Meet the Author: Guest Interview with Kelley Sullivan
Our guest this week taught us that persistence is key. Even when a door appears to have been slammed shut in our face, not all hopes of reaching what lies on the other side are dashed entirely. When we have our hearts and minds so wholly set on reaching a particular goal, creativity and passion spark innovation in crafting a second attempt; rather than seek out another door, some camp out on the stoop. This week, we settle in to learn more about the inspiration that drove our latest guest, as well as led her to pursue an alternate dream all together.
Rugby is such a cool sport and is so different from other well known sports played in the US. What is your favorite part of the game and why do you continue to play?
My favorite part of the sport is definitely the rugby community. I could move across the country not knowing anyone and within a week find the local rugby club and have a family (oh wait… I did do that). The rugby community is so connected and willing to go out of their way to help other people, especially other rugby players. Whether it’s offering a couch for me to stay on in San Diego, or letting me hop in one of their games at a tournament in Boston, or letting my intern live with them in Denver, everyone is so willing to give. This all stems from the rugby culture of camaraderie. After each match most times you have the opportunity to hang out socially with the competition you just played for 80 minutes. Some of my best friends of course have been my teammates, but a lot have also been athletes I’ve played against (shout out to Rutgers Women’s Rugby & Salt Lake City).
I continue to play because rugby is such a large part of my self-identity and who I am. The sport has given me so much, it has helped shape who I am today. My friends always make fun of me because I’m constantly shamelessly recruiting people to play because I want others to fall in love with the sport too. I wish I could get everyone I know to give rugby a try because I know they would be surprised at how quickly they learn it and how much they enjoy it (I promise it’s not as scary as people think!). The best part is that you can join as an adult without knowing anything about the sport and you can still excel. That is very rare in American sports.
You’ve lived in a bunch of different places in the US and even across the globe. If you could live anywhere for the rest of your life, where would you live and why?
Hands down Sydney, Australia (specifically Manly Beach… if I could afford it). I’ve never been able to explain why, but ever since I did a project on the Red Kangaroo in 4th grade I’ve been in love with the country of Australia. I used to find real estate in Australia and try to convince my parents to move when I was growing up. This passion was even further solidified when I studied abroad at Macquarie University outside of Sydney in 2012. The culture, the people, the sports (rugby), the weather, the public transportation, I could go on and on about why I love Sydney. The biggest reason though is that I felt like I had a true connection to Sydney. I have a theory that just like people have soul mates, we also have city soul mates. I’ve traveled around the world and all over the country, but I’ve never felt such a connection to a place.
UPDATE: Sine sharing her piece, Kelley has announced her plans to move to Australia in pursuit of another life-long dream. The MSL team wishes her the best of luck on this new adventure!
What’s the most exciting adventure you’ve been on since living in Boulder, CO?
Weekends in Colorado are very valuable since there is so much to do. They are usually filled with adventures, but as for the most exciting, that was last month when I went backpacking and hiking with some friends.
I wanted to go camping one last time before it got too cold so my guy friend and his four other guy friends invited me on an "easy" backpacking/camping trip in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. I figured I'd tag along for the adventure, and an adventure it was. After our 6am departure, once we lost cell service in the forest I knew there was no going back. We locked the car, threw on our heavy packs containing everything for survival for the next day and a half and took off up the trailhead. About 10 minutes in I was doubting myself and wondering what I had just gotten myself into. Being the only girl on the trip, I also knew I couldn't complain, cry, or turn back as I felt I was representing my entire gender. In the end it was about 15 miles mostly with our packs on, ~40+ mph winds at the top of the pass, 20 degree weather at night, camping in the snow, almost falling down a mountainside, but the most exhilarating trip I've been on. We even managed to get a self timer group picture at the top of one of the peaks before my phone almost blew off the mountain!