She mentors me; she mentors me not


Guest Blogger Kristie L Smith

An ordinary photo-op on a frigid day in not quite mid-March introduced two women who might otherwise never have met. Rosie Jones, professional golfer and Ashtyn Brown, University of Indianapolis women’s golf team member and two-time cancer survivor met during the media event held at Riley Hospital for Children. The occasion was to announce the collaboration of Riley, The Legends of women’s golf and French Lick Resort, but another relationship was formed and the linksters became fast friends. According to Ashtyn, the eight-time Solheim Cup participant with 13 LPGA tour wins is “warm, welcoming easy to talk to and chat with.”  

Big check photo op with Old National Bank, Resort Charities, Inc. & Riley Children's Hospital

Welcome to their mutual admiration society. Struck by Ashtyn’s resilience Rosie says, “She’s seen more than most kids her age. She speaks from the heart and she speaks the truth. I really respect that.” Ashtyn is an excellent spokesperson. She believes in Riley and what they have done for her and others. She has a “calm strength about her.” But their friendship isn’t just about golf.

Rosie admits she has learned a lot from Ashtyn. “She has a strength and ability to look forward and beyond her challenges. She will win the battle [whatever that clash may be] that’s fun to see in her.” Rosie believes that golf has been a “healing grace” for Ashtyn. She thinks the opportunity to bond with others through competition, while building supportive friendships and creating memories outside of a treatment center, has helped Ashtyn “become strong in mind and body.” After hearing Ashtyn’s story, Rosie was touched. It’s personal for her because her partner is facing a second encounter with the disease. Ashtyn’s narrative gave Rosie insight into the non-medical tool-kit and strength needed to persevere.
Fast Friends: Rosie Jones and Ashtyn Brown 
When asked who would win when the two get around to playing a round, Ashtyn teased, “I think she can take me.” She continued, “Rosie has an incredible mental game and my mental game needs work. I’m already practicing differently. She’s not too hard on herself and that’s something that I would love to learn.” Ashtyn, from her home in Indianapolis and Rosie, who is based in Atlanta, mostly communicate by text and email.

Rosie Jones and Ashtyn Brown are both strong women and positive role models. Respected, welcoming, open and shepherding others on their journey. When it comes to these two, it’s hard to tell who is mentor and who is being mentored.

See Rosie and Ashtyn at The Legends Tournament at French Lick Resort August 15 - 17, 2014.