Seriously????? A Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader! Yes, I did! They were a true icon and I wanted it all. The blue and white outfits with the fringe, those super awesome white boots that zipped up to their knees, the kick line, the jump splits, and dancing my little heart out on the football field of America’s Favorite Team (ok, well they used to be anyway). Oh yeah! When I grew up, I was moving to Dallas and I was going to GO FOR IT!
For those that know me, one of my passions is dancing. I love the free expression, the creative flow, and simply just letting go to the music. It’s an art to me and I choreograph dance moves in my head to flow with the music . It’s truly a natural desire that started when I was younger and one of the coolest things to me is the natural facial expressions that pop with each move when you are in total rhythm and feel of the music itself. I just LOVE it! However, did I mention I’m also an introvert who doesn’t like the limelight. Yikes, the thought of being in front of people freaked me out!!!! I prefer helping others to the stage, rather than being on-stage myself. Yet, when it came to dancing….that is one place I was swept away and felt at home in front of a crowd of people. That’s the funny thing about a something that lights you up….it becomes natural to do the things that would’ve ordinarily been extremely hard.
I grew up in an extremely small town. Now, when I say extremely….I mean extremely. Less than 1000 people and my graduating class was less than 20. So, yes I mean extremely small town. It was time for college and I put my big girl pants on, sweating bullets (literally) and moved to the University of Missouri where I was greeted with around 25,000 other students. Holy crap! What have I just done!!!
I had been a cheerleader and dancer in high school, so it was time to take the next step…..the Mizzou Golden Girls. They were truly the elite dancers of my time for the University and if I was going to go to Dallas….I needed to start here. I showed up to the first try-outs shaking in my boots. I’m surrounded by gorgeous girls that were all WAAAAAYYYYY better than I could ever be. Look at them….they have spring in their jumps, ballet turns on point, and could move to the music with grace. I don’t belong here. My brain went into overload as I shrunk myself down with thoughts swirling in my head to the tune of the I’m not good enough practically paralyzing my every move. They are all prettier than me! Did you see that long, flowing blonde hair. OMG…..look at her abs…..she will rock that golden glitter outfit! They will never select me…..I’m the brown haired girl from the tiny town no one has heard of!
Believe it or not, I actually went through to the 2nd tryouts and then from there….I NEVER went back. I told no one I tried out, because I actually didn’t. My dreams were crushed, my hopes were dashed….and a Golden Girl was not in my future, let alone a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader! Because I wasn’t good enough and they didn’t pick me. Wait, back up! They didn’t get a chance to decide NOT to pick me. I didn’t fail because I wasn’t selected….I failed because I didn’t try! I thought I was saving myself from my own humiliation, but what I gave myself was a giant dose of REGRET!
I went on to dance for my sorority and help choreograph for them because that felt safer for me. I loved every minute of it and you know what some of them said….YOU should’ve tried out for the Golden Girls!!! Well I did….but I actually really didn’t. Hmmmm…..maybe I should’ve stuck it out???? (By the way, there were only 3 sets of try-outs, so I gave up right before I could ever actually find out how the story might have turned out). Would I have made it…..maybe and maybe not! The only answer I have now is that I’ll never know. That’s the one that sucks the most.
I eventually moved to Dallas my senior year. Had I learned my lesson….Heck no! I literally drove by the stadium EVERY SINGLE DAY. Did I ever go in? Nope, not one time. Now, I’m 40 years old and planning a trip to fly to Dallas so that I can go to a game to check it off my bucket list because I didn’t understand the concept of living life in the moment and saying YES to what I want. (Did I mention I drove by there….every, single, day!)
All those regrets…they add up! That one boy I really wish I would’ve kissed in high school but never actually did because what would other people think! That one day I should’ve stuck up for myself but what if I look like a fool. That one trip I wish I would’ve taken but it would’ve been totally irresponsible. I spent a whole lot of time worrying about what other people thought and in turn, a lot of NOT doing anything.
NOW, I’ve finally learned to say YES. I say YES to me and YES to my dreams because it’s never too late. So, what if I fail? Well, I actually do….A LOT!!!!. But that’s so much better than taking the chicken exit and living with the “what if” for the rest of my life! I’ve said Yes to traveling across the globe and experiencing things such as stumbling upon an authentic sheepherder in Greece on the side of a mountain and sailing out in the middle of the ocean with 3 whales putting on a twist and dive competition that I could nearly reach out and touch them! I’ve said YES to eating the cupcake because it’s DELICIOUS! I’ve said YES to Speaking on a stage that SCARED the living daylights out of me and yes…made me sweat more bullets! I said YES to climbing a mountain to feel the WONDER of standing on the very TOP! And I’ve said YES to following my passion and building a business that I LOVE! Never would I have gotten to do any of this and so much more if I kept the belief that I wasn’t good enough and should save myself from the humiliation of life. Newsflash to me….I actually AM! The only permission I finally needed to get was the one of my own.
Not only do I say YES to my own dreams, but I work with clients all over the world to help them say YES to their own lives as well. Because everyone deserves the chance to at least find the courage to TRY OUT and instead of living each day in only wonder and regret! I decided I didn’t want to be sitting on the sidelines of my own life (or heck, sometimes I was back in the locker room watching it on TV) instead of playing full out and getting to experience what really can happen in this game of life. It’s a whole lot more fun when you actually get in on the action and surprisingly enough, most people don’t laugh…THEY CHEER. I also discovered that the ones that do make fun of me are the ones sitting on the sidelines of their own lives, so who cares. And as for me, I’m stronger and take more risks than I ever have before.
I DON’T REGRET not ever being a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. But, what I do regret is taking so long to learn the lesson in life of why it is so important to simply Show Up! Show up, try out, and see what happens!! You might even surprise yourself. Life is about playing the game, not just sitting and watching. I still have my dancing shoes on and I still plan out choreography in my head. I dance in the middle of the street when I feel like it and sometimes stop in the middle of a run to get my groove on…..just because. I plan on dancing and playing EVERY DAY for the rest of my life. And the white boots…..they are still kind of cool!!!!