Ballerina to lineman

From dancing in tutus to tackling in full padding

Aubrey aunna Murphy, Staff

    I started in pointed shoes, now I’m always falling in my cleats . It started the summer before freshman year. I walked onto the football  field two weeks into summer conditioning, and after my first day of practice I limped out. Never had I ever felt something so bad, but after a few days I was able to walk again, and ready for the next workout. 

     My first year of football was considered a “COVID-19 year” so I practiced with all lineman, including seniors and juniors. I didn’t think it would be bad, I used to dance with girls older than me, but I realized I was just so incredibly wrong. Later I went home with more bruises than fingers. It could be that every lineman left their fingers indented into my skin, or maybe the fact I volunteered to go against them every chance I got.

     I always feel the more it hurts now, the less it will hurt later, so I strangely make everything harder for myself, like going against 200 plus pounds of what feels like steel. \q     It “toughens me up.” When I was a dancer, my hardest task was the splits, and the way I toughened up was going into a split position, and then pushing down until I was doing the splits all the way. I’ve been taught by my brothers from a young age to be tough, and now we’re tough together. It only took a few random boxing matches over socks.

     Joining the football team was my first step to adulthood. My dream since I was six was to be a homicide detective, and now I want to join the military. Football makes me physically prepared for life, but as I grow through my high school sports I am getting mentaly prepared as well.

     My experiences at the beginning of my football career were rough, no one liked me. To be completely honest, most of the boys still don’t, but there’s a few that made me feel part of the team. Our quarterback would block me while I was changing in the boys locker room, making sure I had enough room when we would change. All lineman are grouped together when  practicing on the field, and when we are together we are friends; We build our relationships off our troubles during the games.

     Football is more than the two hour games once a week. It’s working out in the morning, going over plays at school, going to practice after school, going home, getting over how bad everything hurts, waking up and doing it again. It’s not hard being a girl on the team, it’s hard to play football. I might not be the best on the dance floor or the field, but I’m there everyday trying my best.