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New Writer Introduction: Lisa Kelly Joins One Foot Down

There will be no signing day ceremony with zoo animals. You’ll understand in a minute.

Lisa Kelly at Notre Dame Stadium
Lisa Kelly at Notre Dame Stadium
Photo by Tracey Saraceni

Hello Irish Fans!

My name Lisa Kelly, and I’m very excited to be joining One Foot Down! I hear it’s customary for new writers to introduce themselves and share how they became a Notre Dame fan, so here’s my story!

“Your talent determines what you can do. Your motivation determines how much you are willing to do. Your attitude determines how well you do it.” Lou Holtz

I had no choice but to love Notre Dame football. My Dad is a ND graduate, class of 1965, and ever since I can remember Notre Dame football has been an integral part of my life. I learned my first colorful word at the tender age of three during the Notre Dame - USC game on a Thanksgiving weekend spent at my grandparents’ house. My family and I made annual pilgrimages from our California home to Notre Dame for football weekends with my dad’s college roommate and his family. I followed in my father’s footsteps to Notre Dame, and graduated in 1993 with a degree in Marketing. Over the past twenty plus years since graduation, a group of my ND classmates and I have met back at Notre Dame to attend a game every single year. It has become our annual tradition. My marketing degree set me down an advertising/digital marketing career path. When I lost my job in 2009, I decided to try my hand at blogging and social media as a side hustle while looking for a new job.

Flash forward to 2011. I was contacted via Twitter by an advertising agency that was promoting a contest sponsored by Volvo and the Big East Conference to determine the “Biggest Fan of the Big East Conference.” I was selected (along with 15 other alumni bloggers representing the 16 schools in the Big East Conference) to compete for the title of Biggest Fan. Basketball is not exactly my forte, but I found the right words and was crowned the “Biggest Fan of the Big East Conference.” I never expected to win the contest, but then again, losing is not in my vocabulary.

Following my experiences in the “Biggest Fan” contest, I decided I wanted to do something to showcase all that is great within Our Lady’s University. I started a series on my blog called, “Where are they now?” My first interview was with former tight end Oscar McBride. In that interview I discovered how Notre Dame helped shape him into the man he is today. This was the beginning of something special. One interview led to another and it was clear that a theme was emerging. Even though these former players and I all came to Notre Dame from vastly different backgrounds, we all had similar experiences and each credited our time at Notre Dame, and what I like to call the Notre Dame Value Stream, with playing a huge role in molding us into the people we are today.

I’ve written for a few blogs since that first little blog I started back in 2009, and I’ve also taken a bunch of those “Where are they now?” stories and published them in two books, and am currently working on my third book. Through my writing, and meeting all of the amazing people I’ve gotten to meet, my love for Notre Dame grows every single day, as does my love for writing. I’m happy to join the staff here, and I hope you enjoy my writing! In the coming months I will give you all a sneak peek at the new book I’m working on, as well as some other stories I’ve got in the works! You can also find me on Twitter at @4LeafCloverGirl and @TheMenWeBecame

A little more about me ... I’ve lived in six states over the years but I currently live in St. Louis, MO with my husband and two (young adult) kids, and during the day I do eCommerce for a local pet food company here in the STL. My joining One Foot Down is just one of many changes I’ve currently going on in my life. Our youngest ‘kiddo’ is heading off to college this fall, so my husband and I are excited (in a bittersweet sort of way) about our soon-to-be empty nest. And, I think my husband may be having a midlife crisis of sorts as he bought a zoo. Yep, you heard me right. He. Bought. A. Zoo. Which means watch out for random zoo references in my writing. Okay, I think that about cover it! Got any questions for me? Fire away!

Cheers & GO IRISH!