Prior to March of 2020, my life was consumed with all things sports. I rarely missed any UofL game (in person or on TV), I made an effort to go to a Reds game every summer, and I had a “Packers Party” with my papaw every Sunday in the fall. Sports were always escapism for me. I could spend 2+ hours locked into a game, away from the stress of work, school, responsibilities, and whatever else I needed to procrastinate on.
But now, I am struggling to throw myself into the one thing that always had my back in the past. I have always joked that sports are the one thing that cannot let me down (besides my dog, he is perfect) because even if there’s a rough game, there is always another one to look forward to. At first, I thought this was maybe just part of growing up. I own a house, I have been in school for what seemed like forever, I’m starting my career (yay!), and maybe that is still part of it but I also have started to accept that my passion for sports may be another thing that COVID has taken from me.
I am struggling to feel comfortable being around 50,000+ people again, I am nervous for the players who are risking their health and safety to entertain us, I am nervous for the cooler weather to arrive. It just feels like there is something greater that we should be focused on.
Yet, I bought a backpack cooler last week and I cannot wait to show it off. I told my boyfriend after we checked out that I hope I get to use it at least one time. I have also bragged about this cooler to anyone who will listen to me since I bought it.
Something you may not know about my family is that we LOVE to tailgate, and we’re pretty good at it too. The excitement I have about this backpack cooler is probably bizarre to you, and that is fine. But to me, it is the most “me” I have felt since losing my grandma to COVID last September. I know this football season won’t be normal, and that is okay, we are all trying our best right now. I am hopeful that being able to tailgate and have an adult beverage at Cardinal Stadium will make things seem normal again, even if it is just for a few hours on a Saturday. I might not be where I was pre-2020 with sports, but I am hopeful I can get that fire back soon.
If this feels post feels random to you, that is okay. More importantly, if you are feeling this way too, know you are not alone. I think it is probably more normal than we think. Always feel reach out to me if you want to talk!