Haley Scott DeMaria

Archive for October, 2012

HAUNTED HOUSE

Last night I went with a few girlfriends to a local Haunted House. It wasn’t too local – we had to drive about 30 minutes away to the volunteer fire department who sponsored the event, and then take a 15minute shuttle ride to the middle of nowhere. When we stepped off the shuttle, it was pitch black down a long gravel road with only the instructions: Turn right at the green light.

We let the other group from the shuttle go in front of us. Not sure that was a good idea. When you are in front, you can somewhat see where you are going; when you are in the back, “monsters and mummies” can jump out at you from behind – sometimes with chainsaws.

It was silly entertainment…and okay, it was a bit scary at times (my heart was pounding when we finished). But the best part for me was the quick reminder of things I loved as a child and a teenager…silly humor. I get to be silly with my children, but this was a chance for me to be silly with my friends. I don’t do that often enough. My friends and I laugh, for sure – and we get together for a lot of fun events: tailgating, plays, boat trips, parties, even an adventurous ropes course. But it’s been a long time since I was just plain silly.

Life can be so serious. And even when we take time to laugh and have fun, I was reminded last night how important it is to keep our childhood sense of silliness; not to entertain our children, but for ourselves. It’s nurturing the soul in a slightly different way.

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  • “I Understand” are two powerful words when spoken truthfully. And they are a very powerful statement to say to someone who is in the midst of a life-changing experience. That’s why when I received an email from a parent whose highly-sought-after athletic daughter was recently injured, I ached to help her.

    Circumstance brought this dad to my story, and he in turn shared his daughter’s story with me: a top recruit in her sport (being sought after by top programs, including Notre Dame), with a potential career-ending injury; yet after surgery there is hope for her to compete again at the highest level. And she was coming to visit Notre Dame on an unofficial visit the same weekend I happened to be speaking at an event in South Bend. Their family has read “What Though the Odds,” and their family knew it would beneficial to their daughter to speak to someone who understood.

    But I can’t. And it’s frustrating.

    As an official representative of Notre Dame, I can not speak to any potential recruits unless I have a preexisting relationship with them (and even then, there are restrictions). I normally would not have thought twice about returning the outreach and setting up a time to meet with this athlete, but I am also very aware of the potential compliance issues. So I reached out to a friend in ND’s compliance office.

    She spent about a week looking into the issue, but ultimately the answer was no. I was bummed; she was bummed. But those are the NCAA’s rules. Notre Dame doesn’t make them; Notre Dame just abides by them. And for that, I am greatly appreciative.

    It frustrates me, as this father stated so well: “It is unfortunate that meaningful relationships not based around improper relationships are prevented here.”

    Yes, it is unfortunate. And sometimes we don’t understand things. But what I do understand is that every student-athlete’s experience at Notre Dame is made better by the efforts made to abide with compliance. And as a parent, we always want to model what’s right for our children. I don’t understand the rule, but I understand I need to respect and appreciate the efforts made to abide by them. And I do.

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