Resiliency Is Not an Individual Sport

The dictionary uses the word “toughness” as a synonym for resiliency. It is tough to be a good student, a good athlete, a good friend, to navigate life with grace for yourself and others. It is even more tough to try to do it alone.

A little bit about me! My name is Maddy Field and I am a member of our Beta Kappa Chapter at Western Illinois University. After I graduated, I was hired at National Headquarters as a Leadership Consultant and I served in that position from July 2019 to April 2021.

Before my identity began to be associated with Alpha Sigma Alpha, it had been deeply rooted in basketball. I was lucky to discover basketball, my earliest passion, as a young girl. I played basketball year-round for 15 plus years of my life. This was something I dedicated myself to for over 75% of my life and it was TOUGH. There is so much associated with being an athlete, but my main objective as long as I can remember was to play basketball at the collegiate level. I worked since a young girl to achieve that dream. I fought through physical injuries, financial hardships, mental and emotional trials, and April of 2015 my dream became a reality and I committed to play basketball for a college in Southern Illinois.

My dream had finally come true, so I had to be the happiest I had ever been right?

Wrong.

Quickly, the many elements that made me Maddy were threatened. Not just my identity as an athlete but as a person in the LGBTQIA+ community as well. I was unwelcomed and I was pushed away from my team and the community I had built. And not just that, I was actively being persuaded to “change” myself. My mental and physical health plummeted. I was sent home twice as an attempt to heal myself, but the issue still stood, I was not accepted where I was.

My dream was in jeopardy and I did not know my next steps. I could stay where I was and continue to hurt on an intense level and live inauthentically, or I could step away from basketball forever. Talk about tough.

I chose me, I chose to leave, I chose to be resilient.

I gave myself time to heal and begin to truly love myself. During this time of growth and healing, I found myself at Western Illinois University and in the hands of the amazing women of the Beta Kappa Chapter. Had I not committed to resiliency, I would not have found the strength to go back to school or to join another “team.”

By choosing resiliency, I found a new team of powerful women to do life with. I found a team of caring women that accepted me for ALL that I was. A team of strong women that walked hand in hand with me while I healed. A team of leading women that taught me about how to be a true leader and showed me that I am more than the boxes others put me in. A team of women that chose to be resilient with me.

Alpha Sigma Alpha was my reward for being resilient and for that, I will love, cherish and honor her and her daughters as long as I am able.

So, sisters, go out, be resilient and hold tight to your rewards. Live authentically and do not allow others to put you in boxes in which you do not belong.

Maddy Field, BK


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