It is that time of year again. The summer is winding down and offseason is coming to end. Football season is almost here. As we anxiously await training camp and the start of the 2016-2017 NFL season- I’m overjoyed and grateful that my husband will be entering yet another year of his football career. I count every year as a blessing, but I get sad thinking about him leaving me for a few weeks of training camp. As we begin to transition to in-season I’m a little bit overwhelmed thinking about my checklist of tasks to complete in order to prepare for the upcoming season. Moving, shutting down our house, finding a new place in a new city, wrapping up loose ends on the business side of things and the list goes on. I know I’ll probably overthink and stress out about everything so I have to remind myself that this part just comes with the territory. It’s all part of being a WAG. In previous years our off-seasons consisted of more time resting and relaxing, but this year we hardly had any time for the break that we are used to getting. We spent most of our offseason finishing up MBA degrees, prepping for a restaurant opening and tech start -up, working on non-profit planning and events, getting the new home together, several business meetings, etc. I yearned for the days to unwind and catch up with my husband but, those days were few and far between and now that camp has arrived; we probably won’t get that kind of time for a few months. When my husband goes off to camp, life doesn’t stop and someone has to carry on the things we’ve been working on and also maintain the every day flow of life. That person is obviously me. The WAG. This sentiment is all too familiar amongst us WAGS.
Sometimes the tasks we take on can be overwhelming managing everything and still trying to find time to do work or work on the things that we need to do for ourselves, our careers, and our families. And no matter how hard it gets we have to keep pushing through, because we can’t let life stop just because football began or else when football actually does end, our life as we know will too.
This is the part of living the "NFL life" that people do not see. When people ask me what it’s like to be a football wife, I typically cringe at the sound of “football wife.” I cringe at the thought that they may be referring to the WAG life they see in the media. Nothing against those women, but here’s a newsflash: most of the time my life is not glamorous at all. Life as a WAG isn’t always easy and isn’t always fun, and most definitely isn’t always a VH1 episode of The Fabulous Life Of. It sometimes means dinners alone, missed birthdays, childbirth, family celebrations and lots of decision making in the midst of uncertainty and adversity coupled with tons of prayer for your man and his health.
It sometimes means packing and moving often, sometimes multiple times within a year. It means trying to make life as comfortable as you can in your temporary home while adjusting to a new city and not knowing anything or anyone. It means having zero adjustment period and often taking care of the all the details and expenses on your own because your husband has to focus on endless hours of practice, rehab/training and studying film. It means getting close to people while not getting too close so that it doesn’t hurt as much when/if you have to leave them and the team. It means hoping and praying your man stays healthy enough to play and keep his job before the next guy who is often younger, faster, stronger takes it away from him. It sometimes means being nurse, doctor, counselor, mediator, lawyer, advocate, chef, administrator and so much more for your man on top of handling and managing your own dreams and goals.
All of this is just part of the game. This is all part of what we signed up for; it’s part of our NFL Life. And no we’re not complaining at all because this life has afforded us so many opportunities, financial rewards, amazing travel experiences and awesome friendships. But at the end of the day it’s all a game and the fans eventually will stop cheering, the phone won’t ring as much and the checks will lack the commas they once had. And whenever this happens it will be our job as the WAGS to keep our men encouraged, hold their hand, making sure that they are spiritually, physically, and mentally ok. No, being a WAG isn’t always pretty, but it’s our life; a life that we all embrace for the love and support of our men and for that reason alone, I’m proud to be called a WAG. Being a WAG means I’m part of a sisterhood of strong, successful, brave women and for that I am grateful.
To all my fellow WAGS known and unknown; I want to celebrate you all as our men head off to camp and we prepare to begin the season. As much as some people outside of our circle of WAGS may not understand this life; I want you to know I do. I get it. For the times you feel your hard work and sacrifice goes unnoticed or unappreciated just know when nobody is watching, I see you! When people paint pictures of you or stereotype you just remember you have your fellow WAG sister in me to know you are more than what the media says about you. We are all in this thing together ladies. Let’s continue to support one another, change the way WAGS are defined, and continue to be the superwomen that we are. Cheers to the start of the 2016-2017 season. Prayers for a healthy season. And high fives for wearing the many hats we all wear. WE are the real MVPs.
Keep doing what you do! Keep Redefining WAGS.