The Founding of GXA CHEER

Brett Lothridge - VoyageATL Interview

Please tell us about GXA CHEER
Established in 2009, Genesis Xtreme AllStars is Suwanee, GA’s most distinguished AllStar Cheerleading & Tumbling Facility. Today we’d like to introduce you to Brett Lothridge.

Brett, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I began my journey with the sport of cheerleading at the age of 18 not realizing at that time it would eventually lead me toward my career path as an adult. While falling in love with one of the fastest growing sports around and becoming such an enthusiast for this sport and industry, it began to opened doors in my life I never dreamed possible. I was able to cheer and coach at Clemson University in Clemson, SC. I became a 3 Time NCA Collegiate All-American for Clemson University Large Coed while also winning various National Championships with Georgia All Stars Open COED (Cheersport Open Champs 2003) & Carolina All Stars Open COED (Cheersport Open Champs 2007). While training to achieve various skills needed at the Elite level, I was able to slowly enter into a series of career paths as a Traveling Summer Camp Staffer, Coach, Instructor, and Choreographer. These roles allowed me to inspire the younger generations with my knowledge and passion for this sport.  After settling down for a couple of years in Greenville, SC the real challenges of my life began. During the market crash in 2009, my life began to slowly spin out of control and unravel, starting one the hardest journeys I would face during the next 6 years of my life. During those 6 years, I lost everything thing I owned as well as ending up in a different state, alone, dealing with personal life struggles. I was wondering daily if I was going to ever make a recovery or if the best part of my life was over. Many sleepless nights and a battle with depression began. In my darkest hours is where I found my hope. As I was watching my life wither away in front of my eyes I faced a reality of who am I…… why am I doing this? That very night I was sitting in my room just having my power disconnected that day…I found peace. The peace of a small quiet voice saying you can be more!!! You’re just going to have to dig deep, work hard and be as disciplined as you were as an athlete. I knew then it was time to unveil a stronger work ethic and a structure to my daily life. While stumbling onto the name GENESIS and instantly falling in love with it. The verse from Genesis 12:2 became a platform for me to ground my feet on and stand firm during these trials in my personal life. (I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. Genesis 12:2 NLT). That one verse was all I needed to ignite a spark inside me again. This verse gave me the encouragement to impact & inspire lives for this industry even if that meant living in my car to do so. From that very point, I started the process of making GXA CHEER (Genesis Xtreme AllStars) come to life. My mission is to strive on a daily basis to inspire athletes to be “SIMPLY THE BEST”. We want every GXA athlete to believe in themselves and see the results of their hard work and commitment.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
As anyone striving to achieve the American dream of being successful and owning a business, I faced many hurdles along the way. Some of the obstacles I faced was my personal life issues, financially losing everything during the market crash, realizing who your real friends were during hard times and learning that “me” can be the biggest obstacle to overcome on my journey to success.

Please tell us about GXA CHEER.
 GXA CHEER takes great pride in teaching athletes discipline, determination, self-motivation, confidence, respect for others, teamwork, sportsmanship and perseverance. We administer these teachings above through coaching, mentoring and being actively involved with each child. GXA CHEER also promotes a healthy development of each athlete physically, mentally, and emotionally through athletics and training.

What I am most proud of about GXA CHEER is its founding. “No one will believe in your dream the way you do…… because it’s your dream, not theirs.” From the way, we started to where we are!!! I saw my dream and worked hard to achieve it every step of the way no matter the hard times I faced. Many people told me I would never make it. You’re not going to last, you’re not good enough, you don’t have enough money to keep it going in the right direction, trying to use me as a stepping stone to build their own dreams off my back, but where there is a will…… there is a way. I believe what sets GXA CHEER apart from other facilities in our area is how we run our classes, the way we coach skills & the environment that our staff creates for parents and athletes. The atmosphere that you create inside your facility can mean more than just the skills they learn along the way.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite childhood memory was having Monday night dinners with family at my grandparents. It was something that I took for granted in my youth, but something I will never forget now that I’m older.