Legends On Deck

Brianna Kuebler: In the Eyes of the Bri-Holder

Image Source: Yonigill.com

It takes a special person to date someone who plays professional baseball. And, I mean a very, very special person. Someone who understands that their job consists of a 7-day work week and often a 12-hour work day. Someone who believes in the passion, the dreams, and the hard work it takes to achieve that ultimate goal. And, not just someone who believes in them, but supports them each and every day of their journey.

I am not going to sit here and pat myself on the back for being this person, with enthusiasm and grace, every single day to my husband. But, I do believe in giving credit when it’s due. And, that credit is not to myself. But, to him. To him, for allowing me to endure on this exciting and emotional journey by his side, and not wanting it any other way. After all, my husband did try and prepare me the best he could for the months alone I was about to encounter.But, that’s the thing. I wasn’t alone. I had him there with me every step of the way. Sure, at times I thought it would be nearly impossible to live without my best friend, who was a couple thousand miles and a few time zones away, for a half of a year. But, I told him, that is what FaceTime was for.

And, there would be some days that I was exhausted at work because his game went into extra innings and I couldn’t bear the thought of going to bed without hearing his voice. But, I told him that is what Redbull was for.

And, I would have to get used to going to weddings alone and politely rolling my eyes every time someone asked, “couldn’t Jake just skip his game and come back home for the weekend to be with you…?” But, those people would never understand.

Is it hard to be away from the person you love (for what feels like an eternity)? Sure, it is. But, there is something really empowering about watching the person you love, dream big dreams and have a goal that they are working toward.

I get asked all the time, “Bri…how do you do it?” And, the answer is simple. It’s not me doing anything. It’s us.

It’s communication.
It’s trust.
It’s sacrifice.
It’s compromise.

And, it’s not always easy. But, I can promise you that it is worth it.

Jake was committed to play baseball at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, but after high school in 2008 he signed in the 17th round with the Kansas City Royals as a hitter and position player. He was released with the Royals in 2012 and signed with the N.Y. Mets as a RHP shortly after. Jake and I are both from Lincoln, NE and we went to rival high schools. In high school, I knew of Jake and he knew of me – and, we had a lot of mutual friends. We reconnected in December of 2013 when we were both out with friends and he was home for the off-season. We started dating in January and he left for baseball less than a month after we started dating. And, that is where our journey began.

I quickly realized that being a professional baseball player in the Minor League Organization was far from glamorous. The road trips were long, the rest was short, and trying to plan far in advance to go and visit was just not in the cards. But, I sure have learned a lot throughout this process, mostly about myself. I learned that I didn’t have to depend on another person to make me happy. I learned how to be independent and to find happiness in being alone. Once I learned how to love myself for every part of who I am, I was able to love larger than the sky above me and deeper than the depths of the ocean beneath me.

You see, being in a long-distance relationship forces you to not depend on someone else to make you happy. You are given the chance to learn and grow as separate individuals and identities that later allow you to grow your relationship collectively.

There will be ups and downs and ‘everything in betweens’. But, just remember that it takes a special person to do what you do.

And, an even more special person to do what he does.

SPECIAL NOTE: Jake and I got married on October 8, 2016 at a beautiful winery in Nebraska. We chose to write our own vows and below is just a short passage of what I vowed to Jake:

“….The airport walls saw the most joyful arrivals and the most tearful departures. My tires traveled down roads I never dreamed on. The handwritten letters the hours spent on the phone…the number of times the words ‘I miss you’ and ‘I wish you were here were spoken. But, knowing and understanding that at the time there was nothing we could do other than trusting that the love that we shared with one another was blinded by boundaries and state lines. The thousands of miles that separated us was the truest testament of just how far love could travel. At times, the circumstances we faced felt inconvenient. At times, nearly impossible. But, there was never a time that it didn’t feel worth it….”

Our View From HOME, will share the stories from the superheroes behind the professional baseball players as they chase their dreams. These amazing women hold down the fort while having the ability to be supportive, and also the strength to do it all alone. HOME is where the Heart is.

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