Our lives can be compared to a soccer season. Every season has its practices, it’s wins, and it’s losses. These key components can be compared to those in our lives and can help us understand our lives and what God has in store for us.
Soccer practices prepare us for our big games and they also provide a lifetime of memories for us to look back on. School could be seen as our practices. We attend required classes that we may not want to go to, but prepare us for college. You make friends along the way and you make memories that you will never forget, even though you were doing something that you were required to do. Some of our memories come from the smallest of things like late night drives or just relaxing and watching a movie. Our practices prepare us for our games, which in turn, our school days prepare us for college. They give us the tools to be able to pass our college courses and they help us decide which classes that we enjoy; helping us choose the position we want to play in God’s game plan for us. My next move will be to study Nursing at Trinity Western University. The medical field has always interested me and becoming a nurse will allow me to help those around me.
Practices develop skills and gifts in us that we may not have known about. One of my strengths is communication which, as a goalkeeper, is a big part of my position and of my game. Not only have I been able to bring that to my game, but I also have been able to bring that to my life. Some people might say that my strength in communication is a weakness, because I have such an excessive need to talk to those around me. I believe it is a strength because I am open and honest with my friends and family. A second strength is positivity. If a game isn’t going how you want it to, as a captain and as a keeper I had to be able to keep a positive attitude and make sure that my team didn’t give up. This also shows up in my life when I’m able to stay positive about difficult situations and trying to be able to work through those instead of giving up. Our practices also take a lot of hard work and dedication, just like our school work. To be able to maintain good grades, you have to balance everything you do while also turning in your homework on time and also trying your hardest on your assignments. Being involved in many extracurricular activities and working a part time job is really hard to do while maintaining a good GPA. Being able to do all of this shows the dedication I have learned from playing soccer for over 10 years.
Practices are a lot harder than our games. They’re meant to prepare us for every situation so some practices we get run into the ground. You have to battle through physical hardships. During the powderpuff game last year I sprained my MCL and I didn’t go to the doctor, thinking it was nothing. Later that summer I went to the doctor to check it out before my senior season and I also found out that I had a deep bone bruise on the same knee and would have to go to physical therapy for my MCL. Knee problems have a history in my family so it was no surprise that I had that gene. I struggled through practices and games not being able to do the things that I normally could. I took extra measures to make sure that even though I had these health problems; I would still be able to play the sport I loved. Instead of running I biked, I iced, and I had to remind myself to be more careful during the game. I thought that would be the last injury I would sustain, but in my second to last game I had my ribs cracked by one of the opponents. I was able to play through it but I wasn’t playing to the best of my abilities; which affected my last game. I had to take a few months off of working out and playing soccer to let my ribs heal. Once I started to go to the gym again, my knees continued to hurt. I had reached out to a soccer coach at Trinity Western College to see if there was any opportunities for me to play soccer while in college but after a while I started to realize that maybe my body wouldn’t be able to take more seasons of competitive soccer. Coming to terms with the fact that my dream to play college soccer wasn’t going to happen was really hard. It’s still hard for me to think about because I have such a passion for this game; the game that was consistent throughout my life while everything around me was changing.
An obvious factor about a sport is the wins that come from playing. The wins in your season are always a highlight and you always have a favorite game when you overcame the odds with your team. Winning a soccer game that you know you played your best in is one of the best feelings in the world, well at least for a high schooler. Winning shows that all of your hardwork and dedication has paid off. Winning a game also brings you closer as a team. You accomplish a goal with a group of people that share the same passion for the game as you.
We have wins in our lives as well. A win in my life is having the blessing of a loving and supporting group of family and friends that celebrate my life wins with me. Soon I will be able to share the win of my high school graduation. They have seen me go through my entire school career, cheering me on while I accomplish all of the things that God has in store for me. My friends are also in the game with me. If the game plan or formations changes there are still the season starters that have been with me from the beginning. There are also the teammates that joined my junior year, but have turned out to be some of my best friends. I have learned from soccer that friends aren’t always meant to be in every season of your life, but you will have those who are always in the formation with you, no matter what.
I have many people in my life that I always look for on the sidelines and one of them is my grandpa. My grandpa is a very patient man and I can see the love of Jesus in him everyday. He has always been one of my biggest fans; sitting in the rain at soccer games or sitting through 3 hour choir concerts. I have always looked up to him and I not only see him as my grandpa but also as a friend. He has been there for me when I needed cheering up and also for the most exciting moments of my life so far. A second person that I look up to is my mom. She works so hard everyday giving us the life that we have. She comes to all of our sporting events, concerts and still finds time to make dinner, clean the house, and work full time. My mom is a friend that can make me laugh and will lend me shoulder to cry on when I need it. I am so thankful to have people in my life that I can always look to the sidelines and see them there cheering me on in my seasons of life.
Although most don’t like to talk about it, with the wins of a season also come the losses. The losses in your life can be tough to face alone and during high school I chose to do that instead of having someone to lean on. In the beginning of high school I chose not to talk to anyone about my problems. Our school feels as though it has to put up a front, so we always have to be happy. It was really hard for me to deal with what was going on by myself, but I thought it would be easier than dragging others into my problems. Because of this, it make dealing with these losses in life even more difficult. In past year, and especially the past month I have realized that opening up to people is better than building walls. The people in my life care for me and are willing to listen to what’s going on. Not telling those who cared about me about what was happening resulting in losing some very important people in my life without realizing what I was even doing. My freshman year I lost my whole group of friends because they didn’t think I was cool enough to hang out with. Throughout the remainder of the year I struggled with find friends who would be there for me. During my sophomore year I finally started to find friends again. I loved hanging out with them and there was one in particular that I became close with. Over 2 and a half years they became my best friend but towards the end of my senior I had lost yet another one of my best friends. It’s hard finding a new friend at the end of your senior year and I had given up. I started to go through difficult things again and friends that I never knew I had showed that they cared for me and just because I lost one friend, didn’t mean I had lost them all like my Freshman year. When I started going through these tough times I had friends come back into my life and had some show they cared that I had no idea were there.
Everything has an end and for sports that’s especially true. Unless you win state, your last season comes far quicker than you anticipated. The end of my senior season was so hard for me. It left me wondering what was next. Usually I always looked forward to my next opportunity to play soccer but I wasn’t going to have another season. I had no idea how to spend my time anymore because usually my free time was dedicated to soccer, school, or work. Once soccer was over, I didn’t really know what to do next. I still had work and school but while all of my friends spent their time playing other sports or were in musical, I was at home. Most of my classmates know me as a soccer player. That is my identity and has been for years. Now that soccer is over I don’t have an identity anymore. Lynden Christian always says that they are trying to push us to put our identity in Christ and we have all these chapels telling us that’s what we should do as well. In reality, our school and our students are pushing people to put their identity in extra-curricular activities even more. Every group of friends has something common about it; either you’re the drama kids, the choir kids, the soccer girls, etc. I don’t feel that I have been challenged to really grow my relationship with Christ and when hardships come I find myself drowning. I am thankful that Lynden Christian has been a safe place for education but I am leaving a weak Christian and not knowing my identity anymore.
In conclusion, you can compare life to a soccer season. Lynden Christian’s soccer team has shaped me so much and has been a safe haven for me while I journeyed through high school. The practices will prepare me for life’s tough events, I can celebrate the wins with my friends and family, and life also has it’s tough losses that we sometimes don’t understand.