An Open Letter to my Athlete Boyfriend

If you are someone who reads HC Wyoming articles regularly, you may recall our takeover week when you got the chance to meet the writers. If you follow us and also read the day when I was on the spotlight, you may recall something I shared that I thought not many people know about me: I’ve been in a long distance relationship for 4 years. 

Yep, 4 years I’ve been dating my boyfriend who goes to college at Colorado Mesa University, 6 hours away from me in Laramie. 

My boyfriend is one-of-a-kind. Really. He’s charming, hilarious, kind, and has the biggest heart I’ve ever known. He also is an athlete and plays lacrosse for CMU and it was for this reason that I skipped school on Thursday and Friday and paid him a visit in the beautiful city of Grand Junction, Colorado. 

It was senior weekend for his lacrosse team and all weekend the seniors were being recognized at various events. This was a very important weekend for my boyfriend, and it was important for me to be there for him, too. 

As the weekend drew to an end and I was making the long trip home after a hard goodbye, I couldn’t help but swoon with pride for my other half. I have so many things I want to tell him and I think other women out there in the same situation may appreciate my thoughts.

Dear boyfriend,

    As I sit in the stands and watch you take the field for a game that you so passionately love, I can’t help but feel an immense amount of pride for who you have become because of your sport.

When we first started dating, I knew that I would be in some tough competition between your love for me and your love for a sport that would shape you into being the man you are today. It was hard at first… heck, it’s still hard now, when you spend hours of your day on the field, devoting all of your time and attention to perfecting your skills instead of talking to me. All of those winter workouts, fall practices, spring seasons and summer leagues that took your time away from me was something I had to learn to be okay with because I didn’t want to be the person to take you away from what your heart loved before I came along. I have learned to sit back and let you love who you are away from me and I’ve also learned that it’s okay.

For four years I’ve been by your side while you’ve succeeded and when you’ve failed. I’ve kissed your injuries and celebrated your victories every step of the way even from another state. I’ve cheered for you harder than anyone else in the stands and I’ve ignored the fact that you smell awful after a game and hug you anyway.

And now as your time as a college athlete comes to an end, I grieve with you because this time of your life is also ending. You’re going to miss your team, the feeling you have when the announcer calls your name on the field, the adrenaline of a hard win and the memories you’ve made doing what you love the most.

But while this time is sad, it’s also a time to look back and think about how far you’ve come. You may not notice much of a difference in who you’ve become because of your sport, but I have and I am so proud because of it.

Just four years ago, you were a boy. As much as you thought differently in high school, you didn’t know a thing about the real world. What it’s like to work hard everyday to succeed only just by an inch. But no one could blame you, that’s just how high schoolers are.

Now, years later, you’re a man. You’ve disciplined yourself more than most college students by being an athlete and it’s paid off. Every morning you’ve gotten up at the crack of dawn to be on the field. You’ve juggled school, sleep, your social life, and your sport better than anyone else on your campus. I’ve seen your tenacity, your spirit, the family you’ve made on your team and I’ve seen how much of a better person you are because of it.

So while it was difficult for me to compete with another love in your life, I have also grown to be thankful for who you’ve turned out to be because of it. All around, you are the most hardworking, passionate, strong, and determined person I know, and it’s because of your time as an athlete. This time in your life may be ending, but what you take away from it is everlasting, and that is something that I can’t help but swoon over.

Sincerely,

A Girlfriend of an Athlete