“Sipping a glass of rose while working on my blog. Wow, am I a WAG now?” As I sit here waiting to board my plane to Arizona, I sent the above text to one of my closest friends on the team… I just laughed at myself as she responded yes. I never imagined three years ago when I met Len that I would be traveling to all his away games, following my passion for writing with this blog… Tomorrow, the boys take on the Arizona Cardinals in the second preseason game of the 2017 season! As excited as I am to get to travel to another state and mark something off my bucket list (going to all the football stadiums in the NFL), I am even more excited to be getting to spend the weekend with my best friend of 20+ years. A handful of months ago she took a leap of faith and moved out to Arizona and between both of our busy schedules, we have not gotten the opportunity to see one another in months!
This season, Len and I decided that I would attend just about every game, home and away. To most of the individuals that I have shared this news with I got the, “OMG you are so lucky” response (which I cannot deny, I am). As happy as I am to share this experience with Len, I am currently struggling with what seems to “fit it all in”. From working 40 hours a week at one job, taking on a new position with a local newspaper in the sports section during the nights, working out, cleaning the house, cooking meals, taking care of our dog, managing Len’s life, seeing my family and trying to stay on top of my blog…I feel like I am going to lose my mind sometimes! I give so much credit to all those moms out there that can handle their children on top of their busy lifestyles because sometimes I feel like I cannot even manage my own life, let alone Len’s and my dogs! (I know for a fact that a majority of the women in my shoes are just as excited as me that our men are done with training camp and finally get to come home, one less thing we have to worry about!) Overall though, I am super excited to be lucky enough to be in a position in life where I am able to travel to all these away games. As stressful as it was this morning to work from 4:00AM-9:00AM, catch an Uber to the train station at 9:30AM, board the train at 10:00AM, have a friend drive me to the airport from the train station at 11:30AM, just to make my 1:55PM flight to Arizona, I would not trade it for the world. Today is just the beginning of a new season of traveling!
The life of a professional athletes significant other is really nothing like you see on television. Don’t get me wrong, there are its perks, like not having to stand in lines to the games, getting to go on the field, and some cool trips every now and then, but in all honesty, we are just normal people, with some crazy, hectic schedules. From the months of August through December it feels like off days are non-existent and for most people that I have heard from, that is what they HATE about football season, but for me, I LOVE it! I start counting down for next season the day after our season ends. Football season means organization, schedules, and routines —MY FAVORITE — No more wasted days of requesting days off work just to sit on the couch and watch Len play video games, or “sticks” as he refers to it. Although I love sleeping in, spending the whole day in sweats, going to the movies, and eating Duck Nachos or Tacos at our favorite spots, that’s what Tuesdays are for during the season (after lifts, massages, and physical therapy, of course). Football season is like organized chaos to me. There are no off days for the boys which means more time for me… more time for workouts, cleaning the house, working on my blog, puppy play dates, etc. As worried as Len is about me traveling to each city, usually alone, I am excited for this opportunity. I am excited to manage getting myself to and from the airports in Chicago as well as the cities I am traveling to. I am excited about exploring different cities and getting lost. I am excited to get to go to so many different stadiums. I am excited to finally have some me time while he’s in meetings on Saturday nights. I am excited to be able to just relax for a few moments and work on my blog like I have been hoping to do for months now. If you cannot tell, I am excited football season is back!
My whole purpose of this post though is not about our men during football season, it is to remind you to not forget about yourself and to take care of yourself, no matter how hard it may be. For me, during football season, I take a back seat, as many of us do. I know that for these handful of months that I make a lot of sacrifices to help my man be successful. Whether that is traveling on my only days off to catch his away games (which is going to include working from my hotel room this season), waking up early on my only day to sleep in to give him a pep talk before practice, scheduling his physical therapy appointments, or making sure that he has a nice dinner at home after a long day, I make sure that I do everything in my power to make sure that I am taking as much stress off his plate as possible. Some think I am crazy, say that I do too much, but who are they to judge, right? If it works for us, then let it be. Learn to respect what works for you as well as others. These past few months I have began to grow to love scheduling my days out from morning to night, and I am beginning to realize how much more productive I can be while doing this. Everything from waking up, working, doing laundry, unloading the dish washer, workouts; I write it all out in my Panda Planner. By doing this I have made sure that each day I have ME time. In a season that is all about our men, don’t forget to give yourself a breather and some credit for all the hard work that you put in as well. Just because you are not out on that field taking every snap along your mans side, it does not mean that you don’t put in the work to help him succeed.
Currently, I am working with my mans team to begin a Women’s Organization. “ME time” was one of my biggest motives in contacting the team in the hopes that they would support what I was wanting to do. Luckily, they were all for it and I am excited to see where this organization ends up as the season begins! Unlike many women in professional sports, I am from the city that my man plays for, and luckily, he is going into his fourth season with the same team. My whole family is here in Chicago. Holidays are a breeze as we have a huge family to be with. If I have a bad day, I can drive ten minutes down the road to talk with my mom. If I need a ride on Sunday’s when I land at the airport after an away game, my step dad is there with no hesitation. If I need someone to watch my dog, my grandma is always offering (sometimes I don’t think she’s going to give him back). When my sisters are home from college, they are always down to go thrifting or grab a bite to eat. I wish that everyone could have their family here but since they cannot I thought it would be a great idea to begin this organization just as many other teams have. I want there to be a sense of family with the women on the team. We are all in the same spot, going through very similar situations. My goal is to create a group where women can focus on themselves, getting “ME” time. Coming to a new team, a new city, where you don’t know anyone, where you don’t know where anything is, and have no one but your man (and children if you have kids), has to be extremely difficult. I want to develop opportunities whether it be nights out for the women, volunteer opportunities in the community, workout classes, or tailgates before games. I want these women to have other women to just have fun with, relax with, be themselves with, or pass their children off to (lol). Whether your time comes on your own or with a group of women, just remember to not forget about YOU. There is always time for you! We all come to a team, with no choice as to where we land…we didn’t come here looking for friends, we come here to support our men, but if you make some amazing friends along the way, why not enjoy it?
As much as Len hates the word “WAG” (I usually get called a WAG when I am just being down right boujee) I love the fact that teams all throughout sports have found a way to bring all the women together grouping all significant others together. Below, I have compiled a list of simple ways to just have “ME” time.
- Bubble Bath w/ Lush Bath Bombs
- Trashy Television w/ a Glass of Wine
- Working Out
- Flipping Houses
- Dinner w/ Friends
Good luck to everyone this season! Prayers to you all!