Throughout my life, soccer has always been a huge part of my existence. Starting at the age of four I began to fiddle around with a soccer ball and learn to love the sport for what it was. I had always admired older girls for their sportsmanship and had hoped to be apart of that one day. I loved the feeling of scoring a goal and helping out my team. That thrill I had learned as a young child had stayed with me and was the ultimate driving force that caused me to keep continuing soccer and trying my hardest at it.
When middle school rolled around soccer became more difficult to love. In the seventh grade I walked into school excited for the first day of soccer tryouts after school and couldn’t wait to see what it would entail. Until, the end of the day came and the realization hit me in the middle of tryouts that soccer was no longer a small thing you did for fun. It was a harsh game that you had to physically keep up with. Due to my lack of being in shape, I got cut from the seventh grade soccer team. I had never been so heart breakingly devastated in my entire life. I couldn’t grasp why it was that every girl I had played soccer with up till now had made the team except for myself. This is what drove my passion even more. I made a vow to myself that I would work hard and try again to make that soccer team the following year, and indeed I did. I spent my whole summer training for it and told myself over and over again I could do it, and I did.
Soccer up until my junior was a blast. I had tried my hardest throughout the years to keep up physically and mentally with the game, but when we got a new coach my junior year, everything changed. I had to start all over again with earning my place on that team. No matter how hard I continued to try, my coach never played me. I went in once a game sometimes for a short duration of 5-7 minutes and then my time had been served and the game was over. This continued throughout the soccer season of my junior year and I tried my hardest to stay positive.
When I went back to join the team my senior year, nothing had changed. I still continued to try my hardest, and get no explanation as to why I wasn’t playing when every other senior girl was. After countless of nights spent wallowing on the couch with my mom about how unfair I was being treated, I decided enough was enough.
Growing up as a kid I would constantly hear from my parents: “Quitting is not an option.” This had always been my motto and I felt ashamed to think that I was quitting something. However, this is not considered quitting. Something in my life that I used to love, was causing me an abundance of stress and pain, to the point where I started evaluating my self-worth, I believe that it wasn’t worth sacrificing my self-esteem for. I look at myself leaving the soccer team my senior year as a step toward my future in a positive light. No longer, will I spend another night beating myself up on questioning why I wasn’t good enough.
Through this experience I learned more about myself than I ever had before. I was able to focus more on my main interests such as writing and exploring. I truly am thankful for this experience and feel as if it was a necessary stepping stone towards my success in other fields. I most importantly learned that it is okay to put yourself first sometimes, and I overall gained a new self-worth.