# How Strong Am I?

February 7, 2017

September 7 2016, First Day of High School
The first school bell of the year had rung. I had never seen the student body in its entirety before. The juniors and seniors and sophomores took up most of the hallways. Only a sliver was left for the freshman. My sister showed me to my first class. I tried to follow her, but the mobs of students were blocking my path. I arrived. My sister introduced me to my teacher, who was her former teacher. I said hello and walked into my class. I didn’t recognize many people, so I sat with a group of girls who I knew. My first day of high school had begun, and it was now a reality.

September 8 2016, First Soccer Game
The last school bell of my second day of high school had rung. My soccer team had been in the locker room, getting changed into our uniforms for our first game of the season. I tried to get ready as fast as I could, hoping not to be late. I did my best to remember my combination: 27, 9, 3. Just divide by three. When we were done changing and eating our snacks, we all walked down to the field. It wasn’t a very new routine, unlike high school. That field still looked, smelled, and felt the same as it did in preseason. I tried to stay calm, but my nerves took over my body, but I was still better than yesterday when I walked into high school, which my sister constantly told me to be prepared for the hardest.

September 22 2016, First math test
Today I took my first math test. I think I did well, but we’ll see. Obviously it was on numbers and problem solving. I’ve never been great at problem solving. I was hoping that my first test grade of the year was higher than a B-.  When I walked into the classroom the desks were in rows. I had never seen the classroom like that before. It looked so different. I sat down in the first seat I saw and took out a pencil and my calculator. My teacher handed out the test. I looked down, only to find that I didn’t know how to solve the first question typed on the page.

September 23 2016, 7th soccer game
I had yet another soccer game today. I played a good 70 minutes out of 90. I thought I played well. I had an assist and two shots that almost went in. At half time I sat down for my coaches usual half time talk. She said that everyone was playing really well. I agreed. When the second half whistle blew, everyone had started where they left off. The ball was passed to me. I quickly dribbled between two players and got down to the endline where I crossed the ball in for a header. Ava, my teammate, took a header and in the net it went. The net made a funny whoosh sound and everyone started to cheer. I felt so accomplished in front of the crowd and my coach. I couldn’t even remember my math test from yesterday. I was too happy!

October 4 2016, First Bio Test
I took my bio test today. It was on the Characteristics of Life. I had been studying for two weeks straight. I thought I was prepared for it. When I walked into class, being exhausted since this was the first period of the day, I sat down at my assigned seat in the back. My teacher told everyone to bring their belongings to the front. He said that was the routine for test taking. I followed his instructions and put my backpack and lunch bag on the floor right next to his desk. He told everyone to spread out. I stayed in my seat waiting for someone else to move because I was to nervous to. He handed out the test and suddenly, my brain went blank and I couldn’t feel a thing.

October 5 2016, Fitness training
Soccer was rough today. But I managed. It was the first fitness day we had since the season started. We did lots of sprints and workouts that made my legs burn. I thought that I might pass out. “Loop” my coach called out. Everyone began to sprint through the gates, around the turf field and back to the grass field. At one point, I couldn’t catch my breath, but I did. I got a sip of water and ran back onto the field where my coach was standing. Everyone’s breaths were heavy. Mine too. But still, everyone got it together and kept running and kicking and dribbling, like we were trained to do. Sports came easily to me. Not necessarily everything that went along with it, like fitness, but I still understood it. I had practiced running all of the summer. My bio test wasn’t even in my mind. All I could think about was making sure I didn’t miss the next loop.

October 13 2016, World Civ Test
I had my World Civ Test today. When one of my classmates came and asked me how I did, I put my head down. I tried to do that thing where I eliminated answers that didn’t make sense, but it was probably the hardest elimination ever. I couldn’t make sense of anything. I walked out of class, silent. I didn’t want to speak, let alone go to math class where we were going to start learning proofs.

October 18 2016, County Semi-finals.
Today was probably the most important day of my high school soccer career. I couldn’t even feel my feet. If I didn’t play well in this game, that would be the end. We started out regular warm up; one lap around the field right into a passing drill that took forever. I didn’t start the game. Probably best considering I was too nervous to play. I watched my teammates run endline to endline. Then my coach, Sara, told me “Go get Caitlin.” I jogged over to the midfield line. The ball went out of bounds and the substitution whistle blew. I ran a little faster this time onto the field to make sure that I didn’t waste any game time. The whistle blew again and without knowing, my legs began to move. I didn’t really know what to do, but I guess my legs did. Soon I got a pass from my teammate Callie, and the rest of my body caught up with my legs. I don’t know how but I did it .

October 28 2016, Marking Period 1 Creative Writing is Due
Today I submitted my first Creative Writing Piece. It was on identity. I was proud of what I wrote. 789 words of my best writing. I’m just happy it’s over and done with. But I’m sure I’m going to have to write one again. Am I super excited to read it in front of the class? No. But at least for the first time, I am feeling stronger than I will tonight at my county finals game.

October 28 2016, County Finals
Hey journal, I’m back. I just had my county game. And I’m going to a team sleepover later. It’s funny cause we had one right before the season started, and now we have one right after the season ended. I was also confused how for the first time, I was more nervous for sports than I felt when submitting my Creative Writing Piece. When the first whistle blew, I was freaking out. I started that game. We all played our hearts out. We scored the first goal of the game. The score was now 1-0. 17 minutes went by, and the scored became 2-0. The first half ended. I was exhausted. I jogged off the field. I got my water bottle and a few gatorade chews. The red ones were my favorite. I ate three. Then we went down to the endline and sat down on the grass. My shorts got really muddy. And so did my jersey. But I didn’t really care. All I could think about was the game. The second half whistle blew louder than ever. I couldn’t believe my first high school soccer season would be over in less than forty minutes. Soon the score became 3-1. Even though we were winning by two, I couldn’t stop trying yet. 10 minutes went by and there was 30 minutes left in the game. We scored again making the score 4-1. I thought there was no way the other team could catch up. Then it happened. 2-4; 3-4. They scored two goals in less than 10 minutes. Or at least that’s what it felt like. 10 minutes were left in the game. That half felt like it would never end. Five minutes were left. It was almost over. The game was almost over. The champion title was almost ours. 39, 38, 37, 36. Everyone was counting down. All eyes were on the ball. 10, 9, 8. It was about to happen. 3, 2, whistle. Screams filled the air. Everyone ran towards to bench. I couldn’t feel anything. My worries were over. We were the county champs. We were the freshman team that brought home the win. I saw the plaque come our way. It was bright and shiny with a gold rim. I felt so proud of my team and myself. I played the game of my life today and I would never forget it.

My piece is about the person who struggles a little through school, but continues to do well in soccer.