In my sixth year as an Atlanta Falcons Cheerleader, the question I still get that surprises me the most is: "How well can 40 girls actually get along?"
Most people assume that 40 women of such varied backgrounds, ages and professions would be competitive and catty. Honestly, this can't be further from the truth.
This is why the Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders has become such a very special family for me and why I have made it such a distinct part of my life for the past six years. The team has brought me my best friends, my bridesmaids, the girls I enjoy weekly dinners and practices with. Each year I am blessed with 39 amazing friends.
Even though we share so much time together during the year, a trip like the one we're on in Jamaica for the 2012-13 swimsuit calendar shoot is a unique experience for us to bond, as our friendships grow in quality and quantity.
Thursday night, we celebrated our first night in Jamaica as a full team by enjoying a special team dinner. Our hotel staff was even kind enough to bring a special birthday surprise dessert to our choreographer, Jakene Ashford, as we continued to celebrate her fabulous birthday.
As I write this I' m laying on the beach with about 20 of my teammates sharing stories of the past few days and talking about how hopeful we are for an amazing season for our team. Several girls just took off on a sailboat for a thrilling Jamaican cruise, while others have left Montego Bay for their shoot at the Dunes River Falls near Ocho Rios.
Each time a new group prepares to shoot we cheer them on as a team — wishing them happy posing and tons of clexy (classy sexy) spinergy ( spirit energy). We are so close that we've even embraced our own "cheer terms" unique to AFC.
Trust me, not every team is this cheer-mazing. We are truly blessed. It is moments like these that bring us closer as a team and open our eyes to the amazing people around us. As the weekend draws to an end and the calendar shoot wraps, we will return to Atlanta a little tanner and a lot closer to the each other.