Our first Epic Athletes of the season are Brookelyn Cristaudo from Utah Fusion Allstars and Payton Derr from Pennsylvania Elite. As 12-year-old Payton put it, “ an Epic Athlete is one that excels in her sport. She is ambitious and is always working hard and willing to learn new skills/techniques to help her continue to improve. An Epic Athlete is always pushing herself to limits she wasn’t even sure she could reach.”
Both of these athletes have pushed themselves to excel from a very young age. When asked what it meant to Live Full Out, both Brookelyn and Payton discussed the importance of dedicating themselves to their schoolwork as much as they do cheerleading:
“Living full out means taking care of myself physically and mentally. I try to get the rest I need to be able to do my best not only in cheer but in school. I try and eat right to give myself the energy I need. I also work hard to balance my time so that I put in the gym time I need to continue to thrive and improve in cheer, but I also want to be sure to maintain good grades and quality relationships with my family and friends. I’m quickly learning that with every happy, exciting moment comes some frustrating and upsetting ones. “ –Payton
“My life consists of cheerleading and school and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Grades are so important to me, which is why I work as hard in school as I do cheer. I finished the school year with straight A’s all year including a few A+s. I am asked on a daily basis by my friends at school why I do what I do, and my answer is always the same- I truly love what I do, and I love the person I have become. I am strong, dedicated, confident, and so much more.” –Brookelyn
At the young ages of 12 and 9, both girls have a mature outlook on struggles and pushing through them to make themselves better. Whenever Brookelyn is working on a new skill she looks to her favorite quote, “The Road to Success is Paved with Failures.” She says, “There are days when I have struggled greatly, but with each day I choose to start over, and not think about the day before.” Payton rises above negativity by surrounding herself with positive influences: “With the support of my friends in all-star cheer, my close school friends, my family, and my coaches, I work to overcome these feelings, and don’t let them affect me. In fact, I use this as fuel to impact how I want to be a positive role model to others around me.” These girls are working to not only improve themselves as an athlete, but growing into stronger, kinder, and even more beautiful people.
It is an honor to have such admirable Junior Epic Athletes this season, and we look forward to seeing where these two go in the future!
“Living full out can be hard, but how you handle the challenges given to you defines the type of life you will live. I choose to face my challenges. I choose to make good choices and not be influenced to do things that will negatively hurt my body or my future. I choose to learn from my mistakes and seek help and advice when I need it. I choose to be coachable, and realize my weaknesses and work hard to make them better. I choose to never take anything for granted!” – Payton Derr