Training Camp: Year 4

Football is back and year 4 has arrived. Last year I wrote about this time entering our 3rd season. So many thoughts fill my head when I think about this time of year, but one thought that stands out the most, to be honest, is that we’re just blessed to be able to be entering 4 years in the league. In 2016, Sports Illustrated found that the average length of NFL careers are decreasing and that the average length of an NFL career across all positions is just 2.66 years. For an undrafted guy who picked up football late in high school to still be in the league 3 going on 4 years and 1 super bowl ring later is nothing short of a blessing.

Looking back at these past 3 years and our experiences in the league, we’ve been through a lot; there have been a lot of highs – like Kamalu’s first career start with the Texans, or winning the super bowl with the Patriots. There have also been several lows, like being released from the Texans and the Cardinals. Entering this year, being through what we’ve been through, we felt ready for everything – but in this crazy NFL life, you’re never really ready for anything and just got to roll with the punches as they come.

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Off Season Recap

Having a restful and productive off season definitely helps to mentally and physically prepare for the moments to come and this off season did just that. We did our off season training routine which consists of the both of us training at Dynamic Sports. Training together is new routine we started last off season, and it’s a fun bonding experience to say the least. Being up close to watch how hard Kamalu works for his dream is an experience that I’m forever grateful for; teamwork makes the dream work am I right?. We also had the most amazing time in Cancún, Mexico (read about it here)! From zip lining, to scuba diving, we did it all. Another moment that made this off season particularly memorable was watching my guy get his Super Bowl ring at the ring ceremony (read about it here)! The way last season began, we never thought this off season we’d be getting a Super Bowl Ring, but Your Plans < God’s Plans. All in all, it was a fun, exciting, and productive off season.

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Training Camp Transition

Training camp doesn’t just happen – there were a lot of moving pieces that had to go into place in order to begin another season of dream chasing. First and foremost, we needed to pack up our whole house in Houston to move to Foxboro  – and that came with its own list of to-dos. I cut my training time at Dynamic Sports to pack up the house, hire the movers, look for storage, etc. Everything was going as well as could go then Kamalu and I were thrown a curve ball – me tearing most of the ligaments in my knee during a freak accident literally 4 days before we were suppose to pack up our lives in a car and help drive 28 hours to our new home. Can you say STRESSFUL? So one trip to the emergency room, an x-ray, an MRI, the most uncomfortable knee brace and crutches (& several dramatic tears later), it was back to packing – training camp waits for no one.

Training Camp

Training camp was particularly different this year because other than my new training camp accessories (my knee brace and crutches), this was also our first time going through training camp with a new team, so we didn’t know what to expect. Our first 3 training camp were with our previous team – the Texans. Regardless, I was just happy we made it to Foxboro safely and were getting settled because it took a lot to be here. NFL life is not all glitz and glam, there are a lot of tough moments that go with this life. I did an interview with Sam Gordon from PrimetimeSportsTalk.com (read here) for their Sports Spouse Spotlight about the realities of NFL life.

Despite my leg injury, I made sure to show up to all open practices (except 1 – I had physical therapy). I just want to be there for him every way I can because he’s always there for me, and I always wanted him to be able to see a friendly face at the end of a long hot practice. Being able to watch him work for his dream up close only makes me respect his grind even more.

Watching Kamalu during the preseason games always makes my heart race because on top of being an exciting time with football being back, it’s also a time of high stress because he, as well as every other guy on that field, are fighting for a chance to continue on their NFL dreams. Before each game, the prayer is always the same – for a safe, injury free, and productive game. Kamalu did what he did best out there, and I’ve never been more happy to watch him out there doing his thing. When all was said and done, Kamalu made the Practice Squad – and I couldn’t be more proud. I’ve seen this man fight his way up to the 53 man roster on 2 different occasions – once with the Texans and last year with the Patriots. It isn’t an easy battle – but if anyone has enough fight in them to do it, it’s Kamalu; and through it all, he knows I got his back and I’ll always be his biggest fan through it all, and after the football is over.

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Our Hopes for this Season

Our hopes for this season are the same as they are every season: to be better than we were last year, to always have faith, and to roll with the punches as they come. Though – a new goal has secretly crept it’s way into our minds – to earn another Super Bowl Ring. Being able to be a part of a world class organization like the Patriots is an honor, and for the Patriots to keep Kamalu’s NFL dreams alive this season is a blessing. No matter what happens next, we’re ready for growth, change, new lessons, the ups, the downs, and whatever else is there to come.

You can follow along with our journey on my Instagram stories.

Thank you so much for reading!

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A lifestyle blogger sharing some of my favorite recipes, adventures, lifestyle habits and thoughts ✨ Instagram- @AnnaO.U Twitter- @AnnaO_U

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