top of page

Founder's Journal #4 - Lose Yourself

Drew on the court at Williams Arena alongside his parents as he was honored on Senior Night for Gophers Men's Basketball in 2011.
Drew at Williams Arena alongside his parents, Gophers Men's Basketball in 2011.

My “Lose Yourself” story:

Rapper, hip hop artist, and songwriter Eminem will soon take the stage during the Super Bowl 56 halftime show in Los Angeles on February 13th. I have not remained current on any of Eminem’s music over the last decade, but I will always remember one of his hit singles from my childhood. The song, Lose Yourself, is in many ways an anecdote to Eminem’s own journey from growing up in a trailer park in Detroit, Michigan, to becoming a hip hop superstar.

Here’s a snippet of the lyrics:


If you had

One shot

Or one opportunity

To seize everything you ever wanted

In one moment

Would you capture it

Or just let it slip?

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment

You own it, you better never let it go

You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow

This opportunity comes once in a lifetime

I’m the furthest thing from being a “rapper”, but for some reason, those lyrics have always grabbed me. The idea of being able to completely “lose yourself”. Being able to become part of something larger than your current reality. For the artist of this song, it was losing himself and his rough upbringing in stardom as a global performer.

As I reflect back on high school, I remember striving ever so hard to “lose myself” in basketball. There was no one who wanted to become a better basketball player than me. I was willing to work harder and longer than anyone else so that I would be known as a great basketball player.

When given the opportunity to select a custom engraving for my first ever iPod, I chose the words “Work harder damn’t!!” to serve as a constant reminder to never allow anyone to outwork me. Unfortunately, genetics never quite allowed for that dream to pan out.

But then less than a year into college I found myself dreaming about “losing myself” in my pursuit of working in the sports industry. I will never forget an evening I had back home with my dad watching an episode of “Big Ten Basketball: The Journey”. It provided a behind-the-scenes look into the life of the Minnesota Gophers Men’s Basketball program. I had already decided I was transferring to the University of Minnesota that next fall.

I told my dad how incredible it would be if I could become a student manager for Gophers Basketball, or maybe even Football if I got really lucky. It was halfway through my freshman year, and I was desperately desiring a reason to be done with the partying and drinking that was consuming several nights of my week. I thought IF I could just “lose myself” in being part of a Division 1 college athletics program, then surely I would have enough reason to quit this life that I knew was wrong.

If this happened, I would finally have an excuse to say no when friends asked me to drink because I was certain that my schedule would be too busy to allow for such foolishness. I was also certain that the opportunities that this would open for my career in the sports industry would fill me with such joy and peace that I would no longer have the constant urge to self-medicate my depression and anxiety with alcohol. This opportunity to “lose myself” would surely change everything for me…

Drew at midfield prior to the Gophers Football game versus Ohio State while working for Gophers Football in 2008

Fast forward to my first semester at the University of Minnesota that next Fall. I didn’t end up getting hired on with Gophers Men’s Basketball but ended up landing a student manager position with the Gophers Football program the very last week of Fall camp. It was just in time for the first game of the season. I grew up a huge Gophers Football fan, and I was now aspiring for a career in the sports industry.

This was an absolute dream come true. I was working with the coaches and athletes I watched on TV only the year prior. And wow did this job have perks! Free tickets for my family to go to every game, more Nike gear than I could ever wear, use of the team training facilities, unlimited energy drinks and Coca-Cola products, and of course, I was now on the sidelines, a part of the action every Saturday.