Respect for College Athletes & Link Up On the Edge #68

College athletes in sports such as football and basketball often take on celebrity status as their college careers are followed by die hard fans and made public through national broadcasting. While I am a huge supporter of college athletics, sometimes the love of the game and the passion that has brought these players so much success in their chosen sport can get lost in all the media hype. So today, in conjunction with another one of my college football game day outfits, I want to bring the topic of college sports back to reality and let you all in on some little secrets about the life of a student-athlete.

*This is not a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

In case you did not know this fact about me: I was competitive swimmer from the age of 4 until the end of my junior year in college. I attended Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on a scholarship, but my swimming career ended a year early due to severe shoulder injuries.

If you follow college sports, you probably know your favorite football and basketball players by name, hometown, and competitive statistics. But did you know that there are currently more than 460,000 students who compete in 24 different sports in colleges and universities across the country? There are literally hundreds of thousands of college students who dedicate years of their lives to their sports simply for the love of the game. They are never showcased on television. The media never knows their names. While they may be the best in their sports, you may never know who they are. Yet they persist with a drive that is unparalleled by most and they revel in their personal successes just as proudly as the athletes you see on television. Most will not go on to play their sport professionally, but they will go on to be successful and productive people in their communities. And they deserve to be recognized and rewarded for their hard work as student-athletes.

The life of a student-athlete in college is no joke. This I can tell you from experience. My personal story dates back over 20 years ago, but I imagine the time commitments and curriculum are similar if not more demanding today. As college swimmers at a Division I school, we spent more hours in the pool and the gym than most people spend at their full time jobs. Then we managed full time course work as well. We logged more miles in the pool in a few years then some people will ever swim over the course of their entire lives. And then we wrote papers, took exams, gave presentations, maintained friendships, developed relationships that turned into marriages, and actually somehow also had a social life. Some belonged to fraternities and sororities and met those obligations. Others worked part time jobs. And in the midst of all that, most were successful at everything. Because there are tremendous skills involved in managing this type of lifestyle. Skills that translate into life after college and life after sports and lead to many more successes.

So when you meet someone who says they are (or were) a student-athlete, just recognize that this person has a level of dedication and passion and drive and commitment that most likely will carry them far in any other endeavor they choose. There is a sustainability, a never-give-up attitude, a durability and a toughness inherent in any person who traveled the path of a student-athlete. So while you are praising the players you see on television, please take a moment to recognize all the other superstars who dedicate the same amount of time and effort to their lesser known sports. These are the heroes of the future who will make huge differences and great impact in their chosen fields.  To all the student-athletes (past, current, and future) who may be reading this post, I respect what you do and I applaud you.

Were you a student-athlete? What was your sport of choice? What lessons did you learn along the way that you have carried into your life after sports?

*Jacket, Skirt, and Scarf are all thrifted items.

And now your favorite posts from last week’s link up.

Mel of Mom With Style shared her post Matching Olive and Gray and I absolutely love the result of these colors paired together. By the way, if you are petite and are looking for lots of style inspiration and tips for dressing your body, Mel is your girl! Always fabulous, always stylish, always dressed just right!

Melissa of Mom With Style

And Johanna of One Hundred and One Things I Love shared the most adorable velvet dress in her post Blush. I am totally digging the way she styled this with brown over the knee boots and moto jacket!

Johanna of One Hundred and One Things I Love


Keeping it on the edge,

Shelbee

Linking up with these Fabulous Link Ups.

As you can see, I was definitely NOT a runner! I was much more coordinated when I had water to balance me!

Follow shelbeeontheedge@gmail.com:

I am a 40 something Army wife and stay-at-home mother of 2 boys and 2 cats named Dave and Frankie. I have a passion for helping other women feel fabulous in the midst of this crazy, beautiful life.

66 Responses

  1. Love your outfit Shelbee!

  2. LOL 😂 those photos at the end. You look fabulous as always and what a brilliant and eye opening topic. I wasn’t an athlete but my kids were in high school and my son was on his university’s crew team for two years. It is a huge commitment but one that instills a lot of good habits and discipline. Thanks for sharing your insights and for the link up. I hope that you have a wonderful weekend.

    Rena
    http://www.finewhateverblog.com

    • Rena, thank you so much for sharing your experience. Crew is a hugely disciplined sport that teaches amazing lessons that translate so well into life after sports! And those last photos…we were laughing so hard when we took those! Amy was a runner and first she had to show me how to do the track start…and in skirt no less. Then she made me do it more than once! I felt ridiculous. But we really did have a good hearty laugh in the process. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  3. Athletes are so disciplined! I never played competitive sports or was part of any team, sure wish I had. My husband and I told our boys they had to play a sport and be in at least one club in order to drive. I think it’s such great life experience as well as great exercise. That’s so cool that you were a swimmer and had a scholarship!
    xo,
    Kellyann

    • Kellyann, thanks for sharing your experience. At this point, my kids are not that interested in sports (at ages 4 and 6), but we have been trying to get them involved in other things because extracurricular activities are important even if they aren’t sports related. My 6 year old is currently in a robot programming class and he loves it! So I am thinking that may be the route he goes rather than sports. But they are young and we have lots of time to find their passion! Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  4. Playing sports (and especially at a competitive level) teaches accountability, dedication, leadership and positive attitude, among other skills. You would never guess it (because I am really short) but I used to play Volleyball in local team and I were actually good. After finishing school, I didn´t have the time for competing trying to excel at my University studies but the lessons I have learned from playing sports have accompanied me in my whole life and I am very thankful. I have only respect for the college athletes all around the globe!

    Do you kids follow your footsteps? 🙂

    • Helen, thank you for sharing your sports story! I love that you played volleyball! I find it so interesting to hear which sports people chose and why they loved it so much. The lessons we learn through playing sports really do translate into our lives and stay with us forever. Right now at ages 4 and 6, my kids have no interest in sports. Every time I suggest something, they are like “Nah. Maybe when I’m 8.” We tried soccer with my older son when he was 4 and he hated it. And they have done swim lessons, but that’s it. In the next year or two though, they are going to have do something!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  5. Haha Shelbee I love your sprint! Great pictures, you are amazing 🙂

  6. A nice outfit but not one for track. Nice post, I ran a year of cross-country at the junior college level but at the four-year level I was the sports editor for the school newspaper and I saw how hard the athletes work. My daughter played club rugby at both the D-II and D-I level and worked her butt off and my son made it to the state track meet two in a row at the junior college level. It is hard to do everything and get the school work done. Swimming is the hardest sport out there. Go Mountain Hawks.

    Thanks for hosting and have a wonderful weekend. Also, thank your husband for his service.

    • Patrick, thank you so much for sharing your experience with athletics! I find it so interesting to hear what sports or other extracurricular activities people participated in. I love that you were the sports editor for the school paper! That is so cool! When in was in high school, I thought I wanted to be a sports journalist but I changed my mind about 15 times between then and graduation from college. Rugby and track are great sports, too. How awesome that your kids were dedicated athletes, too. And I will pass your message on to my husband, thank you!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  7. You are so right about student athletes. I didn’t play a sport in school because…well, I’m completely non-athletic. I took piano lessons…LOL! I so respect people that have a sporting skill, and I used to wish I had one. I can tell you that even though I’m not athletic, at all, I ice skated for the first time two years ago, and never fell. WOW!! I was shocked. I have ice skated since then and still haven’t fallen. I can easily glide around the rink and have even gotten my own pair of skates. My husband laughs at me still because I googled how to do it, and it worked. Just swish your feet, don’t stop and go. Keep swishing your feet, and you can balance and keep going without falling. That’s as close to an athletic story that I have, except, I can fly fish too! I love your look in this post, by the way!

    • Julie, I love this comment so much! I took piano lessons in college…never had a musical inclination ever. My piano teacher would laugh at me and say, “You’re getting all the notes right, but you have no rhythm!” I guess I was better off in the pool! Hahaha. That is awesome that you have taken up ice skating and know how to fly fish. I have not been on ice skates since I was a kid and I am a bit fearful to try these days! I would definitely need one of those walker things on the ice. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your story. It made me smile!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  8. HAhaha, those last photos are great! Fabulous blazer btw!

  9. Thanks for this inspiring story Shelbee. x Jacqui
    http://www.mummabstylish.com

  10. Thanks so much for sharing this important topic. I agree that college athletes needs to be revered for all their hard work. There is so much that you don’t see. My hubby also was a swimmer in college so I totally get where you are coming from. Love this striped cardigan!

    https://www.kathrineeldridge.com

    • Kathrine, thank you so much for this comment! It is funny all these years later how that aspect of my life gets pushed to the side since I am not very athletic these days. But all the things I learned as a student-athlete are so valuable and have been all my life. I love that your husband was a swimmer! Swimmers are a rare breed!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  11. Love this! This photo shoot together brought back lots of feels, besides the chilly feeling from it being so cold that day! I ran XC and track in HS and college, and things I learned definitely creep back into my adult life, in positive ways.

    (Just yesterday when the dental hygenist said I needed to sit w flouride on for 4 minutes, I was like ok, I can do this. Break it into 1 minute sections and have no excuses, just get it done!)

    On a more serious note, I love my student athlete memories, and I need to remember the focus I had way back when and channel it. I loved traveling around the east coast (and country) and working part time w two jobs and socializing and being so damn busy….AND in great shape! Great post! And love your game day PSU blue and white.

    • And I love this comment! Thank you for sharing your story and your student-athlete experience. This photo shoot was hilarious and so much fun as usual! Thank you for being my photographer. We always make magic together! Hehehehe.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  12. Great post and as usual I learned some things I did not know. I love your outfit, that skirt is so cute with your top and boots! Happy Friday!
    Cheryl
    https://www.northwestmountainliving.com

  13. You look tres adorable!! <3

  14. Hi Shelbee Edge,

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    Good job on the social buttons, social media is so powerful these days

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  15. I am not athletic whatsoever, but after reading your story, I have a whole new respect for athletes! Talk about commitment and hard work! Hope you have a marvelous weekend, Shelbee <3

    Blessings,
    Edye | http://gracefulcoffee.com

    • Edye, thanks so much for stopping by! And it is okay to not be athletic (I certainly am not any more these days!). You have other amazing passions that drive you! So keep doing what you do with the same dedication. It is all very valuable!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  16. I always think your posts are so interesting! One of my biggest regrets in life is not finishing college when I was younger, but things have worked out pretty well anyway! I am athletic and would have enjoyed the competition in college I’m sure. I was a swimmer also when I was younger to a much lesser degree than you, but I was pretty good because I have so much upper body strength. Later in my life I was really into weight training and now…it’s pretty much yoga for me! My husband is a huge fan of college athletics, UNC football and basketball, to be specific and we go to lots of games. I didn’t grow up that way, my dad only watched the news (haha) but I have learned to love it! Sorry for the long response! Have a great day and I’ll look forward to your next post! I linked you on my blog btw.

    • Suzanne, no apologies necessary for a long response! I love long comments and the fact that you are willing to share so much about yourself here! Swimming really is a great sport and teaches so many valuable lessons. I try not to regret any decisions in life because my story, as it is, is what brought me to this place in my life. And I absolutely love this place that I am in right now! Like you said, things have worked out pretty well for you, so no regrets on what could have been. Yoga is something that I probably should try at this stage of life because I kind of hate any kind of exercise now! Thank you so much for stopping by and for such a wonderful comment. I hope you are having a fantastic weekend.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  17. I was rubbish at sports in school, seriously bad at everything! I only liked horse riding but that wasn’t on offer at school! My old school friend thinks it’s ridiculous that I’ve done 5 marathons since the age of 35 because I hated sport as a teenager. She was really good at gymnastics and running and put me to shame! It’s never too late to start though. I love your mix of stripes! Thanks for hosting, hope you have a great weekend!

    Emma xxx
    http://www.style-splash.com

    • Emma, thank you for sharing your story! I am totally awe-inspired that you have run 5 marathons since the age of 35! And you are right, it is never too late to start. And for as athletic as I was in my younger days, I hate any physical exertion these days! Hahaha. And I was rubbish at just about every sport that took place on land…swimming was the only thing I was good at! Thanks so much for stopping by and for the lovely compliment as well. Have a wonderful weekend!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  18. I love this stripe blazer, and it looks cute paired with the stripe scarf! So cool that you were a swimmer. I’m not athletic at all. I don’t know college athletes balance it all!
    Rachael
    http://www.threadsforthomasblog.com

    • Rachael, thank you so much for this lovely compliment! And how are you not athletic when you look so darn cute when you wear athletic-type clothing?! I bet you are more athletic than you are giving yourself credit for. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  19. Playing any sport requires so much discipline especially in college if the player wants to become something bigger. I love your outfit, your boots are so cute, they look comfy!

    • Laura, thanks so much! There is so much dedication and discipline involved in any extracurricular activity that someone pursues. My experience was always with sports, but even the students who are involved in theater or music or the arts also put so much time into their passions and have to learn important life balancing techniques! I don’t want to discount those efforts with this post…I just speak from my own experience in athletics! Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  20. You always surprise me with your post topics Shelbee! Unless you are an athlete you don’t realize how hard they do work. They are to be admired. Thank you for sharing and I love the stripes!!

    Cherie
    http://www.stylenudge.com
    STYLE NUDGE

  21. Oh my gosh…the running pics are the best…LOL My son was a competitive swimmer and had issues with his shoulder too…butterfly will do that to ya’. He gave it up when he graduated high school but loved it whole heartedly for most of his life. Your stripes are too cute on the football field…ref vibe for sure. Love the outfit. Happy Friday!

    • Lisa, thank you so much for stopping by and commenting! So you know the craziness of a swimmer’s life! And I applaud you for supporting your son and getting him everywhere he needed to be. Swimming induced shoulder problems are no joke…mine still aggravates me after all these years, surgeries, and too many hours of physical therapy. But all well worth the experience in the end! Thank you for sharing your experience with me. I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  22. I have so much respect for your athletic career! My son has several friends in Div I sports right now, and both of my boys were swimmers. I don’t think anyone realizes the amount of hard work you put in! Have a great weekend!

    • Lana, thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your words on student-atheletes. It does take so much work and dedication and much applause for the parents who support these kids, too! You know the craziness of a swimmer’s life!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  23. Truth be told my little pumpkin, I come from an athletic family. Both my brothers attended college on baseball scholarships. Funny story that wasn’t funny at the time. My oldest son, Jake, was the “star” baseball player on his HS’s team. He lived for baseball. He’s a southpaw. Pitched and played first base. Everyone was very excited for him. His most successful game was hitting three grand slams in a row.
    Anyway, Sr. year. First pitch of the season. Tore his rotator. I went crazy. I was hysterical crying like the overdramatic lunatic that I am. Why? We all KNEW he was getting a scholarship for BB to UT in Austin.
    Here’s where you can learn from your children. Later on,when all calmed down, he was fine. In fact he said that he would much rather get by on his brains and ability to reason and that the school would own him if he was on scholarship.
    He ended up making the club team at UT but his shoulder was in such bad shape that he had to step down.
    Oona played field hockey but Irish Dance was really her sport. Roman was the soccer and football player.
    I’m of the Greek philosophy of mind and body working together!! XOXOXOXO

    • Cathe, I always love your comments so much! I love that you share it all with me even your “overdramatic lunatic” side! And of course, you went crazy…it was your baby getting hurt and losing what he worked so hard for. But I applaud you for all the time and dedication that you put in over the years a mom of athletes! You rock, my friend. Plus you make me laugh and you inspire me!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  24. Cute outfit and great post! I have many friends with kids that participate in sports ranging from elementary school to college level and agree that so few appreciate the long, long hours that go into their commitments. Both on the kids AND the parents end! Have a great weekend!

    Elizabeth | https://nattygal.com

    • I totally didn’t mention the time commitment for parents! Thank you for adding that in, Elizabeth! Especially at the younger levels that get the kids to the point where they can participate in college. Parents definitely make it all happen! Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you are having a great weekend.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  25. It’s a phenomena that’s particular to the US. We don’t really have that here in Canada unless it;’s hockey but even then, nothing like the status they get in America. http://the-wardrobe-stylist.com/2017/11/08/designer-anarkali-suits/

    • Sometimes the status gets a little out of control, doesn’t it? That is very interesting to learn about Canadian athletes. Thanks for sharing and for stopping by, Rania! Have a great weekend.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  26. College athletes must endure a lot! Finding a balance for everything is a tough job!
    xo,
    Jacqueline
    Stylin In St. Louis

    • Learning to balance it all is so essential for life later as well. It is definitely one of the most useful things I learned as a student-athlete. Thanks so much for stopping by, Jacqueline. Have a fabulous weekend!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  27. You look so happy! Just love the energy that comes across from you. xx

  28. I was never a student athlete but rather a nerd, that being said I have always respected athletes. Especially for their time management skills and never give up attitude. I suck at time management and I don’t even have a schedule as crazy as them, I can only imagine the stress they must be under and yet they manage it all so effortlessly with undying passion for their sport. If that doesn’t deserve respect then I don’t know what does 🙂
    xx
    http://realgirltalks.com/

    • Ankita, thank you so much for your comment! Even though I was a student-athlete, I was still quite the nerd, too! I don’t want to underestimate the time commitments that other people put into their extracurricular activities and interests even if they are not sports related. Anyone with a passion and commitment to any activity whether it be sports, music, theater, art, or volunteer work, deserves to be applauded as well! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your story. Have a fabulous weekend!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  29. Great look Shelbee, lovely pictures. I love your stripy jacket 🙂 Thanks for sharing at Welcome To The Weekend Blog Hop, hope to see you on Monday for our next blog hop.

  30. You have such great style and I LOVE those socks

    Mollyx

  31. This post is so true! I personally never played sports in school, but being a college athlete is no joke. To have to balance sports, PLUS everything else must not be an easy spot to be in. Its such a shame all the hard work they put in, yet very little to no recognition.
    Thank you for featuring me and for the shoot out.. your the best!

    xo
    Mel

    • Mel, thanks so much for this wonderful comment! I don’t want to underestimate the commitments made by others in their non-sports extracurricular activities though! Because those who are passionate about music or art or theatre or volunteer work also dedicate countless hours to their activities as well. It is my pleasure featuring you, by the way! Thanks for inspiring us.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  32. I have a lot of respect of athletes as I am aware it requires another level of discipline and organisation, specially where I am from. Here government does not invest in sports, period. We had an Olympic gold medal winner who after training went to work as an electrician, can you imagine that ?!

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