STORY BY CARLY GRENFELL
It seems the older I get, the more sentimental I become.
However, I like to think there is legitimate reasoning behind that.
As athletes, we often get the question of, “How are you not burned out?” Most of us have been sacrificing our time and bodies for as long as we can remember. We eventually reach the point where it is no longer a hobby, but rather something that becomes a part of our everyday lives.
I’d be wrong to say that athletes do not get burned out. Everyone is wired differently. Some choose to hang it up sooner than anticipated.
But for the rest, we dread the day it comes to an end.
From the time I stepped foot on campus as a freshman, to now, going into my redshirt senior season, I have developed an appreciation for the opportunities I have in front of me.
An appreciation so great, that it can bring me to tears if I talk about it long enough. There are many components of college athletics that are tough, exhausting and laced with failure.
There are also components of college athletics that are rewarding, fulfilling and laced with success.
Has burn out ever crossed my mind? You better believe it. But to me, it has never been an option to pursue.
The once-in-a-lifetime perks of being a college athlete have always overshadowed what is not necessarily as glamorous.
The biggest perk, no questions asked, is being surrounded by people who want just as much success as you do. And not personal success — team success.
A program that embraces a team mentality is one of the most powerful things I have ever experienced.
To me, a team is one that embodies selflessness inside and out. A team is one that does not care about individual statistics or playing time. A team is one that takes pride in the little things. A team is one that sets each other up for success.
And a team is one that can look each other in the eye and say they deserve each other’s very best.
They are not just getting the very best to check it off. They are getting the very best because their teammates deserve it. There is a huge difference.
This year, the team mentality is in full force for us.
There is an aura about this team that tells me nothing different, even in just a few weeks time.
We are less than a month away from our first game. We know, believe and practice like we will do special things this year.
When everybody is on board with bringing their best in order to bring out the best in others, not just good, but great things happen.