Reunited and it "Cheers" so Good!
Alumni Cheerleaders is excited to have Megan Meadors as one of their newest members and also for this week’s feature story! Megan is a former Indianapolis Colts Cheerleader and just recently retired her pom poms to begin a new chapter in her life.
Were cheerleading and dancing a part of your life when you were younger?
Yes, I come from a long line of cheerleaders. My Mom, Aunts, Grandmother, and even my Grandpa were cheerleaders! I cheered from 7th grade to my senior year and was a member of our competition team in high school. I feel like it was always in my blood. I took dance classes starting at three years old and continued dancing into high school when I joined my school’s show choir. In college I was a member of our dance team. I have always had a love of performing and was full of team spirit.
You were a member of the illustrious Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders. What years did you cheer for the Colts and what made you decide to retire and hang up the poms?
I cheered from 2010 to 2013 and they were some of the most amazing and rewarding years of my life! I don’t think people realize how time consuming it is to be a professional cheerleader. Not only do we practice twice a week late into the night, arrive at Lucas Oil Stadium at 6:00am for 1:00pm Sunday games, do a minimum of 20 appearances a year, work-out 7 days a week, and practice our dances outside of rehearsals, but we also all have full-time jobs or go to school full-time. Sleep and time with friends and family become scarce. Although I loved every minute of my experience with the Colts, I felt it was time to focus on my family, friends, and career.
Megan, you did an amazing and heart touching gesture by having your hair cut off and shaved at a Colts game as a show of support with cancer-stricken coach Chuck Pagano. What led to your decision to do such a kind act?
I, like most people, have been personally touched by the devastating effects of cancer. I have had family, friends, and mentors diagnosed with different forms of cancer, some survived and some did not. I have volunteered at Riley Hospital for Children and watched little girls battle for their life all while losing their hair. When I was approached about participating in the ChuckStrong campaign I knew it was a challenge I had to accept. My goal was three-fold:
1. Change the stereotype that professional cheerleaders are vain, vapid and not woman of substance and show the world that we are, as a whole, woman who care about our community and others and want to make a positive impact on the world.
2. Raise money to fund research to eradicate cancer.
3. Be a form of inspiration to women, young women, and girls who have or will have to shave their head and lose their hair as a side effect of their treatment to kill their cancer. Bald is truly beautiful. I wanted women to know that beauty is more than the outward appearance. True beauty is about having a caring heart, a kind spirit, and a loving personality. This is what makes a person truly stunning, not long flowing hair.
I have a couple of very memorable moments besides shaving my head for the ChuckStrong campaign. My first regular season game was “the Manning Bowl” a Monday night game at Lucas Oil Stadium, the Giants versus the Colts. The events were exhilarating: first hearing Faith Hill sing the Monday Night Football theme song on the jumbotron, then the starting line up with the roof open and the stars shining down, then the National Anthem with the full field flag and the military flyover. We capped off the night with an amazing win! Another memory was traveling internationally my rookie year. First to Mexico City to promote the NFL internationally on a ten day tour and next to Okinawa Japan to do a 7 day military tour to support our troops. Singing is my first love and I was able to sing the National Anthem twice for the team on game day and sing in three halftime shows honoring our military. Lastly was performing all over Indianapolis when we hosted Super Bowl XLVI. I was able to dance at Super Bowl village, sign autographs for fans at the NFL Experience, sing the National Anthem right in the middle of downtown to kick-off Super Bowl weekend, and dance live on the Jimmy Fallon Super Bowl Special. Being an Indianapolis Colts Cheerleader was life changing!
What advice would you give to a current or future cheerleader?
Live every moment like it is your last. I know the practices can cause late nights and appearances can cause long days. I know your body aches, you just want to take a nap, and you really just want to eat all the carbs in the world but do your best to be your best at all times. Being an NFL cheerleader is a dream for so many young women and only a select very special few get to live that dream. Focus on the positive, make lifelong friendships, smile at all times, and always dance full out!
We understand you are a former Miss Indiana. Please tell us about that honor.
I was honored to be Miss Indiana 2008 after competing in the Miss America system for 5 years. I loved the core values of the Miss America organization: Service, Scholarship, Inner Beauty, and Talent. I was able to live my dream of traveling the state doing community service, getting scholarship monies to pay for my Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy, and perform my talent.
Tell us what you are doing now and your plans for “After the Poms”.
I am a practicing Occupational Therapist with the geriatric population. I am continuing to speak to young people about my experience with the ChuckStrong campaign and encourage them to make a positive impact in their world. I am also continuing to volunteer with the Miss Indiana organization as a New Contestant Liaison and their princess program. I am also volunteering with the Colts Cheerleading department helping the current squad with public speaking, media training and am helping with our new alumni program and Junior Cheer programs. I am continuing to volunteer with organizations I believe in such as Relay for Life, March of Dimes, youth mentoring, American Cancer Society, etc. Lastly, I am enjoying my free time with friends and family!
Travel destination: Cabo, Mexico
TV Show: Law and Order
Movie: Slumdog Millionaire
Quote: Never, Never, Never Give Up - Winston Churchill
Thank you so much Megan for your time and interview with Alumni Cheerleaders! You are a talented and beautiful young lady inside and out. Cheers to continued success!!