Welcome to Behind the G! This is a Georgia Way platform that shares student-athlete stories, hobbies, and what is important to them. To the world, student-athletes are viewed by their outcomes in their sports, but they are so much more than that. Our goal is to share with the world in their own words who they are as people, and the numerous ways they represent the G on and off the field.
If you would’ve told me that I would go from March 8th to October 9th 2020 without battling on the court next to my dawgs, I would’ve thought “No chance”. It is crazy to think that one day, life is going 100mph and you are off to the next college town weekend after weekend to then the uncertainty of the next day and completely living day-by-day. All of our lives completely took a 180 degree turn, but as crazy as it sounds, I feel that those 215 days of a competition hiatus really allowed me to take a step back from everything, reflect, focus on weaknesses, and grow in all areas of my life. It really helped me see that “sport” isn’t everything. The world goes on without sports and sometimes it’s hard to see that in the midst of season and your life feels like being a student-athlete is everything. The pandemic has also allowed me to develop a new sense of love for the “G”. There is really nothing like competing with the super G on your chest. In regards to the off-time, you could put yourself in two different boats; using that off time to work on yourself or you can just put on cruise control. I am so proud of the way our team never really stopped working. We all came back to campus in August ready for our first practices and 6am runs. Although we may have not been physically wearing our “G”’s, we most definitely kept it in our hearts and never forgot our mission, even though it may have been delayed for a bit.
When October 9th, 2020 did come, it was as if we were right back to where we were supposed to be. There were no pre-match jitters or any mental blocks. We were all so tough and poised. We not only picked right back up to where we were 215 days before, but stronger. We all had a stronger sense of love for competing and competing for Georgia. We played three tournaments back-to-back-to-back which only one other team had elected to do and we were one of the only teams to not be banged up. We played with our full roster every match and we rarely missed a beat every day of those three weekends. Life was not as glamorous either, but that may have been the fun part. We drove in minivans across the SEC rather than taking sleeper buses and ate Taziki’s and Jimmy Johns maybe more than we had bargained for, but the opportunity to play with my dawgs next to me, is worth the lack of luxury. Man, I would’ve even opted to bring my own food and sleep in tents if it meant we would be able to compete again. I think that there has also been a huge change of perspective that has come with everything going on. We have shifted to a mindset of leaving everything out there because we really don’t know what the next day may hold. We are all so grateful that the SEC has allowed us to play our sport and compete amidst a pandemic and as one of the very few conferences to even let us have that opportunity. We are constantly staying ready regardless of what may come our way. When the stage is ready for us, we will be ready.
Meg Kowalski – UGA Women’s Tennis