Football is my THING! There is nothing that I love more than sitting around with the guys, yelling at the screen and watching men in small pants and helmets hit each other repeatedly. There’s athleticism, skill, suspense and drama… really what is there not to love? However, I’m not always the most popular guest on football Sunday. Most guys immediately think that I’m there to ogle the football players, ask silly girl questions and make their queso dip. It never fails, there’s always some fellow fanatic I have to break down and embarrass in front of his bros with my knowledge of the game. After all, girls don’t play football…. OH, BUT THEY DO! Not only do girls play football, they’re savages on the field and push the game to it’s very limit. This month Up & Coming sat down with Lily Granston who showed us what beautiful brutality in the LFL is all about.
Lily plays for the LFL’s Legends League (LFLUS.COM), as a Strong Safety on the Los Angeles Temptation. It’s arena football, 7 on 7 players, on a 50-yard field. At first glance, it’s easy to misconceive why the fans are there. After all, you have women… in bikini’s… who are going to knock the daylights out of each other. But any true fan of the game knows the real deal. These women are strong, skilled and there to take home a win. The rivalries are intense, and fans can get even more so. “I am extremely passionate about playing because first and foremost, I fell in love with the game of football. There is no other sport that requires as much strategy, athleticism, intelligence and skill. Every day I continue to learn more about the sport and I can’t say that about any other sport I have played at high levels. There is also nothing like playing a sport you love in front of thousands of people cheering you on. You’re out there on the battlefield with teammates who are more like family.”
Though a lifelong athlete, Lily never thought of playing football as a career. She played soccer at a very high level her whole life and enjoyed the aggressiveness of the game, so it seemed natural to make the move to football. She credits much of her success to her first football coach Chris Michelson. “He brought me in with no knowledge of the game, saw something in me and built me into the football player I am today. Not only did he teach me how the game is played, but he taught me that discipline and hard work get results and how to maintain that internally, whether I have someone pushing me or not. “
Getting results is what Lily’s all about. She’s tenacious, not only on the field and in her fitness regiment, but throughout her life as well. Life isn’t made of field goals and touchdowns; she’s gone through more than her share of difficulties. And though times get tough, Lily is tougher. “I have had a considerable amount of adversity to overcome. Through both injuries and personal difficulties, I’ve continued to get up, dust myself off and move forward.”
It takes hard work, dedication and focus to remain positive and on the up and up. Lily finds the motivation needed to succeed through her progress on the field. She plays alongside and against some of the best athletes she’s encountered throughout her sports career, and that means she needs to be on the top of her game. She has fans counting on her and young women who are watching and learning what it means to be taken seriously as a female athlete. She’s also motivated by the people she looks up to, people that she wants to make proud, one of these being her mother. “She basically raised me as a single mother and showed me what it is to be a strong, independent woman.”
What’s up and coming for Lily Granston? With beastly drive and dedication like she has the sky’s the limit! She’s looking at heading back to school to pursue some avenues of interest off the field that she’s very passionate about. She remains in training mode throughout the year, working on her fitness for the next season. You can also catch her on the trails with her beloved dog Hunter exploring the peaks and valleys of Los Angeles. And you can always count on watching the field for her during the next season of football. And I quote: “You’ll see me around until my body won’t take it anymore.” We believe you Lily, and we can’t wait to catch you next year!
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