This is my first blog post, EVER.
In the “About Me” section, I talked about how I always wanted to start a blog. How I went down an amazing journey of trying new things and discovered how incredible having the courage to just TRY felt. So here we are.
One of my favorite quotes comes from Walt Disney, “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them”. My takeaway from that quote is that I am in control of my goals. My dreams won’t come true if I just keep daydreaming. I must chase my dreams and do what I can to make them a reality. A dream doesn’t always have to be winning something or being first place. A dream can just be TRYING for something. For myself in this post, just trying is exactly what my dream was. And that dream was to audition for the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleading Squad.
I’m a die-hard Eagles fan. I bleed green. The world stands still during an Eagles game. I have a lucky game-day outfit I only wear for the Eagles. I have an Eagles tattoo. So, it’s safe to say that I love the Eagles. I’ve been wanting to audition for the cheerleading squad since 2009. Yeah, that long. I was a cheerleader in high school and I love the Eagles, I thought it would be fun! Even if I didn’t make the squad, just the experience alone would be worth it.
So why did I wait NINE years to try, even if it was just for the experience? I was EXTREMELY self-conscious of my appearance. That’s the truth. On TV the cheerleaders are insanely beautiful and have “perfect” bodies (let’s be real here, there is no “perfect” body). I was NOT in shape and had no idea how to do my hair or makeup. I didn’t think I was “fit” enough or pretty enough *sigh*.
Over the years my weight fluctuated, due in part to having babies. Even though I wasn’t in shape, I had been sporadically working out since having kids. I could never stick to a routine, but I felt better about my shape. One of the MANY things I have learned since becoming a mother is that I am stronger than what I know.
The Eagles won the Super Bowl in 2018. Let me say that again. THE EAGLES WON THE SUPER BOWL IN 2018! Those words are just as magical as watching it happen. I cried, I ran outside spraying champagne everywhere, I lost my voice screaming. Shortly after that when the 2018 cheerleader auditions were announced, I decided it was time to TRY! So, I paid an $85 registration fee that included 2 workshops before the actual audition. The workshops included a Q&A with current cheerleaders, tips from hair and makeup artists, and learning the choreographed dance for the audition. The dance wasn’t hard; learning it with 100 girls at the same time was. Rows and rows of girls lined up trying to learn a dance from a very respected and super no-nonsense instructor. The moves were taught quickly and if you couldn’t keep up then you were out of luck. I have ZERO dance experience (unless you count dancing around in my living room with my kids to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse). I was DETERMINED to know that dance in my sleep!
I had 3 weeks to practice that dance before the actual audition. And 3 weeks to find an appealing audition outfit. Basically, it was suggested we buy “flattering” swim suits and bedazzle them. So that’s what I did. I watched HOURS of YouTube videos to learn how to get “big” hair and do a sexy smoky eye (I still haven’t learned that by the way). I danced all day and night leading up to the audition. I had blisters on my hands from attaching DOZENS of rhinestones to my bikini with this bedazzling kit I got from Joann’s.
Spoiler alert! I did NOT make the squad. I didn’t even make it past the first cut. I thought I had a good chance, but when my number wasn’t called I was okay with that. Honestly, I didn’t go into that experience with the expectation of making the squad. I went into it just to TRY. To finally try something I’ve been wanting to do for the last 9 years. So why did I spend $85 to audition and suffer through blisters to bedazzle an outfit if I didn’t think I would make it? For me, “succeeding” didn’t mean earning a coveted spot on the squad. Succeeding meant stepping outside my comfort zone and having the courage to try something new. I met a few girls that I became friends with. I got to walk through the tunnel the players walk through on game day. I got to see Lincoln Financial Field from the actual field! I learned that trying something new won’t kill me (unless it’s dangerous of course). I learned that I was capable of dancing to more than Disney Jr. Most of all, I learned how amazing the sense of accomplishment felt to conquer my fear and throw caution to the wind.
This experience is actually what led me to competing in the Mrs. Pennsylvania America 2018 pageant.
Success can be defined in many ways: a promotion at work, first place in a race, and trying something new. When we stop holding ourselves back due to our fears and insecurities and step outside our comfort zone, that my friends is SUCCESS.
Have YOU ever thrown caution to the wind to chase a goal?
Comment below with your own story!