My husband and I are approaching the three-year mark since we were student-athletes at UNC. He played football, while I was on the golf team. Lately, we’ve been reminiscing about our time in Chapel Hill and what made being student-athletes so special.

After multiple conversations it boiled down to one theme – community. In particular, a community of like minded individuals.

Every person in the student-athlete community was dedicated to maximizing their potential in their respective sports. We all adhered to high standards and followed demanding schedules that often left us exhausted at night. But we LOVED the GRIND.

Years removed, I’ve been fortunate to pursue what I’m still passionate about through professional golf. Yet, an injury has removed the normal pursuit for over a year and it’s been isolating.

On the other hand, my husband retired from football three seasons ago, and I can see and hear in his voice how much he misses the grind. He doesn’t just miss the wins, game days, or luxuries, but what he misses most is the pursuit alongside his teammates.

We’re particularly sensitive to this community because it’s what’s brought us together. Now married, as a team ourselves, we’ve reflected on the lessons we learned then and can now implement in tackling this game of life together.

Trevor’s football coaches always told him that it wasn’t a decision for just four years; it was a decision for the next forty. In his letter to me on our wedding day, he expressed how he realized his coach was right from the moment we started dating.

Besides our relationship, it’s a 40-year decision for two reasons. One, it’s a community we will always be a part of through the friends that become family and the (Chapel) Hill we will always call home. Two, it instilled values in us that we hope to carry in the communities we become a part of in the next phases of life. 

Whether it’s in the realm of college athletics, high school, or your current community, I believe it’s crucial to gain perspective and appreciate the people and places around you. Reflecting on a simpler time in my life has reminded me of what truly matters – deep and meaningful relationships. It’s a reminder, not just for myself, but for all of us, to prioritize these relationships today, tomorrow, and for the rest of our lives.

The Good Stuff

In line with today’s theme, I want to say a huge congratulations to my alma mater for their victory in the Inaugural St. Andrew’s Collegiate. Also, shout out to Kayla Smith for securing the individual title. This was undoubtedly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for them, one they will cherish for the rest of their lives. I can attest to that!