Cheer Auditions Diary: Week 1

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Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders auditions are coming up in just a few short weeks, and two-year team veteran Sara D. is well into her preparations for the grueling few days that will decide if she'll be back on the team for the 2011 season. Follow her path to auditions and beyond in her new diary that will be featured each week here on AtlantaFalcons.com

Auditions.

The word alone incites myriad emotions in me. I remember moving to Atlanta in May 2008, right after graduating from the University of Colorado. I was nervous about a new city and knowing no one. After one of my closest friends convinced me that auditioning for the Falcons was the right idea, I began preparation, totally unaware that the best few years of my life were to come.

My first audition experience was a complete whirlwind, and here I am, two years under my belt, preparing for my third NFL pro cheerleading audition — albeit, still just as nervous as I was the first time around. As a veteran, our position on the team is not secure. We have to audition just as if it were our first time. I believe we have to work even harder to prove why we should be kept on the team.

The idea behind this audition diary is to give you, faithful Falcons fans, insight into the process. It's not a walk in the park and it's a nerve-wracking, intense process for all those who participate. I want to open the door to show you the inside of auditions, and all of the emotional, mental and physical effort that we pour into them.

We are now three weeks out … unbelievable! The 2010-2011 season came and went in a flash. Preliminary auditions are on Sunday, March 20th, followed by the workshop and choreography day on Wednesday, March 23rd, and of course, the final audition on Thursday, March 24th. Getting to that point, however, is a long road.

To prepare, I amp up and change up my workout routine (for fitness advice, check out Denita's latest blog), I have been doing a variation of interval cardio exercises including sprints, lifting weights and spinning; and I have been taking classes that emphasize full body interval exercise.

I have combined an intensified workout regimen with an updated eating plan. Nutrition is just as important as working out! I have a condition called Celiac Disease that prohibits me from eating anything with gluten in it (wheat, oats, barley, and rye), which makes finding the right balance in eating a challenge at times.

I have focused in on grilled chicken and fish with vegetables and snacking healthily on fruit and raw almonds throughout the day. My focus on fitness has become important to me throughout my journey on AFC, but also for life in general. Gearing up for auditions is always a sharp reminder of role fitness plays when I am on the field, and I've really stepped it up over the past two years.

As far as mental preparation goes, I always take time for me to focus on why I want to be a part of this team. Being on AFC is a once in a lifetime opportunity, something I never want to take for granted. AFC is a sisterhood in which we hard work and dedication is valued, laughs and tears are shared, and above all, it's a way for us to do something we love and have fun while doing so. I keep this in the forefront of my mind when I'm getting ready for auditions, and it helps to motivate me to keep pushing, keep working to prove myself to earn a spot on this prestigious team in this very special organization.

I'm so thrilled that you've joined me on my journey throughout auditions! Keep up with my AFC Audition Diary and you'll get a peek inside our world! As always, you can catch me on Twitter @AFC_Sara or on Facebook.

Cheers,

Sara

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