Motivation redefined — a fire in my eyes

Essay provided by Founding Member and Vice President Jennifer Elliott

Throughout my entire adult life, I have thought of myself as the motivated type. I was rarely ever one to sit back and wait for things to happen. When I decided what direction I wanted to go in, I took action right away to achieve that goal.

One thing I never did in my younger years was take up any kind of team sport. Sure, I had a season of track…back in middle school, but I didn’t have an interest in playing sports–at all.

Fast forward to a couple of summers ago; I was a single mom of four and a few years away from being an empty nester when Sara Rohner approached me at a rugby gala we were both attending with our significant others. 

She said something like, “You look aggressive. You should come play Aussie rules football. I can see the fire in your eyes.” It was an odd approach but worked perfectly in that moment. 

“Being a part of a women’s Aussie rules team took my motivation to a whole new level.”

I had only heard of the sport in passing but knew nothing about it. After watching a few YouTube videos, I thought it looked like fun, so I went to my first practice in August 2018. And I was hooked!

Being a part of a women’s Aussie rules team took my motivation to a whole new level. That translated to my fitness as well as many other areas of my life. It motivated me to do things I truly disliked (running) because those activities were for the benefit of my team. 

Jennifer (bottom left) with her four children and mom

Aussie Rules has given me something bigger to focus on. I train, lift, eat, shop, work, plan, etc. with my sport in mind. This impacts my parenting as well. My kids, now in their young adulthood, push harder in their own lives and tell me it is because they see how focused and motivated I am to achieve my goals.

“My kids…push harder in their own lives and tell me it is because they see how focused and motivated I am to achieve my goals.”

Now I begin my next chapter as an athlete with the newest USAFL club, the Centennial Tigers. The decision to leave one team to join another was far from easy, but it made sense. Our new club is located in the south metro area of Denver and much, much closer to where I live. It also gives Colorado the unique opportunity to truly grow the sport. 

I offered my assistance to Sara Rohner with getting the club off the ground and said yes to the role of club Vice President.

It has been exciting for me to be a founding member and take an active role in getting this new club started.

I am forever grateful for the experiences I have had in this sport and eagerly look forward to many more in the years to come. I can no longer imagine my life without Australian rules football.

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