Archives for April 2013

Why Situps & Sequins?

My name is Christa and I am a 28 year old former NFL Cheerleader, living in St. Louis, Missouri.  I was born and raised in Missouri, except for a 4 year stint in North Carolina, during my early years.  I went to college at the University of Missouri-Columbia (M-I-Z!) and after college, I moved back to St. Louis to pursue a career in marketing.  After a few (count them, 5!) career changes, I am now an Account Manager at an Internet Solutions company and truly enjoy what I am doing- FINALLY!

While at Mizzou, I met my husband, Matt.  We have been together for over 8 years, got married in October, 2011 and bought our first house in March, 2012.  No pets or kids yet. (Sorry mom!)  Taking care of ourselves and our house is enough for now!  He is everything I ever wanted in a husband; he is my partner in crime, my best friend, my soul mate, and MY biggest cheerleader.  Ok, enough of the gushing…but he really is the best. 🙂

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Two of my other biggest cheerleaders (in life AND on the football field) are my amazing parents, Donna and Jim.  They have been together for over 30 years, and Matt and I can only hope to have a marriage like they do, full of respect and love.  They have sat through countless dance recitals, dance competitions, and high school sporting events, just to watch me perform and do what I love.  All of this paid off, when supporting me meant coming to a Mizzou or Rams game- I think only then did my dad forgive me for all of the recitals he had to endure, because he got the best of both worlds.

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I also have a younger sister, Brittany, who many say could be my twin.  (My mom would like me to say she could also be our triplet, and that isn’t entirely false!) 🙂  Brittany didn’t follow in my dancing footsteps, but she definitely tried every sport I didn’t have the desire (or ability) to do.  Rounding out our family is the son my dad never had- our Golden Retriever, Ringo.  He gives me and my sister a run for our money in the favorite kid category, and I really can’t blame them, he’s pretty darn cute!

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I started dancing at a studio at the age of 3, and haven’t looked back since!  I continued through high school and was a Golden Girl at Mizzou.  Once I finished college and had a year off from dancing, I realized I truly missed performing in front of a crowd and being part of a team….so, that’s when I decided to try out to be a St. Louis Rams Cheerleader.  I was ecstatic when I made it, and even more honored when I was asked to be captain after my rookie season and selected to represent my team at the 2012 NFL Pro Bowl in Hawaii.  In addition to performing on the field at football games, a large part of our jobs as cheerleaders was community service and outreach.  I was fortunate enough to travel overseas to Kuwait, Iraq and Kosovo for military appreciation tours, and participated in countless charity events in the St. Louis area.  I also had the opportunity to travel to Cancun for calendar shoots, London for an International Series football game at Wembley Stadium, and the Dominican Republic for a Super Bowl promotion tour.  My journey with the Rams lasted for 5 amazing years, and this past season I decided would be my last.  It was a very bittersweet end to what had been such a life-changing experience, but I knew in my heart it was time to move on.

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Since college, I have always taken my health and fitness pretty seriously, but cheering for the NFL really brings it up a notch, to say the least!  Imagine cheering in front of a crowd of 60,000+ fans, but here’s the catch, you are in a half top and mini skirt….that’s 120,000 eyes that could be looking at you, at any moment in time….I’ll let that marinate for a minute. 🙂  If that isn’t pressure enough to always be in tip-top shape, I don’t know what else is!  When I first made the team, I thought I was in pretty good shape….that is, until I met our trainer (insert suspenseful music here).  He was the bearer of bad news- carbs are not your friend and light jogging paired with a few bicep curls just isn’t going to cut it, not in this world!  I am actually extremely grateful for everything that I learned from him, as well as our future trainers.  I now know what to eat and how to exercise in order to maintain a fit and, more importantly, healthy lifestyle both on and off the football field.

And that’s where Situps & Sequins comes in!  Now that my dancing and cheering career is over, I decided I wanted something else in my life that would hold me accountable and allow me to continue maintaining the healthy lifestyle that I have grown accustomed to.  I am a pretty self-motivated person already, but I thought this blog would be an extra incentive to stay in shape, and I’m hoping to inspire others along the way!