In the Arena with Allie Skaggs – My People

Malia Martinez with Allie. (Arizona photo)

Hi guys! 

For this article, I’m going to highlight a few more human beings in my life that have impacted it incredibly and that I feel deserve to be recognized.

Josh and Allie. (Skaggs Photo)

First, I’d like to write about my boyfriend, Josh Lusby. Josh is a former U of A ice hockey player, a hitting instructor, an amazing chef, and my partner in everything. You know those people that you meet once and immediately know they’re going to be important to you? That’s Josh. He makes every human he meets better. He’s made me better. He is the person that I want to become my best self for. One of the aspects of life that he’s impacted heavily for me is health and diet. Before I met him, I’d probably go to Chick-fil-A three times a week and splurge on foods that I enjoyed but didn’t realize may not be the best for my long term health. He’s opened my eyes to a lot of information about gut health and it’s now something that fascinates me. Another important quality that he has brought to the table is assertiveness. I’ve lived most of my life more passively, trying to please everyone all the time, and sometimes sacrificing my own well-being for that cause. He’s made me feel like it is okay to speak about what I want in all aspects of life while knowing he has my back no matter what. Josh is competitive, passionate, confident, driven, and straightforward. Josh is also hilarious, sweet, empathetic, understanding, and curious. I’m thankful to have him as my person in everything in this life.

Allie and Izzy. (Skaggs Photo)

Next is Izzy Pacho. My former Arizona Softball teammate. Izzy is the epitome of a teammate and friend. For years I saw her in that dugout, absolutely embracing whatever role it was that was needed from her. I admired her for that. She was a team player, and still is. I’ve made the point several times that at the end of the day, statistics and numbers don’t matter. I couldn’t tell you how many home runs Izzy had in her career, what her batting average was, how many runners she threw out. I have absolutely no idea. And I don’t care. What I remember about her is before practice on the days when I didn’t “have it”, I’d look at her in the eyes and say “I need you”. And she’d be right there for me the whole time. Izzy and I have been through everything together. The highs, the lows, the struggles, the victories. I’d be lying if I said this year has been easy without her. But she’s still in Tucson, she’s still in my corner, and I know I’ll be at Rita with her next year, watching the girls. 

It would be a miss for me to not write about Malia Martinez, another former teammate of mine at the University of Arizona. My graduating class came into the U of A in the fall of 2020, the heat of COVID-19. It was a major adjustment for us, and one person that made my life better was Malia. I cannot say enough about the impact she had on me as a kid joining a new program. I will never forget how she made me feel. The thing she did that will forever stick with me was so simple… she always had the time of day to say hello. Every morning. Every practice. Every workout. When I walked in a room that Malia was in, I was greeted with a hello, a smile, and a “how are you today?”. She has shaped me so much from that. I needed support, guidance, and encouragement as a “new kid on the block”, and she provided that. I often find myself being the person to initiate a hello, or a “how are you?”, but not with Malia. She made me feel so seen and appreciated. And it was genuine. I never felt like I was “too much” for her, which is something that as a senior now, I try to do for my teammates. I want them to remember me the way I remember Malia Martinez. One of the best teammates I’ve ever had.

Allie and Angie. (Skaggs Photo)

Lastly, I’ll shout out Angie Yellen. I met Angie my senior year of high school, when her and I both played club softball for the SoCal Athletics. We spent one year playing club ball together, and she quickly became not only one of my favorite teammates, but favorite humans. Not many people have a heart as big as Angie’s. She’s got so much love to give, for those lucky enough to get the chance to know her. She’s one of those people that once she comes into your life, she’s there to stay. A loyal, understanding, and wonderful friend. Thankful that this game brought us to each other. 

So many more people have had great impacts on me, and I’ll have to add in another feature about it here soon. 

Talk to you guys later!


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