My Girlfriend Survived Another Football Season!

My Girlfriend Survived Another Football Season!

Girlfriends are counting down the end of football season, and mine fits right in with that group

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Over the course of our (soon-to-be) two year relationship, I have expressed my love for my girlfriend in a variety of ways. Whether it be long, lovey-dovey text novels, bragging about her all over social media, buying loads of her favorite makeup products or food, I continue to show my girl how much she means to me and how important she is to my entire existence. As we head into December, football season is slowly coming to an end, and there is one crucial thing I have to tell her as we begin to (unfortunately) wind down the season...

Thank you for putting up with me during another football season!

I'm more than positive that the average football fan wouldn't feel the need to thank his girlfriend for putting up with another season of football, but I'm not your average football fan. I wake up (and wake her up) every Saturday at 5:45AM just to watch ESPN's College Gameday, I'm gone most of the day when the Huskies play at home, I scream too loud whenever my teams score a critical touchdown, I manage a Fantasy Football league, I make weekly predictions for both college and NFL, and that's just the start. So you can only imagine how my girlfriend must feel between September and the Super Bowl in early February.

I've tried countless times to get my girlfriend into sports, but she has yet to budge. However, I don't need my girlfriend to be the biggest sports fan. I love her more than anything in life and the fact that she continues to be there for me everyday-even on our days off and I'm on my phone watching NFL RedZone-I thank my lucky stars that I have this girl.

I'm extremely thankful that my girlfriend knows she's dating the world's biggest sports fan, but she constantly shows me love, support, affection, empathy, and everything else I want in a girlfriend. There are times I stop and think about how my football obsessed life could put a damper on what we have, and I have made some sacrifices because of this. The Alex of old would do absolutely nothing on Saturday's except sit in front of the tv and click on every single sports channel to catch a glimpse of whatever games were playing. I'm sure a moth was more productive than me on Saturdays. Now that I have a Monday-Friday job, I really treasure Saturdays and spend them with my girlfriend doing whatever we please, and it's an added bonus that she doesn't care if I check the scores as much as I want. I should also point out that my girlfriend knows how much I love my teams, so she knows right away that if the Huskies and Seahawks are playing, we're back home (or in front of a television) well before kickoff!

So again, thank you to my wonderful girlfriend for what you've had to put up with last season, this season, and whether you like it or not, what you'll have to put up with for the seasons to come. You've managed to survive another football season, and although we still have some college Bowl games in late December and early January along with the NFL Playoffs, I'd say the worst is pretty much over.

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.
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I fell in love with the game in second grade. I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone; it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach: Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off" and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake; I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself; not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, you turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It’s about the players. You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won’t have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time


Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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Figure Skating Is A Mental Game

Being a competitive athlete, there's many downs but there are moments where it's worth while.

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I feel so anxious that it feels like someone is constantly breathing down my neck. My heart is beating at 100 mph. My insides are tightening up and my palms are sweaty. My legs are frozen to a point where they are numb. The smell of hairspray and the taste of red lipstick lingers. The feeling of the ice against my blades is music to my ears. I tied my skates multiple times so it feels perfect. I keep moving to keep warm.

"Am I supposed to feel this way?".

"It's okay to feel this way, it's normal. I would be concerned if you didn't. Nevertheless, I believe in you. You have worked so hard for this".

"I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders, right now. If I don't do well, I failed everyone even myself".

"Don't think like that, you have prepared yourself well and you should have faith in yourself also. No matter what happens today, you should be proud of what you have accomplished in over the years you have skated. This is a lesson in life. If something knocks you down seven times, you get up eight times. That's what this sport has taught you. You are stronger than you think. This is your passion so let go of all of reality now and skate for yourself. Show everyone what you can do, this is your moment".

"Thank you, for everything".

She's right, you are stronger than you think. This is a mental game. If you tear yourself down, you're going to go down. Focus, you have to focus. As she said, you love this sport, the adrenaline and the feeling of being powerful. For once, you actually feel beautiful. Never mind that, but you are beautiful. Outside and in, and beautiful to watch. Skating is my escape from reality which is everything that I don't want, what I don't need. The pressure of being perfect, the mental breakdowns, the fear of failure, and the fear of getting hurt. Anything can happen within any moment but it's a risk that's worth taking.

Just forget it, there's no need to keep dwelling on the things that you can't change. This, right now, is all about you. This is your moment. Take it and never let go.

"And our next skater representing the Summit Figure Skating Club of North Carolina, Jessica Tran".

"Alright, do it to it".

I went out with a smile, the crowd cheering me on as I am getting ready to start my program.

"Breathe, take a deep breath. You got this, trust yourself".

As soon as I stood right in front of the judges, I was ready. The music began, filling the rink with a sudden shock. I turned on my character, my determination, and my love for skating.

Once the music stopped, everything stopped. It went by so fast that all I could really remember was the moment I finished. The heavy breathing, the sore arms, and weak legs. With a huge smile, I bowed to the judges and then to the crowd. I did it. I didn't care about the small mistakes that I did. I didn't care that I landed a difficult element. I didn't care that I fell on the easiest thing that I could do. All that mattered was the fact that I kept going. At the end of the day, medal or not, I'm still a winner.

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