I’m not much of a blog writer, but my friend who is a genious at all things blog related advised me one time that its good to separate blogs and not to be long winded, as I can be sometimes famous for!
So see, I told you, you wouldn’t have to wait long for my next blog update! It only took me about five minutes.
So I ended my last post with a quote from my favourite poem, “Don’t Quit”. Anyone who has known me through the last few years, well actually since way back in the day, has known that my road has not been an easy one. I could probably rival the Pacific with the size of the ocean I have cried in disappointment because of something soccer-related. To be blunt, I had a year in soccer that was completely disappointing. My experience in Norway wasn’t what I had hoped; partly it was my fault, as I arrived out of soccer shape because of the lack of high level soccer opportunities in Vancouver, and getting a major tournament organized, and I also felt like my coach didn’t give me a fair shake to prove myself and I felt there was a lack of communication which didn’t help.
I went to Ottawa, excited for the season and the role that I would be playing as captain. To make a long story short, and one that I still don’t really understand, after having a great first weekend where I got my first award in soccer since I was 7 (ok maybe I have had one or two since then) and was named to the W League Team of the Week, I was told to sit out a week to rest injuries that I had picked up in Norway. To make a very long story short, I didn’t get my spot back after that and was told that it was because I needed to be ready for our final playoff weekend and to just trust the coach. Without needing to go into it too much more, I ended up playing 10 minutes that weekend, was never spoken to by the coach, after being told to trust him 2 weeks before, and I was absolutely crushed, even more so that we lost the Conference Final.
I thankfully had a great week in Tahoe with my favourite cousins, aunt and uncle, and pondered if it was worth continuing on with soccer, if it just seemed to continue to bring me so much misery. I thought about it, and asked myself honestly if I was at the stage myself as a player where I gave coaches no point but to play me, and looking at it honestly, I knew I could be much fitter, and I knew mentally that I could be alot more positive with myself. I told myself that I would give myself 6 months to work on those 2 things, and if after 6 more months I still wasn’t enjoying it, that I could quit and walk away from the sport I had worked so hard for.
I went back to Vancouver, and at lunch time one of the days, I went home to grab lunch on our break and had an email from the Irish National Team Coach, inviting me to my first official National Team training camp at the end of August. I was so surprised, but so happy that I had made fitness a priority and felt like I was in the kind of shape to handle it.
I went totally prepared, and I made the team and had a whole new world of opportunity open up for me! The best part about it, was knowing at that crucial moment when I thought about stopping, that I decided to push myself as hard as I could, one more time, and that ended up being what helped me reach my dream of playing internationally.
I received my first international cap against the US in Philadelphia September 13, and earned myself a starting role and 90 minutes against the US at Giants Stadium on September 17 in front of some of my closest friends who had witnessed my journey for so long, and favourite family.
It was an experience I will never forget and one that will always be a reminder to me, that “its when you are hardest hit, that you mustn’t quit”