Paths

The path I’ve chosen to walk down has always been a rigid one. It’s been rigid for I made it be that way. I wouldn’t allow myself to get off track. I made sure I got things done on schedule for school, that I worked my hardest at soccer practice, that I did extra work too, that I make it to my appointments for the dentist or the doctor on time, that I make my bed every morning, that I clean at least once, if not twice, a month, that I pretty much strive for perfection.

Now I’m a college student and I feel like most of the time I am far from being one. I mean seriously, what college student, do you know, makes their bed every morning? Most likely none. Some days I wish I would chose a different path and just go with it. I wish I would loosen up and have more fun and be more care free. I mean that’s what being young is about right?

Some days I just get burnt out trying to be at my absolute best. I think it’s good that I have some rigidness in my life, but I think it’s important that I don’t take it to the extreme. There is no such thing as perfection so I don’t know why I kill myself trying to be it.

I’m slowly growing and learning more, though. I’ve discovered that it is okay to let yourself go a little bit, that maybe getting a B isn’t such a bad thing, that you don’t have to have your bed nicely done up every day. As long as you give your best and have some fun along the way, then that is perfection.

In conclusion, it is okay to get off the path every once in a while, as long as you stick to the one that is best for you.

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The Gift of Giving

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I love the holidays, especially Christmas. I love being with friends and family, listening to Christmas music, baking cookies, drinking hot chocolate, cuddling on the couch watching Christmas movies and playing some Guitar Hero. My favorite part about Christmas, though, would have to be exchanging gifts. It’s always nice receiving gifts, but I enjoy giving them more. There is something magical about seeing that person’s face light up when they open up the present you got for them.

Last year for soccer we gave gifts to children who don’t usually get gifts for Christmas. We did so through an amazing service called the Angel Tree. The way it works is there is a Christmas tree with tags on it. Each tag has either “boy” or “girl” written on it, it has the child’s age, and what they want for Christmas. If one wishes to participate, they take the tag off the tree and buy the child a gift. They then wrap it up and take it back and place it under the tree. The presents will then go to the children.

We are participating in the Angel Tree again this year. Our team was split up into groups of 4 and we all collected money to buy the children gifts. We are planning on going out and buying the gifts this week and wrapping them together during our team holiday dinner. So far we have collected quite a bit of money. We haven’t seen who we got yet, but regardless of gender and the age of the child, we are excited to do some shopping for them!

It is very touching to know that we are making someone’s Christmas a little more special. There is definitely no better gift than the gift of giving back.

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Healing

Soccer is a rough sport. There is a lot of contact involved that there is bound to be some injuries.

Last year my current roommate, Anna, took a hard fall during one of our games. I remember the fall as if it happened yesterday. She had gone for a ball in the air, as did two other players on the other team and she got sandwiched between them and landed downward, falling on her shoulder and neck. It was definitely scary. I remember she didn’t get up for a little bit. She ended up going to the hospital after the game. She had quite the concussion, a torn shoulder, and a neck brace. I remember her telling us about how the doctor told her she had a neck injury and all she could think was that she was paralyzed. She did, though, have a hard time getting her arm to work, particularly her hands and fingers. She had temporarily lost feeling. Through therapy, though, she was able to gain that back. She ended up pushing through and didn’t get surgery until the spring of this year.

Me and Anna

Me and Anna

Anna worked really hard after her shoulder surgery and she was ready to get back into the swing of things come preseason. She was excited to get things going this year, when unfortunately one of our teammates in practice got a little too competitive and knocked her over. Anna fell back on her shoulder, re-tearing it. I felt awful for her. She had worked so hard to get back to being healthy for it all to just be taken away. She sucked it up though and wore a Sully, a wrap that keeps your shoulder in place, for every practice and every game.

She finally ended up getting surgery a couple weeks ago, just before Thanksgiving. She has been in a lot of pain since. She’s had more pain than the first time she had shoulder surgery due to the doctors having to completely fix her labrum this time. I can’t imagine what she is going through. I’m doing my best right now to help her out. She has learned a lot though when it comes to maneuvering around without having to use her arm from the first time she hurt it, so much of the time she doesn’t need me.

Hopefully she’ll feel better soon, though, and have a speedy recovery. Hopefully her healing process will go much better too.

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Crunch Time

Breaks always have a way of going by too fast. Thanksgiving break was one of those that went by too fast this year. It was definitely nice, though, and much needed! I enjoyed being at home and spending time with my family. I had missed them very much. The great part about it all, though, is that when I come home it’s like I didn’t miss a beat. We always pick up where we left off and we always have a great time together. There is never a dull moment.

Along with seeing my family, I also enjoyed the sales on Black Friday. I got a few new movies from Best Buy and some great deals on clothes.

As usual, I also ate too much food and did absolutely nothing. And by nothing, I mean physical activity and homework. And I have…

We're the Millers

We’re the Millers

Okay, maybe I have a couple “ragrets.” I probably shouldn’t have eaten as much food as I did and maybe worked out a little more for I won’t be able to move at lifting this week. I also probably should’ve done more homework for next week is already finals. Eek! I thought I was stressed before, but my stress just went through the roof. I’m trying to remain as calm as possible, though. But I have a feeling that that probably won’t last long. Before I know it I’ll probably be having to pencil in my break downs into my busy schedule, I’ll be running on zero hours of sleep, and I’ll be consuming more sugar than a 8 year old.

I have to keep staying focused though and finish strong. Luckily once finals are done we get a month off for winter break. I’m looking forward to it. I already have planned to spend my days watching Netflix, as well as, going to the gym and working out.

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Man Candy Monday

It’s that time of the week again, Man Candy Monday! I’m going to give you a description of my Man Candy and see if you have an idea as to who I am talking about. He’s really good looking, he has tattoos and he plays soccer. Anybody have a guess? And for all of you soccer moms, no it is not your son’s teammate. It is the one and only, David Beckham.

I could talk about his looks all day long. He’s got hair that I just want to run my fingers through. He’s got nice abs that I would also like to run my fingers over. His eyes that I just wish would meet mine, but never will, unfortunately. He has a smirk that gets me every time! And to top it all off, he has a British accent. Ah!

In addition to being a perfect 10 in the looks category, he is also a perfect 10 on the soccer field. With this beautiful combination, Beckham has made his way into the spotlight. He is very well known on and off the field. Off the field, he is known for his image and his marriage with Victoria Adams, also known as Posh Spice from the Spice Girls. She is one lucky lady! Together they have four children, three boys and one girl, Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz, and Harper. On the field, Beckham rose to stardom out in Britain and then moved to the U.S. and has played for LA Galaxy. There is one move in particular that he does very well and that is bending the ball. In fact, they named a movie after him and that move, Bend it Like Beckham. (Very good movie, if you haven’t seen it, I would suggest watching it.)

Beckham is one of the most iconic athletes and decorated soccer players of all time. He is a legend and, I’m sure, he is many girls’ Man Candy Monday’s!

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Pumping Iron

This last week we started back up with work outs for soccer. We lifted on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. I haven’t lifted since the summer so it was a bit rough to say the least.

On Tuesday we jumped right in and did some hamstring curls, shoulder shrugs, and hang cleans. I can’t say I’ve ever done a hang clean in my life so it was tricky for me. Catching the bar isn’t as easy as it looks. We also did some abs, bench press, bicep curls, step ups, and the worst… pull-ups. I thought I was struggling already, but then we had to do the pull-ups the struggle got all the more real.

The next couple of days after that lift were the worst. I couldn’t raise my arms above my shoulder, let alone could I really move them at all. My everything felt bruised. I even went as far as giving myself my own shoulder massage.

Thursday rolled around and it was a new day full of new lifts. We started it off with jump deads and squats. Those, luckily, went better than the hang cleans. After those were done, we moved onto seated calf raises with a band and more work with the hamstrings. We also did lunges in all directions. In between those we did some band work to work out the shoulders. We then had our last station which consisted of the pullout press and lawn mower pulls. All around it was a better day.

My alarm came early on Friday morning. We had lifting at 7 a.m. I know that’s not that early compared to other times, but as a college kid, that’s early enough for me. This time we had some testing we needed to get out of the way. We did the arrowhead drill, a drill to test your agility, a sit-up test, self-explanatory, and then we did some suicides on the basketball court to get a little bit of fitness in. It was a nice and fairly light work out to get in before starting the day.

It was a nice week off, but it feels great to be back working out with the team. I’m looking forward to more work outs and even more days of feeling sore.

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“Remember the Name”

“10% luck. 20% skill. 15% concentrated power of will. 5% pleasure. 50% pain. And 100% reason to remember the name.” The song “Remember the Name,” by Fort Minor, will forever be one of my favorite pump up songs. All throughout my club soccer years this song made it onto our warm up cd. Lyrics from this song were also printed onto some team shirts that we made. I also got pumped up to this song during my high school years of soccer. Even to this day I still listen to this song before my games. It was just one of those songs that really stuck and no matter how many times I listened to it, it never got old.

The song has a great beat to it. It’s pretty fast and choppy. It has a way of getting me going. Along with the beat, it also has great lyrics. It has a great hook in particular. I think anyone that has ever worked for something can relate to it. 10% luck. Sometimes luck comes your way and other times it doesn’t. 20% skill. It’s important to have some skill to help get the job done efficiently. 15% concentrated power of will. Without will, the job won’t get done. 5% pleasure. There are those good times and successes that we all have, but there is also those hard times and the extra work that we put into it, 50% pain. And 100% reason to remember the name. We are greatness and we should let it shine.

I love this song for it reminds me as to all of the things I’ve gone through along the journey and as to why I still play today. From those tough practices to winning a big game. From putting in extra time to improve my skills to being knocked down. From getting lucky and making a PK and from luck not being on my side and hitting the post. The game of soccer is unpredictable. It takes one right pass or one right header or one tackle to win or lose a game. It takes that extra sprint that you did in practice or that extra shot that you took after practice. It’s the thrill of it that I live for and the song “Remember the Name” reiterates that thrill.

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