Saturday, September 19, 2009


Last Saturday several Belles, their moms, Coach Rosie and I decided to run the Aflac IronGirl 5K. We have all been training for the last couple of months. In all honesty, due to some busyness (laziness) on my part and a small injury, I hadn't trained to the point that I had actually ran the whole 3.1 miles before. I was nervous.

I arrived at the park and joined up with the ladies from Victory Get Fit Club. The trainers were all buzzing with excitement and the veteran runners were chatting and milling about. I alternated pacing, faking a confident smile to my cheerleaders and standing in line yet again for the porta potties.

I lined up with Coach Rosie. We conservatively chose the 12 minute mile line up station. Inwardly I wanted to run the whole 5K. I barely slept the night before and spent the time praying and praising God. I decided to just run my race, not worry about anyone around me and not try to keep up with anyone.

The race started and put in my headphones. Soon I was picking my way around walkers and slower runners. I kept my pace slow and controlled my breathing. I eventually came alongside Coach Rosie and ran along with her, still not making any predictions about my endurance. We passed the 1 mile mark - I felt good. Grabbed a cup of water and kept going.

At this point I thought, wow I just ran that first mile in under 10 minutes and I feel pretty good. About this point I came alongside a teenage friend of mine. She was on my dance team several years prior. She was beginning to struggle and wanted to stop and walk. I grabbed her arm and brought her along with us. At the 1.5 mile point, Coach Rosie says, "I think we are going to be able to do this." I finally allow myself to commit to it too. I can run this thing!

While shifting my attention to my little friend and encouraging her to push past her wall, I felt renewed strength. We continued the run to the 2 mile mark and Rose and I again remarked, "we're doing it!" Not only was I going to run the whole 5K, I was going to finish with my friend Rose and my young dancer.

The race route was littered with husbands, sons and fathers holding signs and encouraging their racing women. The atmosphere was so empowering and encouraging. There was no contest, it was all about finishing and helping the women around you to finish.

We began to hear the music from the finish line. We quickened our pace. We were full stride now, no longer jogging, but running. We were doing it! It felt so good. I crossed the finish line and fought tears. I was so proud of myself. I cannot recall the last time I felt truly proud of myself. I was also proud of everyone else who finished their race too.

So, I have been bitten by the running bug. Coach Rosie and I plan to run a race every other month or so. I cannot pass up the high that comes from crossing the finish line.

Next year the IronGirl is mandatory for all of our junior cheerleaders - they need to feel the high too!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Cheer Camp 2009

2009 Belles summer cheer camp was a smashing success!! I have never had so much fun with my staff and with my cheerleaders. It is with relief I state this, if you read last years post about camp you know already that it wasn't a grand time.

We learned from that and planned a whole new game this year. I am so glad we were humble enough to admit defeat and try another road. Coach Rose and I had a heart to heart, made a game plan for this year and we asked for favors from people who support our program.

We called in the big guns from the south, NV Elite - University Place Coach Liz, Coach Christoff and Coach Branden were just the antidote to our cheer camp aversion! We love these guys! They challenged us, they didn't take themselves seriously and they weren't condescending. Thank you! MWAH!
One of our cheer moms took time off work to be mommy, caterer, cheerleader and guardian angel to us for three days. I know she was exhausted, but she never mentioned it. I know she drove 800 miles that weekend, but she acted like it was part of her mission in life. I know we irritated her, but she never stopped smiling. The girls made up a cheer just for her - it brought some tears, gotta love that.

MISS JAC - our hero!

We chose to have a private camp this year. That means it is just our team versus the 200 or so other teams we usually attend camp with. The girls learn so much from the older cheerleaders at camp. We didn't want to eliminate that time. So, we called on another team to ambush the girls with a surprise visit and challenge project. Renton High School cheerleaders are our girls! The project runway team challenge was hilarious too!

I chose the glamorous tour for a camp theme. It was entirely based on a quote I read from Beyonce in Glamour Magazine. Basically she said that true glamour is when a woman is confident, aware of her strengths and weaknesses and skilled in showing off her strengths. We want to carry that whole idea into this season - we know what we can do, we are going to be confident every time we hit the floor. This year will be different, GLAMOROUS baby!
At the end of the camp, I left energized for the rest of the season. We finally have the right mix of girls, with the right attitudes to make all of the hard work worth it!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

First day of...

The 1st of September. The end of summer and the beginning of so many things. Tomorrow my oldest son will start High School! I cannot hardly believe this day is here. I am so grateful for the man that he is and for the faith and integrity he has and maybe for all that he has taught me over the last 14 years. It has been a long road, he was a WILD little boy, which makes me treasure him even more.

September is also the start of competition season for Liberty Belles. Coach Rosie and I finished up making a practice video this evening after working until 1:00am the night before. This is the longest and most difficult routine we have put together. The music is the cleanest we have ever done and the stunting more aggressive.

This is the season of new beginnings, new adventures and new expectations. I believe that my son is going to turn a corner in school this year. I believe that my cheerleaders are going to make a sharp right turn this year and also increase exponentially in their skill level, commitment, physical strength and team work.

This is the time for something new - I can't wait!