seemed better for me…not because I have tons of money rolling in or anything, but if I manage to do all 300, that’s $9000 saved. That seems like a great amount to roll into the next decade with. I don’t know what I’m going to use the money for…maybe a big trip as a celebration? Or maybe I’ll buy a home in my thirties or my first new car and I can use that money to go towards a down payment.