With the passage of time, we get older… not necessarily wiser. Battle scars and trophies are proof that “we were there.” But they somehow fail to validate the experience in a way that is meaningful, let alone profound. So, how do we determine what really matters? I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure the answer lies closer to that scar on my right shin than on the shelf next to my trophies (which, of course, my dad has collected, shined, and displayed in his bar in the living room.) […]
While scoring goals and winning games are lovely to look at, those “roses” are empty on their own. I’ve realized that the emotional aftermath of big wins is the same as the emotional fallout of big losses…temporary. What actually sustains and enriches is the effort put forth…the investment. After fourteen years of youth soccer, four years of college, and (almost) two years as a professional, I still must try hard to not allow my football dream to be my master. After all, my career is not my identity; but my goals are important to me because I’ve watered them…I’ve tended them. That said, from winning I’ve learned to dream big and rejoice freely and from losing I’ve learned to how to get up, brush myself off, and forgive. Assimilating these lessons is how I can still play the game…the application of these lessons off the pitch…priceless.