Cheerleading has been an important part of my life since the fall of 1994. For whatever reason, my friends and I became involved during our senior year of high school at Heritage in Littleton. Our choreographer invited me to CSU for tryouts. I became a JV college cheerleader the next year.
During my time at CSU as a cheerleader, my partner and I competed in partner stunt nationals (we were the first ever couple from Colorado to successfully compete) and our teams competed in UCA and NCA college nationals. As a coach, we successfully competed at UCA nationals until 2006 when I moved on to begin the process of starting RME – the gym that has evolved into Elite Performance Sports (RME,MHE and HCE in Fort Collins).
I became a UCA staff member in 1998, and as an instructor I have had the opportunity to work with literally thousands of cheerleaders all over the world.
The thing that is most striking to me about all of these experiences is that they have led to a strong, close knit group of people whom I consider my lifelong friends. In addition, the most rewarding thing for me as a coach after all these years is to watch my former athletes grow into productive adults with careers and families of their own.
If you would have asked me in the fall of 1994 if this was going to be my path, I would have probably laughed at you and dismissed the whole notion. I am glad that I did.
To all of you former athletes out there, I hope that your close knit group of lifelong friends includes some cheerleaders. I hope that I have contributed in some way to your success, and that if nothing else, you are as proud of your time as a cheerleader as I am.