Drafting the Perfect Team


I’m actually not even too sure if thats the right term for it, all I know is so many talented guys are getting life changing phone calls to become apart of a team bigger than themselves this week. I love seeing the smiling faces of the parents, coaches, teammates, siblings, and even the players themselves! They are joining some of the most elite athletes and have become apart of a new team, a new support system. Meanwhile, these teams stand on their toes waiting to make an offer to draft the perfect team….

A little different, but I will never forget the day my cousin got drafted to the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was quite possibly one of the proudest moments of my entire life. J was apart of the Yu Darvish trade with the Texas Rangers and is now pitching for their organization. He is doing great and just celebrated his 20th birthday! Kid’s an animal!!!!!!!

Anyways, I recently had an interview about my MS and school and how I handle them together and what not… It’s simple…

God has drafted me the perfect team. Team Madyson's Faith  is taking over the MS world and is on a dedicated mission  to finding a cure!
Huge thank you to everyone who came out and walked for team Madyson’s Faith. Thank you to everyone who donated, and thank you for everyone who has supported me this far. Oh, and thanks Rachel for being a second round (LOL not quite first round worthy) draft pick.

During my interview they asked me a simple question, “What is one thing you want people to know that you think is missed amongst all of this?” My answer: “None of this is done alone, my support system is without a doubt how I do this”.

BUT just like the NFL, there will be trades, free agents, and then the dudes you draft and they’re there until they retire, one team isn’t made for everyone forever. The coaches will even change at times!! Your team will have losing seasons, they will be the underdog champions, they will have games they should win but don’t and they will have games that they should lose that they win.

In other words, you will have times when your team looks like the Cleveland Browns, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

My doctors (coaches) have changed so many times, I cant even keep straight who does what! People trade off… this isn’t for everyone. I don’t hate the players that leave, trade off, or become free agents and waver on and off, I hate the game. I hate that it’s this tough for them. Then you have the ones who are stuck with ya from draft day to retirement. The Day One’s (hey mom and dad).

There will be times when you look like the Cleveland Browns. Times where you have a great team, you just cant win anything? A losing season? Living so close to Cleveland I have recognized one really inspiring thing though… Cleveland fans are loyal. That is a complete understatement. They have one of the best teams, the outcome on the scoreboard the last couple of years hasn’t taken away the hope for a win in the future. They continue to trade, draft, and play the game they’ve been handed.

There will be times when you are the dead horse getting beat. Everyone is tired, your quarterback is out and hurt, how are you POSSIBLY going to win this game? Times when the odds are not in your favor. Then somehow your team pulls through, supports you to the point where you’re holding the Lombardi trophy. Yes, you will have your Philadelphia Eagles moments. Love the team, love what they’re about, admire their unshakable faith in the Lord, but their fans are brutal (hey Stypinski fam).

Then, there will be times when everyone looks at you as a champion. EVERYONE, your entire city! You’ve overcome so many times, you feel as if its expected! You end up losing games due to inconsistent reffing (Jesse James) that keep you from holding the Lombardi trophy in the end, you give up in games you need to push through, you win games you should not have. Yes, you will have moments where you look like the Pittsburgh Steelers. The greatest team of all time, they have incredibly loyal fans, the team is consistently unified against all that they may face.

None of these teams are better than one another to get drafted to, because they all are facing the same game, they all have the talent, they all have the coaching staff, and the fans to get them through it. But until the realization that not every season is a losing season and not every season is a winning season comes to mind, the name on the back is all that you will have as opposed to the team name and the colors on the front.

God is drafting your team, he’s preparing you for an underdog season. Get out there, make your trades, get to know your coaches, and fall in love with the camaraderie  amongst your team. You can’t play the game with just a quarterback.

Keep S’myelin,



Falling Head Over Heels

For the average person the phrase, “falling head over heels” is correlated with love; it’s cute, it’s graceful, and perfect. For an MS patient however, “falling head over heels” is a physical daily occurrence that is far from cute, graceful, and perfect. As an MS patient, it has been quite a while since I have heard the phrase “falling head over heels” and thought of it as lovely, perfect, or graceful… at least until recently…

I found myself within the last couple of months going through the motions of things. Nothing is fun anymore. Why am I on this crazy track that some don’t even dare to take? Within the last few months, learning has been in an abundance. Trust me, I never want to hear another thing about a hydrolysis mechanism, standard deviation of a rats blood pressure stats, or the organ donation system across the globe. I’ve learned a ton! But not everything I’ve learned has really been things that I can take notes on… I found myself wanting answers to questions like, “Why me?”, “Is there ever going to be a cure?”, “What if…?”, and even as far as, “Am I enough?”. These are intense questions that have very simple answers once the head is pulled from the rear end. But I almost found myself having to learn that warm fuzzy feeling for “falling head over heels”, not for anyone else, but for myself…. I had to learn to fall head over heels in love with myself again…

It all started with a simple look in the mirror. As I wiped away the tears, I tried to pin point what it was that was making me so unhappy, so undesirable, so miserable that even my SERVICE dog felt like there wasn’t much he could do. As I raised my hand in front of my face, I began to cry harder… the cane. It was the damn cane that was making me upset! I WAS CRYING OVER A FREAKING WALKING CANE. Had MS just become my biggest insecurity? Had MS taken the toll I promised myself I’d never let it take on myself? Was I really sitting in my bathroom crying over a cane?!

Yes, I am 20 years old, and I was crying over the uncontrollable. I was throwing a temper tantrum because things weren’t going my way.

SO, I started to change one thing at a time. I first needed to drop the idea that I could handle this all by myself. In order to learn to love, I needed to first learn to let people love me. I’m still new to this whole love thing so my best friend tells me they love me and I reply with “forever and always, my dude”… I mean, a simple “love you too” would have

fullsizeoutput_d9sufficed, but we can force it just a little as reenforcement I suppose. And we all know how smooth I am with boys, in fact I don’t recommend telling someone, “I like your eyes, not because they’re pretty or anything, but I more so envy them because you can see out of yours and I cant”. WHAT?! But you get the point, I’m learning…. So then I had to start finding what I love about me…. well.. I have really muscular thumbs, so thats cool. I started taking an hour every morning for the gym, while I’m on whatever cardio machine I choose to do so that day, I listen to my worship music and spend time with the one who has a plan greater than anything I could ever imagine.

I encourage you to fall head over heels for yourself again. Find that warm fuzzy feeling, the grace in the fall, and how enough and imperfectly perfect you really are. It’s a long rough road, you may be disappointed at times, but not liking where you’re at in life right now should be motivation enough to get to who and where you want to be.

Keep S’myelin,


God’s Blessings vs. My Successes

The last 6 months have showed me that life happens. I’ve talked about it a lot, I’ve shared that I have gotten through it, blah blah blah. BUT somewhere along that way, I have become a miserable person. A miserable person in the class room, in my house, in my own head, and ultimately just to be around. SOMETHING WAS ALWAYS WRONG. SOMETHING WAS ALWAYS GETTING IN MY WAY.

“My parents split up, I never saw it coming. I’m really angry about it.”

“My MS progressed, I don’t really feel worse than I did before, but they’re putting me through chemo now. I’m really angry about it.”

“_____ treated me this way. I never expected _____ to treat me that way. He doesn’t even see anything wrong with it. I’m really angry about it.”

“Stanley ran away this morning, and by run away I mean sat in front of Auntie Rachel, Auntie Tito, Auntie Brooke, and Auntie Ali’s, house right across the creek and wouldn’t come back, which ultimately made me angry about it.”

I wish I was kidding when I say thats only a microscopic view of how I’ve turned everything into a problem, so I could find the control to overcome it. Because when life throws uncontrollable situations at you, your first instinct is to “control what you have control over”.

everything was always the end of the world, or my world at least.

I promise I will get to the point of this soon, but bear with me for now. 

Somewhere within that, I even started to turn POSITIVE things into a hassle.

“Oh, I got a raise at work? That just means the job is getting harder.”

“I have the opportunity to go BACK to Okinawa, Japan to surf, eat at sushi-go-rounds, and sight see, with a friend who has never been. But planning this trip is hard.”

“Stanley comforts me to sleep every night, makes sure I’m okay 50x a day, but he still occasionally jumps when he gets excited, so this is hard.”

ARE YOU JOKING?! oh, but it gets better.

I then started finding what I thought was my control in the situation and conveying them as my own successes!!!! 

“I’m going back to Japan to surf on the beautiful beaches again, drink pineapple saki at the pineapple factory, and jet ski in Okuma, for the second time in my life in a few months, and I am only able to do it because I worked for it, oh and I prayed about it on the side…”

“I made it through 16 rounds of a chemo based trial because I went in with a positive mindset every time, and I drank all of my pediasure before hand. Oh, and I prayed about it on the side…”

LITERALLY EVERY BREAKTHROUGH WAS CREDITED TO ME. (I can’t even continue to give you examples, because it genuinely pisses me off at the selfishness in it all)

Now look, I have always 110% thought (for a lack of better terms) that JESUS IS DOPE. It’s in my profile for just about any social media. But for some reason, I am so quick to praise God for all of these things in the quiet of my own room, but the second I share my testimony, its “*I* did this! Jesus? yeah, I talk to him occasionally, but did you see what *I* did?!”………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Most people don’t even go to Japan once to surf and do all of those things…. Here I am after living there, going BACK with a friend, and reliving everything for 3 weeks… No where in writing am I promised any of this… the living there, the trip back, and even the friend… I had no hand in arranging any of that in my life. God strategically placed every aspect of that there.

My MS has always been something that I never really gave the time of day talking about to my friends. In fact, my 4 roommates didn’t even know I was going through the trial study  until my last round. I had a handful of people who knew about it. No where in writing am I promised any of this… a treatment for this, the strength to pull through it, and even the people who got me through it (even the ones who didn’t know about it I.e. my roommates, got me through it)

My parents split up.  I never saw it coming. I found myself running to people to help me get through it. I found myself running away from those who tried to help. But no where in writing am I promised any of this… my dad being brought home from every deployment, my mom winning all of her health battles in life, a support system to get me through it, and most of all, they both still love me and are encouraging me in my faith, my studies, my relationships, and more.

My God did all of that. Not me. I am extremely grateful for every single person and thing that has been strategically placed throughout the chaos, frustration, and temptations. I have been a miserable person to be around, but that cannot happen anymore.

I am not strong enough to ruin the plan already set in place.

Keep S’myelin,


2018: The Year of, “YOU GOT THIS”

Happy New Year, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and all that holiday stuff!!!

If your holidays were anything like mine, you stuffed your faces and are now taking up on the local gym’s “SIGN UP NOW FOR ONLY 9.99 FOR YOUR FIRST MONTH TO SHED OFF MORE STUFFING THAN WAS PUT INTO YOUR TURKEY” deal, you’re realizing that school starts up way quicker than anticipated and the thought of waking up before 10 makes you cringe, and you feel forced to create a New Years resolution just for the simple fact that you want to see if it takes you longer than last years to break it.

If anything, I hope your holiday season was DELIGHTFUL.

New Years resolutions always seem so silly to me. Because here’s the deal, in the almost 21 years of my life, the only consistent thing has been the inconsitency in my life. And I don’t mean that in a “woah is me” attitude, I mean it as in, I’ve learned to find peace in the chaos. Im not really one for New Years Resolutions, but I am one for reflections that inspire mantras. Allow me to explain….

2017, for a lack of better words… Kicked My Ass.

110% kicked me so far up the butt, my head at times, actually ended up back on my shoulders.

2017, I found out that my MS had progressed beyond measures every imagined considering just the year before it was questionable as to if that was even what I had.

2017, I started my junior year of college. Need I say more?

2017, I witnessed a love that I had admired for 20 years, split into two separate paths that no longer meant walking down with each other. I have my mother, I have my father, and for that I am eternally grateful, but they do not have each other, and it has been one of the hardest things for me to swallow.

2017, I was put through a trial study of a new chemo based drug. 16 rounds.

2017, you kicked my rear end, but I think I punched it in the face.

I always reflect on my year. My mantra so-to-speak for 2017 was “Keep S’myelin”, thats what I did the entire year! But just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean my MS gets left in 2017, my family dynamic change, or the struggles of being pre-med get left in 2017, they will be here in 2018. But dammit, I’ve got this.

Left 2017 with my best friend to hold my hand through 2018!!!

Cheers to 2017, Cheers to 2018. Be sure to reflect, YOU GOT THIS.

Keep S’myelin,


Hopelessly Hopeful

I feel like a lot of these posts have been about the times I’ve found hope in a homeless man, my dog that I shot put onto the tile, or a friend I sit on the side of a bridge with.

After all, I was to create a blog that showed the hope in the most hopeless of times. I was to show you that no matter what, no matter how chaotic my life battling Multiple Sclerosis got, there’s always hope in something.

But, can I let you in on a little secret? It isn’t until I am laying in a hospital bed rating my pain at an 8 (because nothing is ever a 10 and I sure as hell better be dying if it’s ever a 9), with my dog shoving his new chicken toy in my face to make me feel better, or sitting with someone in your car as they punch the dash board without any emotional control, or sobbing into my best friends arms as she’s at a loss for words because in that very moment, when time seems to freeze, when no progress is being made, that moment when you open your eyes hoping to see something, open your ears, your heart, to hear something, that is going to promise you that it’s all going to be okay. It isn’t until those moments of complete hopelessness in which you look for hope in the small areas, sitting at a stop light, on the side of a bridge, or with your 75 lb 7 month old lap puppy.

It’s one thing to feel completely hopeless about what’s to come for yourself, but when you watch someone else lose hope, who for weeks, months, years, your whole life, was in fact YOUR hope, lose hope in everything, and there is nothing you can do, thats the hardest part. When things around you start to fail, and it feels like everything you touch just turns to dust, so you decide to stay in bed so you don’t touch anything. When marriages you longed for are failing, when the strongest person you know hit their weakest point, and there is absolutely nothing you can do. What hope is there?

Now, I was raised all over the world, but I grew up in the church. I think it is vital to ALWAYS remember where you came from, all of those reasons, morals, values, that put you in the position to have such high expectations for hope in life. It is extremely important to, no matter how far you run from it, know you always have a place at the dinner table there. If you believe just that, it won’t take much to regain that hope. There is something so powerful in believing in something that fills that reasoning behind every breath you take. Because the breath you took 10 minutes ago, you will never take again, and the one you plan to take 10 minutes from now, isn’t guaranteed.

It’s that belief in why you’re breathing that subconsciously pulls you out of bed. Its that belief that takes your hand away from the dashboard, your head away from your friend’s chest. It isn’t until the moments of feeling completely hopeless until we find a reason to look for hope. It never came, it never left, it’s always been there, behind every single breath, hope was and will continue to be, always there.

Keep S’Myelin,


Controlling the Uncontrollable

It’s as simple as running 3 minutes behind for work and getting stopped at every red light.

But it’s as complex as an unexpected death of a loved one.

It’s as simple as the fluctuation in gas prices.

But it’s as complex as hearing a cry for help from your strongest hero.

It’s as simple as the common cold.

But it’s as complex as standing still in silence when everyone around you is falling apart in chaos.

Controlling the Uncontrollable

It’s my biggest weakness.

This blog was originally made to spread awareness for Multiple Sclerosis as I was diagnosed just 2 years ago with it at only, 18 years old. My obsessive compulsions came more prevalent when my symptoms of MS became more prevalent.

Its as simple as not being able to take a hot shower or else my vision doubles.

But it’s as complex as 20+ pills, infusions, and injections a day.

I could go on, but this isn’t for pity. I just don’t understand the little bit of obsession we all have with trying to control the uncontrollable. There are certain things you will never be able to control.

  • the red lights you are presented with (figuratively and literally)
  • death
  • gas prices
  • the strength of another person
  • illness
  • the attempt at standing still when everything is falling apart

If we could control these things, the phrase “life happens” would not be relevant. There would be no need to have faith in anything or anyone.

If we could control these things, I would not be sitting here in my overwhelming self pity that I cannot control when my family breaks down, that I cannot control my prognosis, that I cannot control my “Life Happens” because there is already a plan set in place greater than one I could ever make up for myself.

Image 11-12-17 at 4.18 PM
Life’s biggest uncontrollable moments show joy and perseverance but only if you allow them to.

Instead, the controllable things are what’s needed to be prioritized.

Recognizing that you cannot control the strength of that loved one, but loving them through it regardless. Recognizing that things in life are not right, that is not how life is supposed to be happening, and finding a reason to have faith in the plan setbefore you. 

So yeah, life does happen. But damn, it can be frustrating and overwhelming. You will have your moments of your head in your hands. You will have your moments of self reflection that you are not going to like. But you are going to be okay as soon as you realize the struggle, the uncontrollable, and the controllable. Embrace it, life isn’t meant to be hard without hope, its supposed to be hopeful, faithful, and embraced because this morning when you opened your eyes, it was 1 date passed yesterdays, and you weren’t promised that yesterday.

Keep S’myelin,


Welcoming the New Doc

I’m not at all in the slightest bit a complex person. I am usually in 1/3 places, in class, the library, or the doctors. But most of the time…. the doctors. Kent State might as well give me an 18 credit hour clinical for how much time I spend there.

OH YEAH 2 YEARS! WE DID IT GUYS! well… not too sure what it is that we did or that I did, but I still have MS 2 years after the doc sat down with me, and you’re still reading these, so I’d say we are doing pretty damn well! CHEERS TO MANY MORE YEARS OF S’MYELIN WITHOUT MY MYELIN!

I go in for infusions pretty often, its normal, I’m not crazy, just sick. I’ve had the same infusion nurse since I was in Pittsburgh and she stalked me to here in Cleveland and now is my nurse here. She’s great, but don’t tell her I said that, her head will get big, arsenic will end up in my IV, it just doesn’t work out for either of us. (DISCLAIMER: she reads these, and is actually a really nice lady, no arsenic will be used after this… hopefully). Anyways! I always walk into the clinic like I run the place; I mean, Stacy at the front desk gets to take more “sick days” from that place than I do, I basically do run the place for her. (You’re welcome Stacy, I got you girl). But those infusions can be rough sometimes. Let me paint you the picture:

  • walls painted black
  • people crying everywhere
  • ugly hospital gowns
  • mean nurses

Okay, so maybe that’s just how I WISH it looked because then it would at least prepare me for the arsenic going through my IV. Instead you walk in, theres candy sitting out, magazines on the latest gossip, everyone is smiling, literally EVERYONE. LIKE STOP IT, NOT ONE PART OF THIS IS FUN, and they even let me stay in my own comfy Kent State sweatpants that I actually wore the day before but my Monday-Wednesday friends don’t know about my Tuesday-Thursday life, ITS A PERFECT ATMOSPHERE.

But for some reason, every time I leave I go stumbling out like a drunk idiot screaming, “I hate this place, I’m never coming back again, the nurses suck, the doctors suck, the only things that don’t suck are the lollipops and they’re supposed to suck! (get it? suckers? lol OK no?)” So the new doctor that joined the team was very concerned when I went out walking the other day… “Is she okay? Is she really not going to come back?” and my nurse is great and knows me all too well and replies back with “Madyson, I will see you tomorrow, Dunkin’ Donuts coffee I think is okay during tomorrows infusion”. All was better on my end and a “Stay Dope, Doc, see you tomorrow!!!” is probably how that went.

This poor doctor was scarred for life. I saw him the next day and he sat down to gauge my personality a little bit more and by the end of my infusion he was making blind jokes like, “Ill see you next week, but will you see me is the real question?”. Weak, but we will work on it, doc.

Keep S’myelin,



What’s In Your Soul?

Do you ever catch the cashier at Walmart off guard when they ask you how you are and you actually answer truthfully? “Well, my life’s a mess, my dog is getting bigger and I don’t know how to handle being a mom of a teenager. I’m pre-med and wonder why every day. I held my friend’s hair back as she threw up all last night because my friends get to go out on the weekends, but I’m a bouncer at a bar to pay my bills.” So then they scan my much needed Pillsbury halloween cookies and say utterly uncomfortably, “That’ll be $23.67, please.” then theres that awkward silence until you grab all of your bags and try to remember if it was by the pharmacy or the produce in which you parked.

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The perks of having a service dog, they literally know what’s in your soul better than you do. I merely cough and Stanley is in my face kissing me letting me know that he will not under his supervision let this cold kill me. LOL

But before I proceed any further, that was all true. I am in fact a bouncer at a bar as I’m sure just as it was hard for my friend’s and grandma to hold back the laughter (or in my grandmas case, tears), you as well had the same issue. Stanley is getting HUGE, I don’t like it one bit. I love being pre-med, and my friends are ALL very responsible when consuming alcoholic beverages.

Okay, so I have a feeling that was only an accurate description of my awkward encounters with the question, “How are you?”. I never realized the importance, the intimacy, in that question. I know when I ask it, I GENUINELY WANT TO KNOW. Don’t tell me, “good”. Anyone who knows me, knows I ALWAYS have a smart remark for my moods when that question gets asked, “I’ve seen better days” (which is only funny if the person knows I have MS and occasionally go blind), or the overused, “Still breathing, can’t complain”. But how many people who ask that question a day do you think really care to get an answer like the cashier at Walmart did the other day?

What if to show we actually cared, we turned “How are you”‘s and “Are you okay?”‘s into “What’s in your soul?”. Deep, dude. I heard this from a pastor in a book he wrote. Im not going to lie, I only picked up the book because I thought it was a book about burritos and I only have read the first chapter. But that’s the title of the book, and it kind of stuck. Now, if someone randomly off the street came up to me and asked, “What’s in your soul?” I’d either need time to think about it or abruptly blurt out, “Uhhhh Tacos?”. It’s SUCH AN INTIMATE QUESTION.

I have a friend who doesn’t typically ask how I am, but will ask “Are you okay?”. This person I’d like to think knows me fairly well. But recently has gotten to know my different body language expressions and levels of shakiness in my voice. I say this because just the other day this person said, “This is the last time I am going to ask, are you okay?” and I smiled softly and they replied with, “Go shower, come watch movies, and whenever you’re ready, we can talk”.

So why do we treat our friend’s “Are you okay?’s” like they asked “What’s in your soul?” but the cashier at Walmart like they don’t care? Dude, answer the damn question! The more honestly you answer, the more honestly that person will start to ask. The more honestly you answer, the more honest with yourself you’re being. Groceries are expensive, you might as well get a personal psychology session out of it too with the cashier!

I encourage you to evaluate how you ask/answer these questions and your purpose in asking them. You never know when someone needs the genuine, “How are you?” or “Are you okay?”. I am a bouncer at a bar so I get some pretty crazy answers to that question, but even drunk people need some lovin’.




All I Have on the Worst Days of My Life

We’ve all been there, in our over dramatic moment of self pity. We had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, day… Nothing went right… We fought and we lost… We spoke and weren’t heard… We listened and weren’t spoken to… We reached but didn’t touch… We tried our hardest to do right, but it went oh so wrong… We turned, but went the wrong way… I could go on and on, but I think you have that day in mind…

Okay, so take that day and pinpoint that moment when you had your head in your hands… The moment when your knees hit the ground… when you slammed the door so hard the house shook… when you screamed so loud the heavens heard it… when you cried so hard your head literally felt like it was going to fall off your body….

Got it? Me too… Worst day of your life? Doubt it. Here’s why:

Those terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, days, those days are inevitable. Not only that, but 9/10 of you have a day in your head right now. A day when you got news you couldn’t even fathom hearing, a day you swore you’d never forgive, a day that will for you; forever will live in infamy!!!! But I guarantee as I named different things to go wrong, different days popped in mind. Just when you think it’s the worst day of your life, you look back and realize that if you had a nickel for every time you threw the towel in the air and said “this is the worst day ever”, another “worst day ever” followed not a couple months later. So, Stop. Breathe. React. Life is tough, but if whats in your bank account is all you have, if the effort you are putting into your relationship is genuinely all you have, if you truly 110% are giving all you have, it is enough. You are enough. All you have is not a negative term, it is enough. Trust that you will always be provided for.


I once sat in a hospital bed with my mom. I cried and cried and cried. I couldn’t see, I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t walk, and at the time couldn’t even swallow…. My mom felt hopeless, I could sometimes hear her as her head hit her hands or my dads chest followed by tears, enough to fill the Nile. But then she would lay in bed with me, and give me all she had to feed my all I had… she’d put headphones in my ears, play music, or she’d talk to me about anything and everything. Her voice, it was enough. Her music, it was enough. My only sense being able to hear, it was enough… Her all she had was enough, my all I had, was enough.

Keep S’myelin,


Even Heroes Get Tired

It is August 16, 2017 and the Phil Kessel is still a two time, back-to-back, Stanley Cup Champion.

For those of you who aren’t from Pittsburgh and/or have no clue what the previous statement means, reevaluate your list of heroes.

We’ve all been in a place in life where we have a good portion of our eggs in one basket; a good portion of our hope or expectations in one person. This person could do no wrong. They might even be your B E S T  F R I E N D . Your S P O U S E. Or someone you’ve never even met, like someone from your favorite hockey team. Whoever it is, this person in your eyes is, for lack of a better term, EVERYTHING. But let me tell you… even heroes get tired…

I brought my very good friend to a Pittsburgh Penguins game for her birthday. Now, my friend Alexis, she is the biggest Penguins fan I have ever met.

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A cool little background on my friend Alexis. Alexis, Lex, Lex B, she is the most incredibly genuine and beautiful human I have met thus far walking this earth. She is my Big in my fraternity at school, and Phi Delta Epsilon has been trying to figure out ways to end our family dynasty since we got put together. Anyways, Alexis was in Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh during the same time I was. She was fighting off lions and tigers and bears, and something called HLH. Without getting too far into it, it’s scary, it’s tough, but if you ask her, “HLH saved my life. HLH was just my Brittney Spears moment in life, I’m good now”. She swears to this day that it was the visit from the Pittsburgh Penguins in the hospital that worked better than any of the medicines the doctors pushed through that IV.

SO, as we walked into PPG Paints Arena to watch the Pittsburgh Penguins take on the Philadelphia Flyers, Alexis was probably screaming and hollering that “Phil Kessel is a Stanley Cup Champion” and “Sydney Crosby is really good at hockey” and somewhere in there came a “Mady, I do not care if I am embarrassing you, we are going to win!” Yeah……. well, our heroes didn’t get the memo and lost to the Philadelphia Flyers 6-1 that night… It was the most devastating thing to ever see, right beside my big’s broken heart. In that moment it felt like there was nothing that could redeem the heart break they had just brought on. 50,000 people put most of their eggs into that basket and $200.00 into a seat to watch these guys live up to the expectations we had set!?

Do you see where I am getting at? Just like the Pittsburgh Penguins got tired that night and slipped up, broke our hearts, and devastated an entire city. People do the same thing.  They get tired… That “best friend”, they’re tired. Maybe not from you specifically, but they have a life, too. That spouse, life got too overwhelming. They’re tired. Now, here’s the tricky part. The Pittsburgh Penguins bounced back and ended up fighting for their fanbase, their Alexis Barbati’s, those who believed in them even when no one else did. They didn’t turn to the fanbase of the Washington Capitals or the Philadelphia Flyers, they turned to what they had, what got them this far, and they fought and fought and fought until they won that Stanley Cup for the 2nd time in a row. This doesn’t always happen with people, and its life. People who get tired, they might choose another fanbase, but you are the fanbase that got them there. They might fight, just in other ways. They might not always pull out the Stanley Cup for you, but the process ends up showing you how YOU can win that cup on your own.

Alexis has shown me an impeccable way of looking at life and all it has to offer, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. Alexis has shown me that my expectations, if I don’t want to be let down ever, they should be placed in the one who created it all.

Keep S’myelin,