Hi my name is Misty, and I am a sports addict, junkie or if you prefer an enthusiast. This is the part where Y’all say “Hi, Misty”…..well It would be if I was in a recovery program. The thing is I’m not, I don’t have a problem with my addiction. And yes, I do recognize it as an addiction. Those of you that are closest to me and maybe those that are not know that it really is a real addiction. My life consists not of the seasons of mother nature but, those of varying sports.  Starting at the beginning of September, College and  Pro Football gets going at the same time, which is like Christmas and Halloween at once. Oh it is amazing! From September to the Super bowl, I call this FOOTBALL season. Now basketball does start during these months and I do attend those games as well. Everyone knows of March Madness well that’s where BASKETBALL/SPRING BALL season comes in. This is Basketball,  Utah football ‘s spring camp and also Gymnastics is in this season. As soon as the Utes wrap up their spring camp and hold their Red and White game, and the Red Rocks have competed in Nationals…..again, we enter the OFFSEASON. Now technically there are still plenty of sports on and there really isn’t an off season for any sport, not more than a few weeks at least. The draft will be in just 2 short weeks….I hope. There is baseball, the Pinging Utes go until the end of May and we all know the MLB goes far into fall. Furthermore NBA is still in playoffs which normally I would be totally watching every single game. This year I will not be watching at all. No Jazz, No playoffs. Just not the same. Then there is this tiny little season I call PRE-FOOTBALL Camps resume, there is something in the air you can just feel that football season is coming. Everyday there are reports of how teams are doing in practices (because even though a lot of NFL camps are open to public NCAA fall camps are not), rival teams fans are talking trash, oh its a wonderful time of year. Then just as you would teach your kids about Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer, it starts all over again. This is my life.  So when I tell you that during Football season you are not going to see me I really mean it. My sister just found that out last season. I told her multiple times during the Offseason that she would not see me as soon as it was Football  season. And I think maybe she thought I was exaggerating or something cause she called me multiple times asking when I was going to be able to come over when I obviously couldn’t.  Like any addiction its hard for someone from the outside looking in to understand any of it, especially when that addiction starts compromising your health. Well let me explain it a little bit shall I?

Sports, especially University of Utah football has been in my life since I was a tiny girl living in Salt Lake with my Mom. My Mom and I had attended  gymnastic meets together, I still have a program signed by Missy Marlowe my Mom just had to get. As well as baseball games, not the U but, the minors way back when they were the trappers, and all sorts of sports. She is where I first found my love for sports. When my Mom died my Dad took up nurturing my love for sports. He took me to the last game at Rice stadium. He scored tickets to the CSU game during the 04 season and took me, even though I had just had a baby 3 weeks prior and, was well, lets just say I was more than a tad uncomfortable. So the following season when Urban left and there were plenty of season tickets to be had, I snagged some great ones for me and my dad for his birthday. This has to be said, and no offense to the rest of my family that now joins us, but that first season the, 05 season, that was the best season of my life.  Sports is somewhere I get together and connect with my dad and the rest of my family. It’s also a giant stress reliever. I have a few hobbies I do. Sports obviously, I read, and I write. But nothing melts away the weeks stress like being at Rice-Eccles stadium. I also will throw myself into projects that  involve the University of Utah, or promote the U in someway or another. Currently I am putting together a basket to be auctioned off at the end of year carnival at my son’s school, that is an all Utah basket. I donate all I can to the crimson club. It’s not because of the perks, its more so that I believe in helping pay for Student-Athletes to get an education. Some of the players that play for us, would not ever get a chance at a higher education without sports, or a football scholarship. The NCAA allows 85 scholarships per team. I don’t even want to know what percentage of those kids would not be able to get their degrees if not for that scholarship. I know the amount of money I donate doesn’t do much, but every dollar helps right?

Recently I had someone close to me comment “You may not have a lot of energy but, when you do, you put it all into Utah” I am paraphrasing here but it was something pretty close to that. Now, I know that this person in no way meant that in any way negative but it got me thinking that perhaps I needed to clarify exactly why it is that I put so much energy into Utah’s athletics. I know that those of you reading this that don’t know me personally or maybe havent talked to me for a while might be wondering why it is that I can’t walk down the street to drop my son off at Preschool but I can go to a football game. I know for a fact there are a few relatives of mine that have that very thought. During a family get together my brother-in-law asked me that very question. Here is your answer: It is all I have left.

Imagine if everything that you do right now daily you couldn’t do anymore. Your normal activities all of them slowly being ticked off a giant list, that keeps getting longer and longer. On that list the final things left to be marked off are 1. Taking care of your children 2.Intamacy and 3. The one thing that makes you feel alive, you know that thing,  we all have it. Would you mark off any one of these 3 things? They all cause enough stress and pain on my body that they should be marked off. Yes some are worse on my body than others but some are good for my mind. Every single one of my doctors are in total agreement that though I should try to take it easy at games, that to stop going would be detrimental to my overall health. My family doctor I had previous to Dr. Ken used to give me extra pain medication and muscle relaxers during football season to make sure I would be able to make it through the games. That is how important my doctors feel Utah Athletics is to my health. The average housewife/homemaker may be able to grasp this concept a little better than you all that work outside the home but when you are only able to stay at home, a lot of that time in bed not doing anything at all it is depressing. Dont get me wrong, I absolutely love being a Mom, like I said in my last blog it has brought me joy I never thought possible. However that is not all I am. I am not just a Mom. I am Misty,  very outspoken, sports addict, friend, conservative liberal (don’t make me explain), aspiring author, and so much more. I can not just be home sitting on a couch or laying in bed forced to take pain killers for doing the slightest activity.  That is what my life has become. It is extremely depressing.

Then Saturday comes, and something strange happens. Everyone has heard of stories where people can do amazing things in extraordinary circumstances. Its called adrenaline. Well my body knows when its game day. It starts early Saturday morning, I used to just wake up at 7am  or earlier ready no matter the time I went to bed the night before. Now with all the medications I take, I will now sometimes hit snooze on that internal alarm clock. Still there is no mistaking the way my body reacts when I start getting close to the stadium. My pulse quickens and I get butterflies in my stomach. I even feel a mini version of this on Non Game days when I just happen to be in that area or visiting the stadium for a non game event. All pain is long forgotten on game day….It may still be there, mind you but its one of those you don’t think about it, you don’t notice it. I can sorta walk, at least before the game. I try not to because I  know what will happen after if I do i.e. Hospital Stay.  This is all pre game at the tailgate area. Being in Rice-Eccles is the best feeling in the world. *I am legal and contractually obligated as a mother to say that holding my child after giving birth is really the best feeling in the world*  You may have to actually experience it for yourself to really know what I am talking about but I will do my best to paint you a picture. My seats are in the North End Zone, there is no better place to sit, anyone that says other wise is full of crap. That first walk to your seats, on the first game is priceless. Its like coming home after being gone after years and years. Walking out of the portal to the stairs and you get that first glimpse of the field. Home. You are Home. All the doctors telling you they don’t know what is wrong with you, the not listening, all the pain, all the migraines, all those feelings of inadequacy, of failure,  of loss, all the stress and realization that you are becoming more and more disabled every day and there is nothing you can do about it, no way of  fixing it, that stuff all just melts away as soon as you see that field. It feels better than any drug ever made. You can walk down those stairs that normally would cause you to hyperventilate with worry. The players that you have met and talked with at various events are stretching and warming up, your crazy dad is talking some trash to the opposing team. All your friends are here. The ones you havent already visited with at the tailgate lot come over to say hi. This is what you hope Heaven is like. We havent even kicked off yet and already it has been the best day of the year for you. The game is just the cherry on top. Well a really big cherry but a cherry nonetheless.

Basketball and other sports the effect isn’t quite as extreme, but you get the picture. The adrenaline still has me forgetting the pain a great deal at all sporting events which makes it really hard to remember how much not to do. After football games last season I would end up in bed all the rest of Saturday, all day Sunday and not feeling good at all on Monday. I honestly do not know how I am going to do this football season. My health has declined drastically in this past year but I do have a back up plan just in case. I have been using my wheel chair whenever I can swallow my pride enough to use it. Some of you may remember I used it when College Game Day came because I can’t stand for that long, and then ditched my wheel chair for the game. As it stands now I will be using my chair every game pre game. Back and forth to tailgate and to get to the stadium. If the season started today I would be fine with just doing that, but who knows how I will be feeling and if I might need a little more assistance. Because of that my ticket account Rep. (all season ticket holders have one) Cory Meyer has helped me with a very good back up plan. I have been very well taken care of by Cory. Anytime I need anything he is right there to answer all my stupid questions or help me out in any way I need. So thank you again, for all you do for me Cory. So y’all call Cory for all your Utah ticketing needs. 😉

No matter how I have to watch the games I will continue  going until I am dead or it kills me. Id rather die than not live. Maybe that should be your real answer. Or maybe its a 2 part. Cause it really is all I have left and I would rather die. So before you judge me or talk about me behind my back, take a minute and think about what you would rather die than give up, and just imagine if it was the only thing keeping you together.