celebrations, family

The Owl Series

This series isn’t your ordinary owl story or two. This will be a series for the years to come. It’s the beginning of documenting the path to college athletics and what happens along the way. The good. The bad. The in between. All of which is solely from my vantage point. The outsider looking in. The fan girl view. 

Will there be success? Failure? Injuries? Accolades?

Will this be an initial destination or a long term commitment? 

How hard will it be to balance academics and athletics?

Will the love of the game continue to flourish?

The story started years ago. A dream. A belief of you can be who you want to be. Hard work. Practice. Travel. Tryouts. New friends. Old friends. Enemies. Encouragers. Coaches. Mentors. Motivators. Cheerleaders. Sprains. Strains. Bruises. Hours and hours of training. Eating smart. Saying no to some events due to games early the next day. All of which made her who she is today. Every experience helped shape her. Every risk paid off. She did the work. She beat the odds. 

I can literally say I’ve been with her every step of the way. Now I see her standing on her two feet ready to conquer what’s ahead. Proud is an understatement.

Strong. Charismatic. Determined. Confident. Smart. Athletic. Talented beyond words. She made her choice. She decided to be an owl. It wasn’t an easy decision either. She weighed options. Many options had pros and many had cons. What would be the best overall? When she made her choice she committed in grand fashion. A cool graphic on social media started it all.  A tweet from her travel club followed. The college gave a wink. A nice spread in the local paper was an added surprise. As an owl she will begin to take flight. Her flight to her destination(s).

She will continue her athletic career as a Division 1 athlete. What an accomplishment. A female division 1 collegiate athlete. It’s a celebration to make it to this level. I couldn’t be prouder of her and how she handled the grueling process. She stayed true to herself. She went far but ended up near. Sometimes you need to see what’s out there before seeing that you have what you need closer than you think.

She learned to be interviewed. She learned how to interview others. She learned a little about negotiations. She learned what is official and unofficial in the athletic world. She forged her own path. She is now beginning a new journey with her new teammates. The teammate relations began with text and other mediums. The group is “chatting” which is somewhat of a honeymoon phase to get to know each other and build rapport.

The team logos are making their way into the wardrobes. The thought of what’s next is on the horizon. Everything from who you are now to future roommates to major course of study selection is on the chat feed. The hard part is done but now so many more new experiences are on the horizon while still wrapping up existing school and sports obligations. And don’t forget keeping her image squeaky clean. This is a big responsibility. 

The first out of state meeting took place for 8-9 young ladies on this same journey. Some competed against each other. Others just socialized. Multiple states represented. New personalities drawn together by a sport they love. A sport I have grown to adore myself. Although I didn’t participate, I celebrated the opportunity for her silently. So much is ahead and I can just smile knowing she will grow during this experience. And so this owl story has begun, but where will it lead and what will I choose to share in the years ahead?

I will continue to write about the owl adventures as they evolve. Not sure how frequently this will happen but it will happen when I feel led to document something. Until then know I’m practicing my best owl sounds and thinking of how I will find a way to like the team colors.

adventure, nature

Purple Mountain Majesty

America the Beautiful

I’ve sung it a million times. It was in our repertoire when I traveled to other countries with a choir in my youth. A lovely melody (and much easier to sing than the national anthem.)

Of course I know the words by heart, but I hadn’t thought much about them much until recently. On a trip to Colorado, I finally understood one line in particular: “for purple mountain majesty.”

Funny, I had never really paused over that line before. Now, I find myself thinking it really doesn’t make much sense…

until it did, when I crested a hill on I-70, motoring my way west from Denver. The sun was going down and the steep slopes of pines had a faint purple cast, especially from the bare trees. I kept wanting to grab a photo. I couldn’t believe it, as I cruised along up and down the road. Purple mountains. Majestic, indeed.

It is such a refreshing joy to go somewhere completely different. To see a place utterly and fascinatingly new. It feels like my brain just grew and grew. New heights, new landscapes, new colors and atmosphere around every turn. Most of the time when we tried to take a picture, we knew it wouldn’t do it justice. It was all almost too enormous, too beautiful, too perfect to believe.

There was so much about Colorado that I marveled at and want to remember. But for now, I just want to honor those awe-inspiring mountains. They were truly a sight to behold. Worth singing about and sharing.