Life Lessons Of An Athletic Upbringing

Life Lessons Of An Athletic Upbringing

Life's most valuable lessons are taught through the world of athleticism.
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Growing up an athlete most definitely had its perks and downfalls. Between 5 a.m. fitness and the unforgettable feeling of stepping onto the pitch, there were moments of both defeat and triumph. I learned so much with an athletic upbringing. Even though my career came to an unfortunate end, living in the very rewarding world of athletics left me with so many lessons learned.

Be humble, because somebody will always be ready to take your place.

I can't tell you how many athletes I know whose head is too big and ego is just the same. I learned quickly that there is always more to gain, both in sports and in life. Becoming too content with our talents or staying in a certain comfort zone hinders our ability to enrich ourselves and grow as human beings.

Your team is your family — never take them for granted.

Teammates teach us to rely on others just as much as we do ourselves. They enable us to work as a cohesive unit. There's no situation in life that requires or benefits from a one-man show.

Your mental strength will always surpass your physical strength.

Mind over matter. We need to learn that nothing is out of reach. Our minds hinder half of what our bodies are actually capable of. If the mind is in a strong place, the body will work to reach its full potential.

Tomorrow is a new day and a new goal to reach.

We have "off" days. They're inevitable. We need to learn to handle these days with pride and wake up the next morning with every intention to better ourselves.

A commitment is a commitment.

I had so many friends growing up that didn't necessarily understand that my team and my sport came before my social life. We can't just "skip" practices and games just like we can't skip meetings and presentations. People rely on us every day, and letting them down ultimately means letting ourselves down.

Appreciate the people who support you.

It's OK to lean on those who help to make our dreams happen. But it's not OK to take them for granted or fail to show our appreciation. It's not always easy to say thank you, but it's definitely necessary.

When you fall down, you get back up.

This is hands-down the most important lesson, and why I saved it for last. I was knocked down too many times to count. It seemed like every year there was another knee surgery to be had and eight months of rehabilitation to follow. I lost count of how many times I wanted to quit. But I didn't. And after four ACL tears, I received the scholarship I worked my entire career for. And even though my fifth surgery eventually sidelined me permanently, I am determined to find new goals and explore new ambitions. Life will knock us down over and over again. And it's up to us to dust ourselves off and fight back with a vengeance.

I am forever thankful for the life I was blessed to lead growing up. Living a life of athleticism left me strong and ready to take on the world. There is nothing we can't do and no goal that we can surpass. My team, my sport and my support taught me more than my social life ever had, and I hope that young athletes everywhere learn to appreciate the game and the lessons that come with it.

Cover Image Credit: E Online

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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The Heart Of A Champion: Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods inspires millions with fifth Masters title and the comeback of a lifetime.

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Tiger Woods. What do you think of when you hear that name?

For me, it is golf, champion, goat. Tiger Woods rose to success and won his first masters in 1997. The hunt was on, and the mission, be the best golfer the of all time. But Tiger's story started long before the 1997 masters it began as a toddler learning the basics of golf from his father at the ripe young age of 3 years old.

At that age, Tiger had one dream. Become a better golfer than Jack Nicklaus. With this win in 1997 Tiger began his quest to be the greatest of all time. He picked up back to back masters wins in 2001 and 2002 and a fourth in 2005 tying that of famed golfer Arnold Palmer. Along the way, he picked up 14 major championships as captivated audiences everywhere. Tiger put golf on the map in the 2000s and brought new energy and a new attitude towards the game.

Suddenly at the pinnacle of Tiger's success and as many thought, he would soon surpass Jack Nicklaus tragedy struck. On Thanksgiving of 2009, Tiger was in a car accident that was caused in part by his wife discovering that he had been cheating on her. This was only the beginning for Tiger's downward spiral. As more and more mistresses came out claiming to have slept with the golfer and being caught driving under the influence, his reputation and image continued to be tarnished.

When Tiger finally returned to golfing he just was not the same.

He lacked passion, excitement enthusiasm. He was just plain bad. He missed putts, drove balls into the woods and was facing competition tougher than ever. He was among a host of new faces in the PGA. Professionals that had grown up inspired by Tiger and not afraid to challenge him. Tiger would go on an eleven-year drought without winning a single major competition and had many believing Tiger would never return to the dominance he once held. With numerous nagging injuries, it seemed that all hope for Tiger's return and his lifelong goal of beating Jack Nicklaus and becoming the best golfer in history seemed utterly unattainable.

However, after five years winless in PGA tours, in September of 2018, Tiger wings a tour and had many speculators wondering if Tiger was on his return. Tiger went into Augusta this past weekend at 12th in the world and from the beginning of the tour on Thursday all eyes were on Tiger. He seemed laser focused and played with a determination we had not seen from Tiger in over a decade.

As the final round on Sunday approached Tiger had placed himself in the running tied for second place. Sunday it was Tiger's day. He came dressed in the classic red shirt that he wears on every Sunday at the Masters and there was a feeling that it was Tiger's show. Sunday he came in poised and determined to win and played with a passion that only Tiger has. He was gaining roars from the crowd with each stroke. Finally, after 11 years Tiger had done it. He won his fifth masters only one behind Jack Nicklaus and first major in 11 years.

On Sunday Tiger taught us to never give up on a dream and that through adversity and hard times you that through hard work and dedication you can still be the best.

Battling through the injuries, the scrutiny and the tarnished reputation Tiger was able to once again inspire millions and show that we are all humans we all make mistakes and he taught us to apologize for our mistakes, learn from them, make you better and that everyone deserves a second chance because nobody is perfect but through hard work, determination, the drive to never give up and having passion for what you do and understanding that you do make mistakes and how you learn from them showed millions of fans young and old that you can do anything you set your mind to.

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