It’s difficult to close a chapter in life. Especially when you lived and breathed that chapter since you were 5 years old. That chapter for me is soccer. Yes, it’s true. I have decided to step away from playing collegiate soccer. Being a college athlete is a job that takes commitment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days out of the year. It’s very difficult to fully understand that concept until you’ve actually experienced it for yourself. In order to compete at your highest level you have to be constantly managing your training, sleep, diet, fitness, recovery and more. There are no breaks because you are constantly preparing for the season ahead. I have so much respect to those who can manage everything that being a college athlete entails. The time commitment was difficult for me because I realized I wanted to pursue many of the new opportunities that college offers. My many interests were longing to be pursued and I was unable to do so while playing. With that being said I wouldn’t give anything to change the time I spent on the field as a Royal. I made some unforgettable memories this fall that I will forever cherish. As I have learned very clearly in the past year, change is inevitable and although it is hard it’s usually a blessing in disguise.
I grew up with soccer as a huge part of my life. It was a part of my identity. It was scary thinking about taking that part away but I’ve come to realize I don’t have to. From being a fan and excited spectator, to killing it in the adult leagues, or even maybe being future coach, this won’t be the end and I can still very much relish in the game of fútbol. Soccer will always a hold a special place in my heart and no one can take that away from me.
I am so thankful for the beautiful game that we call soccer. I’m thankful for the people that the sport has brought into my life. Because of soccer I have gained the most inspirational mentors, committed coaches, and life long teammates. I have had some of the most amazing experiences playing this sport. It has taken me across the country. Soccer molded me into the person I am today and has taught me things that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Soccer helped to shape my work ethic because I quickly learned your work ethic is one of the most important elements for becoming the best player you want to be and it’s effectiveness is solely dependent on you. Soccer helped to break me out of my shell, find my voice, and be a leader to many on and off the field. Soccer taught me sacrifice and it gave way to the famous words, “Sorry I can’t. I have soccer.” It taught me disappointment. It taught me time management. It taught me bravery. But most of all soccer let me be free. Free of all my stress. Free of my school work. Free of drama. Because when it was time to play soccer, it was time to not think about anything else but the ball at my feet and leaving my heart on the field. When playing soccer at the collegiate level became something that wasn’t freeing anymore it raised a red flag. It’s hard to close a chapter in life. But it’s a lot easier when you know another is just about to begin.
I’m excited to start taking steps to further prepare for my future. I’m excited to step out of my comfort zone and take on some different avenues of interest. I’m excited for what’s to come and I’m ready to discover what more I have to give.
I’m happy to be able to take soccer for what it is and what it has given me while being content with my decision and while still having lots of love and passion for the game. ❤︎