From her full-time job in Virginia to practices in Maryland and events throughout the area, Redskins Cheerleader Rachel R. -- who is also a captain this year -- is always on the go. Here's a look at her life away from cheer.
This is now my fourth season as a Washington Redskins cheerleader, and over the years, I have perfected managing my time and schedule when it comes to juggling work and cheer.
I am the type of person who always plans ahead for things, so this was not a big lifestyle change for me, but I just have to make sure I'm always thinking weeks in advanced so I never fall behind. At least twice a week I commute from the Northern Virginia area to FedExField, and anyone who has driven on 66 knows that there will always be traffic at anytime of the day, so trying to predict how long it will take to get to Maryland is always a struggle.
Thankfully, I always allow my self extra time whenever I drive anywhere in case there is traffic. I would always rather be 20 minutes early rather than a minute late!
Now that I am captain this season, it has been interesting to look at cheering in a different perspective.
Not only am I looking after myself, but I, along with the other captains, make sure the team is always informed and prepared for every week's worth of activities. It takes more planning and multitasking, but I couldn't love it more!
The captains help run practice and communicate the needs of our directors to the team. I have come to realize there is a lot more behind the scenes work involved with being a captain throughout the year.
Outside of cheering, I actually just like to relax and watch movies since I rarely have a full day off from both work and cheer.
When I have the time, my favorite activity is going to live hardcore rock shows in the area. I am big into the metalcore music scene, so I try to go to a show a least five times a year.
Live shows are such an adrenaline rush! I love the feeling and being surrounded by hundreds of people all shouting the lyrics to every word of the songs, and also discovering new bands to follow.
It is something different, but I have always been passionate about my music and the bands I listen to.
I am not quite sure what is in store for me once I am done with cheer. I have no big plans yet, but I know that I would love to travel and possibly live outside of the country for a couple of years. I have been so fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel with cheer and with my family that I want to explore new countries and cities I have yet to visit.