Tiger Woods' Comeback Is An Inspiration To Athletes Everywhere

Cheers To Tiger Woods, Whose Comeback Is An Inspiration To Athletes Everywhere

Tiger Woods, cheers to you in actually showcasing that anything is possible on any given day no matter what the past has thrown at you.

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Sunday at the Masters, arguably the most iconic day in Sports and I am still in disbelief on what happened. We witnessed what was said to be impossible, an achievement thought to be out of reach but yet the words "Tiger Woods has won the Masters" was uttered by Jim Nantz on Sunday and I guess it is safe to say the impossible has happened... Tiger Woods is back on top. Some may say, "what is so important about Tiger Woods winning another major." Well, Tigers win Sunday at Augusta was not just a win, it was a triumph, a triumph of a 10-year journey to a place he was told he would never be again.

It was November 2009, and "Tiger Woods in the hospital after a crash near his Florida home," was topping news headlines across the country. Two months later Woods was headlining for the wrong reasons again, publicly announcing he was unfaithful to his wife, letting down both his family and fans. Woods then went on to lose sponsorships with Gatorade and At&T;, valued at around 20 million dollars (Golf Digest). At this point, people began to believe it was the beginning of the end for Tiger as his off the course drama began to trump his on the course play. His affairs became publicized and his character was put into question.

As the headlines surrounding Tigers off the course lifestyle calmed down, he began to make his first comeback onto the golf course, a comeback to prove to people he was the same Tiger Woods before all of the drama. Unfortunately for Woods, his body was not cooperating... He underwent four leg surgeries and two back operations in a span of about seven years. These numbers are not including the many minor operations he had while holding the worlds number-one golfer title. After each operation, Woods would rehab play in a tournament and would clearly not be himself. He shot his worst ever professional round of golf and missed the cut at the 2011 PGA Championship, falling out of the Top 50 Professional Golfer rankings for the first time in his career. It was clear Tiger was not Tiger.

Let's fast forward to 2017, Woods is arrested for a DUI after he had a rare reaction to his allergy medicine and crashed his car. He pleads guilty and serves 12 months' probation. When he gets back on the golf course, he continues to have back issues, severely affecting his game. It was in that year Woods was told he may never play golf again... Any sane person would probably stop doing whatever it is they are doing if they got medical advice and were told to do so. In Woods case, clearly, money was not an issue. So why the drive to continue playing? Well that is what makes Woods and his story so remarkable.

As I sit here writing this, his 10-year timeline has gone full circle. The year is 2019, and Woods has gone on a full rollercoaster ride only to end up where we all know he belongs... winning a major championship. This was yet another case of why sports are so beautiful. The sports world erupted after Tiger sank his fifth shot, four-foot putt, on the 18th green, to win the 2019 Masters. Even the other golfers in the tournament were acknowledging the magnitude of this event. Top golfer Dustin Johnson said after his round "it's truly remarkable... there is a difference between a roar and a Tiger roar from the crowd" (h/t CBS Sports).

Instagram posts, Facebook posts, Snapchat stories, and tweets non-stop to constantly remind us that this was not just any ordinary Masters victory. This was Tigers 5th, his first in 15 years, and the end of a long journey. We can all connect to Tiger, a humble person who simply thrives and has perfected his craft. An athlete that has made mistakes, has owned up to them and has not let his mistakes derail his ultimate goals in life. A person who has dealt with adversities with is well-being, countless operations and surgeries and yet he was still able to come together for 4 days in April and prove to not only himself but everyone else what we so longed for, that Tiger can still play professional golf and that Tiger Woods is not going anywhere anytime soon...

As Tiger walked off that 18th green at Augusta national golf course and hugged his son in the same spot he embraced his father, Earl Woods, 22 years earlier after his first Masters win, America took noticed and realized sometimes professional sports is not just a game, it's a platform for all of us to connect and truly realize the beauties in life. Tiger Woods, cheers to you in actually showcasing that anything is possible on any given day no matter what the past has thrown at you.

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Trust Me, You're Going To Miss It

Yeah, cheerleading is its own kind of Hell, but don't take it for granted.
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Last week, I spent close to three hours watching videos from the recent Cheersport Nationals, a huge cheerleading competition held in Atlanta, GA.

As an ex-cheerleader, one that cheered for close to 11 years, I felt the familiar ache in my stomach watching all the teams I had grown up watching and idolizing take the stage I had taken so many times in Atlanta. As I watched the excitement of the crowd and felt the adrenaline through the computer screen, I realized something that I hadn't thought about in years: I would never have that feeling again.

And while I gave up cheerleading willingly, and pretty happily, I hardly ever thought about all the old memories and feelings I associated with the big bows, tight uniforms and copious amounts of glitter. But now, for the first time in years, I felt sad to not be up on the stage with all of the other athletes, doing something that had driven me absolutely insane at times but that had also been such a huge part in my life.

Take it from me, an old washed up cheerleader, that would probably break half the bones in my body if I even attempted a front walkover, you will miss cheerleading. It doesn't matter if you're an all-star that grew up in a gym, or a high-schooler that fell in love with the sport while on the sidelines, a part of you will always wish you could walk back onto that stage and compete just one more time.

I and every other retired cheerleader will attest to it: You're going to miss it.

You're going to miss the love/hate relationship you have with your coaches after they've been screaming at you for the better part of two hours.

You're going to miss the bond you have with your teammates, some that you won't see again after that last competition.

You're going to miss the ache in your feet associated with convention centers, and all the naps you took on their hard, concrete floors.

You're going to miss the headache from your ponytail, and having everything you own be covered in glitter for months at a time.

You're going to miss that feeling you get in the split second between "It's on," and when the music and that first 8-count starts. The feeling that makes you feel as though you're going to throw up, not be able to move, and forget your entire routine all at once.

But most of all, you're going to miss the feeling after you hit the routine you and your team have been practicing for months and the adrenaline high that comes with it. The feeling of being on top of the world, that's a drug in itself.

SEE ALSO: 20 Signs You Were A High School Cheerleader

So, while you have it, enjoy it. Because there are hundreds of ex-athletes that would absolutely kill to experience just one of those feelings again, and you get to have all of them.

Cover Image Credit: swishaaasweets.tumblr

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It's Been A Year And I Still Miss It

The memories with my teammates and coaches are remembered everyday.

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Never thought I'd say it but here I am. I am happy to say I am proud to be where I am today but the thoughts of never playing a sport again linger in my mind. Those emotions of anticipation and excitement when it comes to playing a sport are long gone. Sad to say I will never have butterflies before running a race, floor burns all over my knees and sweat mixed with softball dirt all over me.

The little aspects that I took for granted are what I remember the most. I am who I am today because of my coaches and teammates. Each and every sport came with a support system to fall back on and friendships that would last a lifetime. My coaches and teammates taught me life long skills that I will carry with me forever. They taught me the true meaning of dedication, teamwork, perseverance and respect. Yes, I love the game but the connections and memories I have built have impacted me. Especially, the times I have created with my teammates and coaches on the bus rides, practices and game days.

Those are the moments I will never get back. I will never forget the times my volleyball teammates and I would run over to Perkins after a win. We would eat junkie, greasy food till our tummies were full but during those moments we were all owning the moment while being young and careless. Even during track season my teammates and I found time to have fun while running rigorous workouts. I will never forget the mid-dance parties during track meets to keep our mind off of the stress of performing to our best ability. Softball season always seemed to be on the road, which meant plenty of bus rides with my teammates. Those hours of traveling were the best from the never have I ever games to singing along to great hits.

I will never get the chance again to compete in front of a crowd. The cheers and the roars of the fans is such a surreal feeling. Running on the blue oval was something I will never forget. As much as I hated the queasy, uneasy feelings before running, I would go back for it one more time. Stepping foot on the blue oval meant a great athlete once took those same steps I did. The moment my teammates, coaches and I clinched the win to go to State for the first time in school history was unbelievable. It was an accomplishment for us seniors, for our coaches, for our families and fans, for our school and for the past softball players. We did something that was never done before in school history and all I can say is I'm proud to have done it with the group of girls that I did.

Getting to state and playing with the best of the best is remarkable but what seemed to be even better was getting a victory against a city rival. Everyone came out for those games from grandparents to students to alumni. Our best performances were amongst us when competing against city rivals. Particularly, through volleyball, my teammates and I seemed to be hungrier for a win whenever it was a city rival. I guess, the best moments happened when we beat a cross-town rival. You could say we got bragging rights for the year.

To all the athletes out there competing in their last game, last match or last race, relish in those last seconds because before you know it you will never pick up a ball again, race in a relay or dance after a victory.

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