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three cheers

Did you guys know that I was a cheerleader in college?  I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it on this blog before, but when a friend dug up these amazing photos and posted them to Facebook, I couldn’t help but share.  I usually try to hold back from posting pictures that aren’t fashion- or food-related, but sometimes I think I go a little overboard with the restraint.  You guys don’t mind a few photos of me growing up, or of Calvin and Coco, every now and then, right?

Cheerleading was, in a lot of ways, a crazy idea.  Before college, I’d gone to prep school in Connecticut, to the kind of school that was far too progressive for something like cheerleading.  But I’d grown up watching Saved By The Bell obsessively, and even as I was nearing college, there was honestly nothing I wanted more than to be a cheerleader.

So, I tried out.  And tryouts were really, really hard — about three quarters of the girls who came to the first day didn’t show up the second day. But I stuck it out, and to my shock, I made it!  It probably didn’t hurt that I was teeny tiny and willing to let people throw me into the air — and that I’d figure skated for almost a decade, so I had the balance and flexibility that were crucial for stunting.

And we had so much fun.  Like any athlete (because I still firmly believe that cheerleaders are athletes), there were trade-offs and rewards — I got to go to the first round of NCAAs in New Orleans, which was so incredibly fun, and we were even on ESPN one year.  On the other hand, getting up at 9:30 am for Saturday morning football games (especially in November, when it’s freezing out) was sometimes a little rough.  But now I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything — even if it does feel like they were a very long time ago!

Because you guys probably can’t even recognize me (I was eighteen in some of these!), I’m on the top left side of the first, third and fourth photos, and second from the left in the second photo.  So fun!