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Hard Work Pays Off

Posted May 8, 2009

Meaghan S. didn’t let early disappointment prevent her from getting to the Bahamas.

Meaghan’s mind was steady, despite so many reasons for it to be swirling, while photographer Shawn Hubbard focused his lens on her. After failing to make the cheerleading team two years in a row, then not being selected for the first calendar shoot last year, she felt a sense of familiar satisfaction as she focused on the shoot.

“Having to work hard for everything, it’s kind of the way my life is,” she affirmed. “Everything in life has to be worked for in order for it to be appreciated more.”

Meaghan has been active in cheerleading since she was five years old, leading up to high school where she was a captain of the varsity squad. Entering college, she decided she wanted to continue cheering the Ravens. She didn’t make the cut. Twice.

“I wasn’t discouraged,” she noted, saying a large reason why she didn’t make the cut was maturity and responsibility. “I still learn so much every year I’m on this team. It definitely gets more enjoyable as I go on.”

Meaghan devoted herself to making the team, focusing on every detail while sill balancing her job as a nanny and her schoolwork. She finally made the team on her third try. However, she again faced disappointment when she was not one of the 18 girls selected to go to Punta Cana in 2008. Again, she felt more determined than ever, working with a personal trainer to be prepared for 2009.

Her hard work did not go unrewarded this year.

“Even as a four-year veteran, each year I get excited to see the new thing I can work toward to accomplish,” she said. A swimsuit calendar would certainly fit in that category.

“She’s a very driven person,” said Kathy, Meaghan’s mother. She admitted it is a little surreal to see her daughter on the sidelines of Ravens games, let alone in a swimsuit calendar. She knows better than most how not making the cut her first two times has “made her a stronger person.”

But as excited as she was for the shoot to come, she still felt a little twinge of disappointment when the time arrived. Meaghan’s boyfriend, Rob, was to be shipped off to Iraq the week of the trip. Last Monday morning was supposed to be the last time she saw him until January.

That was, until Rob showed up two days into the trip to surprise her.

“I was getting ready for the dance lesson at the pool and I got a call from him asking what I was doing. Then he told me to come to the 11th floor,” she said with glee. “I started screaming and running down the hallway.”

Rob was there for two days, and while it was difficult to see him leave, Meaghan was grateful for the extra time.

“[Seeing Rob] was a nice present/reward for all this hard work,” she said. “It made this trip so much more memorable.”

But remembering she was in the Bahamas for a reason, she stayed determined on her shoot.

Looking back on the experience now, and thinking about how the calendar will turn out, Meaghan only knows two things for sure.

For starters, she will likely cry when she sees the finished product, a testament to her hard work.
And secondly, she’ll send Rob a copy in Iraq.

“I’ll send copies to his entire MIT team.”

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