From Blacktop to the Pros: How playing with the boys changed my life

As I crutched through the muddy grounds at a youth soccer field to see my 7-year-old cousin play, I realized that my arm strength was likely not at professional athlete status. Nonetheless, I made it to the furthest field at the complex, plopped down on a cooler and made it in time for kickoff. 

I squinted to figure out where my little cousin Mikey was on the field. He is one of the smaller ones out there, but I spot him easily wearing his green Nikes and his rec glasses. The play was better than expected. One player dribbled through the crowd several times to set himself up for a breakaway. Mikey always tried to pass the ball when he got it. He doesn’t like when other players don’t pass or trip him when he dribbles. 

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It is Art

I sat down on the doctors table, looking down at my legs dangling off the side. I wondered if I should press the button on the side to lower the table or just let them dangle. 

I let them dangle. 

Emma, the nurse, walked in and sat down at her computer. 

She had dark skin and a round face. Her accent didn’t give her away, aside from the fact that she was maybe born somewhere else and moved here years ago.

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A Little Lesson For 2018

Almost every year around this same exact time, I get sick. I like to think it’s my body’s way of rewarding me after a long hard year. You see, if I’m sick then I can’t go out for any type of New Year’s celebration. Not that I would anyway, but at least if you’re sick no one will hassle you. Not that anyone hassles me anyway. 

It just makes me feel better to not feel good. 

So, I get a few days to do nothing. Aside from read, write and watch games on TV. 

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Live As a Learner

Last evening, I poured myself a cup of coffee in my Batman mug, sat down at my desk and did something I haven’t done in ten years – homework. 

I started the online MA program for English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, which is something I’ve wanted to do since I graduated. Only until recently with the Boston Breakers partnership with SNHU did it become a reality. 

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Preseason with the Breakers: The short version

A week into preseason with the Boston Breakers and yes, I’m sore, tired and perhaps I’m not sure what day it is, but there’s much more to update you on than the condition of my mind and body.

Just kidding.

That’s all there is. Preseason, for those of you who have never experienced it, is similar to spring cleaning. Spring cleaning is something you prepare for beforehand, yet it’s always harder than you think. It’s getting the rust and dust out of places there shouldn’t be rust and dust and figuring out what you should keep and what you should get rid of. In soccer, it’s realizing some bad habits might have snuck in and getting rid of them, while developing new, better ones. It’s a lot of excitement in your mind but physically taxing enough to make you think, man I came into this guns a blazin and now my guns are a [GOOGLE SEARCH: something that rhymes with blazin and means tired.]

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Why I'm Still Playing Professional Soccer

I have a confession to make right off the bat. I’m not good at a lot of things. I’m consistently settled in bed for the night before I’ve flossed (judge away). I like chicken parms more than I should. I don’t always respond to texts. There’s a long list. 

I’m okay with the fact that I’m not perfect, even though I never settle for not being perfect. It’s confusing. 

I think that one of the most fascinating aspects of life is the idea that we want something we will never attain: perfection. Whatever that even means to us. 

Perfection is a silly word. It’s possible perhaps in bowling and I don’t even know what else. Yet we aim for it in almost everything we do. 

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Offseason Thoughts: Is it worth it? Let me work it.

The last time I wrote, I was living and playing in Sweden and we had just clinched a spot in Damallsvenkan for 2017. Since then a lot has happened. Let me fill you in quick.

I decided not to return to Kvarnsvedens IK for next year. It was a great opportunity to play at a high level and a good reminder that the end of something can often times be the beginning of something else. 

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Shine On Sweden Pts. 1-6

Ah Sweden. A country so beautiful it’s almost a shame it gets as cold as it does here. I’m lucky to be here during the best part of the year, my favorite part of the year: the fall. 

Sweden, for those of you who don’t have Google, sits between Finland and Norway way up near the Arctic circle. It’s well-known for several things. None of them are Swedish fish. It’s funny, if you ask a Swede what they’re most proud of they have to think about it for a few minutes. Eventually they’ll come up with the following: ABBA, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marabou chocolate. 

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A Little Tribute to FCKC

Most days I get in the car and go where I need to go without thinking much else. I need to go to the store, or the field or the gym. Then there are days when I get in the car and I just feel like driving. Not anywhere in particular. Just away. And it’s not necessarily because I’m unhappy, it’s just because sometimes I crave a change of scenery. I imagine many people feel this way once in a while. 

The urge for something different. 

One day in April, my brother and I got in the car and we drove. To Kansas. Just those words alone seem ridiculous to me, even now. We drove to Kansas from Connecticut. Me. Who said she would never, could never, live in the Midwest. 

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It's Okay To Go Back

Almost three years ago to this day, I decided to go to the stadium earlier than usual for our game. I was in Portland and the stadium was then called Jeld Wen. 

I put all my stuff down in the empty locker room, grabbed a pen and my journal out of my backpack and walked out into a desolate stadium. It was so quiet and so peaceful. I sat on our bench and started to write everything I was feeling about being out there. I poured my heart out for a good 30 minutes.  

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