Being an NFL Pro Bowl cheerleader was something I never imagined I would have the opportunity to experience. I went to my first Titans game on a cold Sunday in November of 2001. I saw the cheerleaders from the top row of LP Field and knew I wanted to try and be part of the elite group of women. On my third attempt, I achieved my dream and started my amazing journey as a Tennessee Titans Cheerleader. I've had a fantastic four years on the team, which not only helped me become the woman I am today, but allowed me to get more involved in the community where I grew up. To top it all off, I was selected by the squad to represent them and our organization in the 2009 Pro Bowl game in Hawaii.
While this opportunity may sound like the dream vacation, and don't get me wrong, Hawaii is beautiful, the trip involved a lot of homework beforehand and hard work during the week. All 26 NFL Cheerleaders received a DVD with dances that we had to learn before we arrived in Hawaii. Once we arrived, all 26 of us put together the dances in one day! It was quite a task, but we pulled it together and looked amazing -- :) if I do say so myself. It was incredible to see cheerleaders from various teams around the country come together so quickly to form a new squad. The true meaning of the word TEAMWORK!
The week was jam-packed with appearances from military bases to children's hospitals to game day! The Hawaiian community really rolled out the red carpet for us the entire week, and it was very overwhelming how much love they had for the cheerleaders. One of my favorite experiences was visiting the troops and their family members at the Aliamany Military Reservation. They were filled with so much joy to see the cheerleaders and mascots, especially the children. We had the chance to perform for them, sign autographs and hear stories of loved ones far away protecting us back in the States. This was also the first time I saw a true Titans fan - jersey and all! It was great and I think we both were so excited to see one another!
Game day was fantastic! It was great to see the Titans football players and to cheer on the AFC. Although we lost the game, it was so much fun and was nice that all of the week's hard work had finally paid off. I loved looking around the stands seeking out all of the Titans jerseys!
The week flew by and in the blink of an eye, it was over and time to come back to Nashville. I had to say goodbye to the other 25 amazing and talented woman who had now become a new family to me. And while it was sad to leave, I am truly blessed to have had this experience and gain memories that will last a lifetime.
Thank you to my Director, Stacie Kinder; the Titans squad for choosing me, the 2009 Pro Bowl Cheerleaders for their amazing new friendships and the staff of E2K who put this amazing event together every year.