Category Archives: Cheerleading

Something old

2018 was one of the more ‘solid’ years i’ve had in awhile. It of course had its ups and downs, but it was a year that had me feeling like, well, me. I felt in my own skin more than not, and that was a feeling I want to continue to nourish.

I started a new job at my old company, Creative Circle, and am on a great path with my career. I’m surrounded by people who are creative, smart, kind, and who make me want to do better work each day.

This year I also continued to have the privilege of coaching my old high school cheerleading team. It’s the most challenging job i’ve ever had, but it is easily the most rewarding. I love those girls to pieces and I love watching them grow, both as athletes and as people.

In the past year, a fire has started to burn inside of them. They know they can compete against other incredible teams and hold their own. They know they can go out there and show people how talented and capable they are.

And even though working with a group of teenagers can be tough, it’s pushed me to continue to develop myself as a coach and as a person. I’ve certainly had my own ups and downs, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am a better person because of my experience as a coach. It pushes me to my brink and challenges me to my core, but it brings out so much passion in me that each day i’m overwhelmingly grateful to have this specific opportunity with the old program that raised me.

Most important of all, I spent a lot of time this year with the same friends and family who i’ve had in my corner for too many years to count. My boyfriend and I have now been together for a solid three years, and the foundation we’ve built in that time is more fulfilling than anything i’ve ever known.

I’ve been proactive in spending quality “gal pal” time with some of the most genuine friends I could have ever asked for. My family continues to find ways to be grateful for one another and the life we’ve been given no matter what the circumstances are. We have each others backs and always say “I love you” to one another… what more could I ask for?

So at a time where many are focused on being a “new” version of themselves, or adding “new” goals onto their plates, perhaps it’s just as important that we focus on the old… the familiar.

Let’s be honest about our expectations for ourself, stay close to what already feels good, get rid of what doesn’t serve us, and remember that sometimes finding the best version of yourself doesn’t require you to add on “new” things, it just requires you to look deep inside at what’s been there all along.

xo

 

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See you later

Although I recently wrote about my decision to not coach cheerleading next year, tonight’s end-of-the-year banquet was the final page of a chapter that has been two years in the making. Saying goodbye to my girls, leaving them with a few final “words of wisdom,” and hugging them before we departed was just enough to break my heart.

A few conversations in particular, with both my girls and some of the parents, made me realize how blessed I am to have genuinely connected with some of these young women. All along my hope was that I would help shape them into both talented athletes and respectable individuals. Little did I know, they were the ones who were teaching me.

As I shed tears sharing some final thoughts with my girls earlier, I realized a few things:

Age does not dictate influence: some of the girls I coached are as young as 14 years old and have seen and experienced things that I know nothing about. Their ability to bring me back to my child-like sense of wonder is something I’ll always be appreciative of.

Remember to be present: juggling coaching on top of an already-hectic life taught me how to compartmentalize my priorities, set limits, and be flexible. When I was at work, that’s where my focus was. When I was at the gym with my girls, my focus turned to them. I learned how to be intentional with my time, and to spend it on what means the most to me.

– Always do what you love: it’s what led me to this chapter in my life, and it’s what’s guiding me to the next one. I’m proud of my passions, even at the times when i’m singled out because of them. I’ve learned to truly fall in love with my quirks, and having the girls I coached embrace me for them solidified my belief that I should never be ashamed of doing what I enjoy.

– You will always be enough: this lesson was a doozy, but it’s one that sincerely resonated with me even as I attempted to teach it to others. Societal standards of what’s right, wrong, beautiful, ugly, appropriate, uncalled for, smart, stupid, etc., is straight up exhausting, and trying to meet a standard set by the masses is just impossible, not to mention unfair. Accepting who you are as an individual is a life-long process, and often an uphill battle. But that process of acceptance brings you to a place where you will not only look at yourself without judgement, but also look at others that way, too.

Sometimes the lessons you leave a situation with provide you the peace of mind you need to transition into a new chapter. I’m thrilled to see what new opportunities are in store for me down the road, and in the end, I guess it’s not really a goodbye, it’s just an I’ll see you later. 

banquet

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