Cheerleading with a Purpose!!!

Peyton Music 

Meet Peyton, GR8-1 newest Brand Ambassador.


Peyton is a Senior at Annville-Cleona High School in Annville PA. She's part of the 2022 class and is captain of the Varsity High School Squad. Peyton is 2X UCA All-American Cheerleader, 2X GK Elite Ambassador and a Big 33 Cheerleader. Peyton will be attending U Pitt next fall to pursue a Poli-Sci major on a pre-Law track.


Q: Rumor has it that in addition to all your workload (schoolwork and cheerleading activities) you also coach a cheerleading team of children with disabilities. Can you share that experience in terms of how it impacts you?

A. Coaching a cheerleading team for athletes with disabilities has affected me because I feel as if I can teach my athletes personal empowerment. I love seeing how excited my athletes get when I teach them a new skill and them seeing that they are able to do things such as forward rolls by themselves gives them such a confidence boost, it makes my entire week seeing my athletes be proud of their accomplishments that they work hard for.


Q. Can you share with the GR8-1 community what goes into cheerleading? The mental approach, the physical demand, the discipline. Anything that can I inform the audience about the beyond the obviousness of the sport.

A. Cheerleading is probably one of the hardest sports. Mental toughness is a huge factor in whether or not you will succeed. The ability to be able to trust your body to do all sorts of flips is not an easy task. The athlete needs mental toughness to be able to tell themselves, “I can do this”. 2 minutes and 30 seconds of constant, intense cardio is not a simple task and on top of it all we still need to smile and perform no matter how tired we are. Practices are physically demanding, to be able to lift a girl up and do all sorts of flips you need to be in good physical health. Personally, I get personalized training three times a week, on top of my own at home workouts, and at practice we do 30 minutes of hard conditioning every practice and follow it up with 10 minutes of stretching to better our flexibility. 


Q. How do you successfully manage all your activities and what advice do you have for all the young ones out there on multitasking and most importantly accomplishing everything you set your eyes on.

A. I am able to manage school and cheer by keeping a planner. I keep a planner that has everyday planned out by the hour. I schedule personal training on the days I do not have cheer practice and allow myself enough time everynight to complete any homework that may have carried over from my school day. I am lucky enough to have a 20 minute study hall after lunch where I am able to wrap up any homework if need be. My mom also plays a big role in helping me get done what I need to because she will help me find time throughout the week to get done what I need to get done.


Q. Can you tell us about where you are right now in your life? Hopes, dreams, plans?

A. Right now I am on two all star competitive all star cheerleading teams and am captain of my high school's varsity team. I hope to become a lawyer in the future and I am also planning on cheering in college. 


Q. Do you have any advise on how to identify your calling and your talents early on in life?

A. Honestly, I’ve played just about every sport out there, but over time I relaized that I did not like those other sports the same way I like cheer. I love cheer, but I didn’t necessarily love those other sports. So as I got older and I got more involved in cheerleading I made the decision to only cheer as it was the sport I planned on doing the rest of my life and in college. 


Q. What are your near future plans? College?

A. I am going to be attending the University of Pittsburgh for the fall 2022 term in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences where I will be majoring in political science with a minor in philosophy to get me on the pre-law track. Once I get my undergraduate degree in political science I plan on taking the LSAT and attending the University of Pittsburgh School of Law where I plan on becoming a lawyer.


Q. How about long term plans?

A. I plan on becoming a lawyer and possibly opening my own law firm, but a big dream of mine is to be a member of Congress someday.


Q. Apparently over-achievement runs deep in the family. Your younger brother Greyson is a pretty accomplished wrestler at his young age. Can you talk about the sibling dynamics? How you influence/inspire each other?

A. Me and Greyson are very competitive and that makes us both want to keep bettering ourselves. 


Q. GR8ness is?

A. GR8NESS is being the best athlete I can possibly be. Pushing myself everyday, to get stronger and better. 

October 10, 2021 — Michele Colonna
The Three F's (Friends, Family, Faith)

The Three F's (Friends, Family, Faith)

We came across Derrick's story from an abcnews profile which was very inspiring and very much in line with who we are as a brand. Derrick's story is very much part of the canon of stories that we want to tell. It's the quintessential American story: hard work, perseverance, determination, faith and ultimately success as the outcome. We had a chance to connect with Derrick recently for a brief chat. You can read Derrick's story here.


1Q. Having followed your social media activity for only about a month now, what comes across loud and clear, is a consistent message of optimism, faith and belief in one’s self. Is that a fair snapshot of who you are as a person? Kindly elaborate.

1A. I’m very optimistic when it comes to life because I know who holds my life plans so I just try everyday as a person to be positive about life even in times of negativity.

2Q. I know it’s been quite a whirlwind since the WABC profile, the work at the school, college etc. Can you share with us where Derrick is today in his life journey?

2A. Dreams, hopes, fears, accomplishments, you name it. Today in my life I’m a junior in college working on my bachelors degree to become a PE everything else will take care of it self.


3Q. Can you share your personal experience in the role that mentorship plays in a community?

3A. From my experience standpoint is that it helped me grow as a person to be able to help someone out and remembering the people who helped me.


4Q.  It’s 2031. Where do I find Derrick? What is he been up to?

4A. 2031 you will find me coaching at school and developing young people in sports to be better in competition and in life.


5Q. What is your definition of success? What makes for a successful life?

5A. My definition for success is being a person on Earth that is using everyday living their purpose out and storing riches in other people lives.


6Q.  A day in Derrick’s life

6A. A day in my life is following the 3 F’s  faith, family, & friends. Having a clear mind everyday knowing I’m blessed to have what I have in life a relationship with Jesus and the people he gave me to do life with. 


7Q. a GR8-1 is…….

7A. A GR8-1 is a relentless competitor that will overcome any obstacles that life throws at them. Life is more 10% what happens to you 90% how you respond. 

July 20, 2021 — Michele Colonna
Meet Kyle

Meet Kyle

Meet Kyle, 9 Yrs Old, NC

July 13, 2021 — Michele Colonna
Wisdom From the Heartland - a 1 on 1 with Alex Hogan

Wisdom From the Heartland - a 1 on 1 with Alex Hogan

Before there was a website, a shop in shop, a collaboration pipeline....there was a very heartfelt conversation among us as to what we wanted GR8-1 to be. What we wanted it to say and what we wanted it to stand for. Ultimately, we agreed that purpose and authenticity and encouraging young men and women to #LIVEONPURPOSE became our rallying cry. When we received Alex's personal story submission, we couldn't have felt more validated of the fact that we're building a brand that is much more than an apparel brand but rather a platform for empowerment. Alex story speaks to grit, determination, passion and most importantly gaining agency over one's own life. We sat down with Alex to gain more insights into his personal journey and hope you're as inspired as we are by his story.

1Q - Dialog and communication were some of the most salient points to your GR8-1 story submission. Can you speak to the role you see them playing on a wide scale and most importantly in your life

1A - When I began my business career in 2018, my mentors would often say that the number one thing that you can do to succeed is to listen more than you speak.  I believe my mom said it best when she told me that I was given two ears and only one mouth for a reason.  The only way to truly learn in life is by listening to stories and experiences that those around us tell.  Although history isn’t always a beautiful thing, it is worth talking about to ensure that the same problems don’t occur over and over again.  Dialog and communication late in my college years was critical to bringing me to the point that I am today because I stopped learning.  Although I had great experience with my college years, I was always searching to learn more.  I see both dialog and communication as being the sole factor to progressing individuals to their full potential in whatever they are passionate about.  Of course though, there is the caveat of surrounding yourself with those that you aspire to be.  Meaning that I’m not going to take advice about becoming an astronaut from a professional baseball player and vice versa.  Surround yourself by good people, open your ears, and I’m certain that your own vision of success will become a reality.


2Q - Discipline plays a crucial role in your story. Can you share how one successfully adopts it and internalize it?

2A - Discipline is one of those words that make people cringe in conversations.  Back in my younger years, I LOVED sleeping in, and I LOVED to play video games.  Although there is nothing wrong with either of these things, spending a lot of time sleeping or playing games wasn’t going to get me to what I believed that I wanted to be.  I am quite a realist, and I genuinely believe that people can achieve incredible things when they put their minds to it.  Although there are some humans that are better than others, there is plenty of room out there to get your own piece of the pie.  How someone adopts and internalizes discipline is simply by getting out of bed and getting it done.  What I mean by this is that although I didn’t want to wake up at 4:30 am today to run, I still did it because in my head, success is getting across the half marathon line in first place.  When I was two-hundred and sixty pounds, the last thing I ever thought about was running.  Discipline is such a powerful tool that everyone should adopt to their day-to-day.  Whether your dreams are to sell more than your peers, run a marathon, or be successful in whatever you want in life, it takes discipline.


3Q - How do you balance authenticity with needing to “fit-in”?

3A - This is such a great question because I have always struggled with wanting people to know that I am being authentic.  I said it earlier that I am a realist, but I really am described by my peers as being extremely optimistic and having a positive outlook on situations.  Often times this has made people a little weary of me with first impressions.  Balancing authenticity with needing to “fit-in” is actually quite easy, and when done correctly, is a massive relief.  I have found my balance by being myself.  In 2018, I stepped into a relatively high level position at a safety company, and truth be told, I knew NOTHING about the industry.  This level of ignorance always made me feel like I was trying to be something that I am not and act like I knew it all.  It wasn’t until I realized that not knowing it all was actually a beautiful thing and allowed for me to ask the real pros questions that will eventually make me a specialist in my field.  Nothing good ever happens overnight, or when we try to be something that we’re not.  Balance this by listening more than you speak, and never forgetting where you came from.   


4Q - How did you successfully bridge your realization that you were only a year from the "real world" and the actual achievement of your many milestones?

4A - Discipline.  After completing a successful internship with Amazon, I realized that I was only one fish in a very large ocean.  I mean seriously, there are some smart people out there!  I knew that although I could talk the talk, being average wasn’t going to cut it to get me where I want to be in life.  Believe me in saying that this realization was like when a lifelong smoker gives up cigarettes cold turkey.  I sat in bed one morning and told myself that I needed to wake up at seven o’clock, have breakfast, and prepare for my first class of senior year.  What I then did was set my alarm and made a promise to myself that no matter what, I was going to wake up at this time each day.  Like anything else in life, doing it the first time is always the hardest time!  After a week I realized that going back to my old ways wasn’t going to work and I fully adopted a discipline lifestyle that I promised myself to not give up on.  I want to be clear in stating that after day one, it really wasn’t hard.  


5Q - What are the true measures in your opinion of what makes a GR8-1?

5A - I made a comment earlier that sleeping in late and playing video games wasn’t going to make it for me.  With that being said, there are plenty of GREAT career opportunities where people do both of these things and could be considered a GR8-1.  What I believe makes someone a GR8-1 is those that do everything in their power to achieve their full potential.  The start of achieving success is defining what success looks like in the mind of that individual.  My measures for success in running were both getting healthy (losing weight) and achieving my distance goals.  Once I achieved both of these things, I then began working on becoming a competitive runner and so on.  Understanding that success isn’t an end all be all and something that is forever a moving target is extremely powerful.  Setting little targets along the journey is what helped me stay discipline and on track.


6Q - What advice would you share with the GR8-1 community to #LIVEONPURPOSE ?

6A - Don’t let anyone tell you what your definition of success or greatness is.  You only get one chance at this life, so be good to people, and don’t live some average life that doesn’t make you feel good.  Also, I would recommend that everyone take a good hard look in the mirror and understand who they are, and what they truly want to be before starting their journey to individual success.  The only person that can get you to where you want to be is you.  Don’t sell yourself short and never give up!


7Q - GR8-1 is……..

7A - Someone that isn’t afraid to go after whatever they believe their definition of success is.

July 02, 2021 — Michele Colonna
"Never Stop Creating" - Austin Zucchini Fowler

"Never Stop Creating" - Austin Zucchini Fowler

A 1 on 1 with Denver-based artist and muralist Austin Zucchini Fowler. We discuss the delicate balance between art and work, what GR8ness means to him and his rapid rise to national prominence.
June 23, 2021 — Michele Colonna
Tags: Art Mural Art