posted on January 18, 2023
As some of you may know, I play for the women’s professional football team for Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Passion. Last year was my rookie season and I quickly realized I was stepping into a whole new world of sports. At this level I did not realize the impact I was going to have on young girls in sports. After my last home game of the 2022 season, I was walking out of the facility and a mother with her two daughters stopped me. The two girls had their hair in double braids with colored extensions added (just the way I wear my hair every game day.) And the mom told me I was the girl’s favorite player and they wanted to wait for me to get pictures and autograph their shirts. This interaction hit me a little different than other fan interactions/autographs that our team does because they were only just fans of the team, but they looked up to me and they had been watching me. It gave me more motivation and a larger sense of purpose when it came to my role and the movement of women’s sports. I want those young girls to know I am doing everything I can to pave the way for them to have it easier than my generation of female athletes.
I wanted to start with that story because it shows how much of a positive influence we can have on people without even realizing. Somebody may be following your story, and your progress, so it’s so important to keep moving forward and realize that whatever you are doing in this life, you are not only doing it for yourself but for others too. I will give Curtis at Union a shoutout because with him announcing him moving on from his position at Union Fitness, so many members started expressing the impact Curtis had on them throughout his time here. He probably never even realized how many people he helped, because he always led by example and by being himself. When people see how hard he works and his dedication, they naturally follow.
So here is our call to action: see yourself as the force you are. We are all going to have an impact on this world, so make it a positive one. And, if somebody else is that motivator for you, don’t be afraid to tell them. They may need that. I know that my interaction with those two young girls and their mother changed everything for me as an athlete and as a person.