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October 31, 2006


Rock on!

When I was in high school I too was a cheerleader (there it is, for the record- I rarely admit this). It was also requisite that, as cheerleaders, we be enrolled in a cheer class during the school day so that we'd have enough time to practice. But I was not only a cheerleader, I was involved in a lot of other activities as well: I was a starting fullback (3 years) on the Varsity soccer team, and team captain; I was offered the opportunity to do the choreography for the school musical that year; I was taking classes concurrently at the local state college to earn college credit; and more. All these latter things I saw as good as they developed parts of me I treasure still today.

Late one fall, during my senior year, I was told that I needed to cheerlead for the girl's soccer team that week. I was told by my cheer coach that I needed to withdraw myself as a player from that particular game to "support the team." When I told my cheer coach that I felt the best way I could support the team was to take my place on the field she became very upset and told me that "our place" is on the sideline. She then raised the issue of my attendance of the local state college and that, because I had a release from the first hour of school, I was not "officially" a full-time student and she questioned what kind of example I was because a cheerleader should be at her high-school supporting it and not attending college early. She made it clear that she was upset with my extracurricular activities that took me away from cheerleading. This took me by surprise because I had never been late or missed anything. This particular (and important) play-off soccer game, near the end of the semester, was the first conflict.

I did play that game and our team did well. We advanced in the play-offs only to lose the next game and be eliminated (you can't win them all)- but I was awarded "All-State" in soccer my senior year. It was a great honor. Another result of this was that at the end of the semester I received a "C" in cheerleading class for not cheering at that one soccer game, and wearing the wrong shoes to practice once (full grade drop for each)! This took me off the honor roll that semester and scarred a report card of straight A's.

"Our Place" is where we define it to be. No one has the right to determine who we are. That is between God and ourselves coupled with our work and our vision. We "support the team" (i.e. the world), when we are true to who we really are and reach for the full-potential we have as daughters of God!

The wonderful thing about being a woman is that there is a time and a place and a season to cheer and support, and there is a time to put aside the pom-poms and join the game! Sacrifices will always have to be made but our potential and ability to dream and work must not be thrown away.

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About this blog

  • When I took a sabbatical from Wall Street to pursue a different dream and help others live theirs, I learned that women in the U.S. may be placated, even pampered, but because we aren't dreaming, we are also desperate and depressed. Drawing on a variety of sources, ranging from academic studies to pop culture, dare to dream encourages us to dream. And then to act on our dreams.


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