1,000 Words: NCAA Athlete and Fan

 September 2009

September 2009

It's a funny thing to realize a dream.  It's a wonderful experience, but surreal all at the same time.  I've been a dreamer my whole life, and most of them have come true, but it still amazes me when something actually comes to fruition.  It has made me realize that nothing is impossible and there are no limits to grace.  None. Only about 66% of high school seniors (in the US) enroll in college. (I'm sure the number that actually attend is even smaller.)  Just the fact that both of the kids went on to college after high school was an amazing accomplishment if you think about it.  Not everyone has the opportunity or takes advantage of the chance to continue their education.

Out of all of those graduating, high school seniors, only 5.7% will go on to play an NCAA sport their freshmen year of college.

5.7% 

Who would have thought my kid would be among those numbers?  (Well, me actually.)  At least I dreamed of it.

We were all thrilled to see Steel play in his first ever college game at Pacific University in the fall of 2010.  It truly was a dream come true.  I'll never forget the anxious butterflies we had as we flew up to watch the big game.  We made it there just in time to get a quick hug before he headed off to the pre-game meal and meetings.  This particular photograph was taken immediately after the game, before Steel headed to the locker room to change.  Just like any other famous athlete, he had to stop and chat with the fans and pose for the photo-ops.

We were nervous wrecks, not the least of which was his biggest fan, Sierra.  If you've never sat next to Sierra during one of Steel's competitions (football, wrestling, whatever) it's difficult to understand her level of enthusiasm.  She put her heart and soul into cheering for her little brother.  Anyone within earshot was aware of her dedication to her brother and his teams.  Everyone.  Those who challenge her loyalty were always met with fierce opposition and they quickly learned not to mess with her.

I wonder where she gets it from?