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The Iso Journal: Holly Custis

With the cancellation of the WNFC 2020 season, our players have had to adjust not only to missing an entire season of football, but also to practicing safe distancing due to a global pandemic. We want to hear about it.

Inspired by The Players’ Tribune, The WNFC is excited to introduce a new blog series, "The Iso Journal", where we catch up with our superstars to find out how they've spent their time in isolation, what they are doing to prepare for the 2021 pre-season, and how they are remaining #WNFCproud off the field.

Washington was the first state to get hit with the virus. We have been dealing with this for what feels like forever.

Football and workouts are my stress relief. After a bad day, I put on pads or go to the gym. Losing that outlet has been difficult. As training locations closed in phases, I had to get creative. I have weights and an exercise bike at home and I work on drills in an empty parking lot. Sometimes I feel like Rocky, like all I need is a chicken to chase around.

I have always loved routines and I’ve created new ones during this time. I find joy in the areas I can control. Once a weekend, my wife and I drive to a restaurant. We order a to-go dinner for a date night at home. I'm also cooking even more than before. I will never again take for granted putting on normal clothes and going out to dinner.

Self-care time has made a big difference. I go on daily walks. Getting outside to breathe fresh air helps. Driving is also therapeutic for me. Every Sunday, I travel about thirty minutes away to another city and find a quiet area to walk. This change in scenery has broken up the dreariness. Now that the golf driving range is back open, I have also gone there the last few weekends. It feels great to be active.

I've almost broken Netflix. My favorite shows lately have been Trial by Media, The L Word (Generation Q), All American, Babylon Berlin, and Insecure. I haven't played video games since college but I ordered an Xbox. I’ve also read more, including Ray Lewis's very motivational autobiography.

Work days have been hectic, some with eight hours of meetings. My day job is in HR at a large health organization and I started working from home in March. My HR team had to make a lot of quick changes to help those in the hospitals.

My wife and I live in a small apartment with two cats and a dog. It has been a challenge, but we make it work by communicating and coordinating our meeting schedules. Even through distractions during video calls, like my cat climbing the blinds, my dog barking, or co-workers forgetting they are on camera and eating yogurt in front of 250 people, all you can do is laugh and try the best you can.

We can all agree that there are bigger things than football, but we can also all agree that it's a part of who we are. When I heard that the season was canceled, I was not surprised due to what was happening around the country, but I was still sad. No matter how much we all wanted to play, it was going to be a logistical nightmare to make it work. There were so many unknowns.

A new team, a new uniform, but the same killer instinct hitting fields in 2021!

The WNFC has done a great job of continuing to generate awareness and produce quality content. It's refreshing to see the work and support from our league even when we aren't playing. We also communicate frequently as a team to check in on each other. I'm excited to see all the WNFC teams in 2021. Another year of working together will only make us all stronger.

I think all of us have learned something about ourselves through this. I am very driven and feel like I should always be doing something, even if there is nothing to do. I have learned that it's okay to stop and relax. My wife is always telling me to be kind to myself and I think that is wise advice.

Find yourself in this moment. Flowers grow through cracks in the sidewalk because they are strong enough to attack the opportunity. You have a chance to get better as a player and person. Use this time wisely and connect with yourself. Get your body, mind, emotions, and spirit right.

"If you fear the uncomfortable, you will never grow. It costs zero dollars to be kind to each other. Take the time to hear those who are hurting. Listening develops a muscle within you called empathy. Let us stand in our discomfort, strengthen our empathy, and grow together."

Holly Custis #21 RB/LB

Utah Falconz


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