17 Things Every Former Soccer Girl Misses

17 Things Every Former Soccer Girl Misses

And don't even deny it because you know you do!

Playing soccer for most of your life is one of the best experiences one could have.

It brings new friends into your life, keeps you in shape as hell, and leaves memories that will last a lifetime. But when it comes time to hang up the cleats for the last time, it is hard to go without all of the experiences that made playing such a big and amazing part of your life.

If you are a former soccer girl who played every chance she got for years, here are 17 things you know you miss (whether you want to admit it or not!):

1. Team bus rides to and from games

2. Stupid team inside jokes that made no sense if you weren't there when they were created

3. Picking out a new pair of cleats

4. Basically seeing your coach as an extra parent

5. Brainstorming songs as a team to go on your pregame warmup playlist

6. Having a favorite drill that the entire team had fun with

7. Complaining about how cold/hot the weather is together

8. Complaining about your coach together

9. Complaining about everything together because your teammates were like your family

10. Team dinners

11. The feeling you got when team conditioning was finally over

12. That one team member who was a spaz but everyone loved her anyway

13. Hating being forced to participate in fundraisers but loving the new equipment and gear you got as a result

14. The nervous excitement you always got before games

15. Eating everything in sight after practice

16. Picking out a million different flavored Gatorades

17. Having 20 teammates who were like your sisters

Cover Image Credit: Dana Point Times

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WALK THE MOON's Press Restart Tour Comes To Denver

If positivity had a sound, it would be the Press Restart tour.

Last night WALK THE MOON brought their A-game at the Ogden Theater in Denver. This vibrant Indie, pop-rock, feel-good, group is currently on their Press Restart tour featuring songs from their newest album release, What If Nothing. The album captures a lot of their original sound, while also encapsulating some of the rawer, more implicit lyrics linked to life, passion, and the meanings of both. If positivity had a sound, it would be the Press Restart tour.

The members of this band are all overwhelmingly talented. Front-man, Nicholas Petricca, is a phenomenal pianist, singer, dancer, and synthesizer. He handles the lead vocals and a lot of the background harmonies, but what's most special about him is his energy. This latest album features a lot of inspiration drawn from his recent experimentation in spirituality and that was evident at the venue last night. Nich quite literally filled the venue with this elated, almost magnetic atmosphere that really draws you into his set and makes you feel alive. It somehow connects you to him, not just as an artist, but as a person, and as a soul. His vulnerability on stage creates a sort of "oneness" between the crowd and the band.

Likewise, slappa-da-bass member Kevin Ray impressed me as always last night. Kevin is ridiculously good at multitasking and that was apparent on stage as he played bass, aided in percussion, and made intimate connections with audience members somehow simultaneously. If you're lucky enough to find yourself on Kevin Ray's side of the stage during a show, you're in for a treat as his interaction is really unlike any other. He seeks out smiles from every person on the floor and will make sure to smile back as soon as he sees that you're looking. He makes sure to get to everyone in the crowd and he makes the experience very personal and intimate. His ultimate goal is just to make sure that everyone is having the time of their life, and he effortlessly accomplished this last night.

The band also includes members Sean Waguaman on drums and Eli Maiman on lead guitar. Sean is like Superman with sticks. He went hard all night long and really embodied what is is to be a non-stop entertainer. If he has a kyrptonite, I definitely didn't see it last night in Denver. Likewise, lead guitarist Eli Maiman played the guitar like you wouldn't believe. He has a special skill for making the guitar sound like something that's not a guitar. His solos provide the sounds for Petricca's atmosphere. His guitar had a voice, and when I listened, it spoke. This tour is also special because the foursome is accompanied by friend and percussioinst, Lachland "Lucky" West and he elevated the live sound by bringing a little something extra to the group that you can't hear outside of a live show.

So, unless slapping on some face-paint, listening to uplifting rock music, and dancing your heart out with a crowd full of people as happy as you doesn't sound like your cup of tea, I highly encourage you to go see WALK THE MOON the next time they come to Colorado. This band is different. Good different.

Cover Image Credit: ellapizarrophoto.com

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Send All Therapy Bills to the Prom Committee

Cue the pig's blood.

It's about damn time someone addressed the elephant in the room: school dances.  For decades now, we as adolescents accepted the horror, the emotionally traumatic experience of a school dance.  Our parents encouraged us to go, our peers expected us, and the media blew the entire occasion out of proportion with examples like Footloose and Back to the Future.

I survived several school dances and I will tell you right now, Kevin Bacon never showed up to one and never would my entire graduating class have banded together to turn a mill into a suitable dance hall, even if Kenny Loggins did serenade us the entire time with songs about being free and heaven helping the man.  Nor did Micheal J. Fox make an appearance with a prepared guitar solo in hand and I know I didn't but did anyone ever feel especially enchanted or under the sea while at a dance?

I didn't think so.  It's practically impossible to feel anything remotely positive while at a mandatory school dance. Even if you do gather the courage to ask a girl to dance or get lucky enough to be the one asked and therefore rescued from the lonely corner of cowering teenage girls, you stay about six inches apart from each other (leaving room for Jesus if you're at a Catholic school, leaving room for your hormones to rage at any other school) which doesn't really help in elevating the romance of the moment.   Not to mention the all too intimate atmosphere created inside the same gym that the basketball team sweats in during the winter and everyone else sweats in during assemblies and pep rallies throughout the year.  Yes, the humidity in the air that the poor girls with curly 80s Jennifer Beals hair try to counteract with hairspray and gel: that’s the lingering sweat of your peers.  Breathe it in.

But wait, there’s more! Yes, not to worry, there’s more factors contributing to this school dance ritual. 

Has anyone thought to argue with the sadistic reality that dances are only forced on us during the most awkward and insecure time in our lives?  There are no dances before 6th grade, when crippling insecurity hasn’t rooted itself so deeply in your growing-pained bones, and there are hardly any formal dances after the age of 18, when everyone is mature enough to know how to ask and accept a dance, or at least give it a shot.  They only occur when we are so hormonally unstable that getting a blue fruit roll up in our lunch instead of a red one could set us off.  We worried enough about the shirt we put on or whether our mom kissed us goodbye when she dropped us off in the morning, why on Earth did someone decided to pile on school dances?  Because that’s exactly what teenagers need: more opportunities for peer pressure and social anxiety. 

So if you’re a boy, you worry about asking a girl out and there’s the matter of how to ask her out and which girl and when to do it and where to do it and how many of your friends are going to post it on Snapchat (earlier generations didn’t have to worry about this at least) and what. If. She. Says. No?!

Well, you may as well just curl up and die right there on the cafeteria floor.

And if you’re a girl you worry about what to wear and whether or not someone will ask you and if someone does, you have to say yes to the right person because obviously who you go to the seventh grade dance with is a vital decision in your life, and what about if no one asks you?  Do you go by yourself and hope someone asks you to dance during one of the three slow songs or do you stay home with your cat and a Hillary Duff movie?

And let’s not forget the fact that social dance isn’t taught anymore so if a slow song does come on and you do happen to have a partner, you don’t have a clue where to put your arms and where you should look and whether or not it’s normal to have your feet stepped on or to be the one stepping on the girl's feet every other second.

Does anyone see a benefit here?

I was talking to my friend about the violation of humanity in forcing only adolescents to attend formal dances and he’s of the opinion that it’s the administration giving themselves an opportunity to watch middle and high schoolers alike suffer.  And while it’s a humorous and possible reason, I don’t know that it’s all the way true.  The majority of administrators and teachers hate school dances.  They have to haggle and barter and threaten one another's parking spots just to get enough chaperones and, especially for high school dances, they spend at least half the year trying to rally enough funds to host said dances.  'Do it for the children,' they tell parents as they stand diligently behind the Prom Fund donation box during soccer games.  Unless your child is Homecoming King or Queen material, they'd prefer that you didn't 'do it for the children' thank you very much. 

But parent guilt is an all powerful persuader so Mom or Dad pay the recommended $10 donation and  eventually the school gains enough money to put on the Homecoming or Freshman dance or the all hallowed Prom and all the students buy their dresses that they'll be tugging at all night, whether their boobs are too big or too small, and the high heels that they can't walk in yet and will inevitably ditch at the door and suits that always hang a little awkwardly on shoulders that haven't quite filled out or arms that are too long for the sleeves.  They will huddle in groups, their palms dripping with sweat and their hearts terrifyingly rabbit-like, as if awaiting to be herded on to the train for Auschwitz.  Then 'Choo, Choo!'--"Hero" by Enrique Iglesias comes on and it's time to accept your fate and get on the train (ask the girl to dance/await your suitor in the corner) or bolt for the bathrooms to wait out the song.  If you're like I was at my Freshman dance in high school, you'll choose option B and wait out those lingering, humiliating 3 minutes in the bathroom with 30 other girls.

So maybe next time you attend a school function and there is a tempting, harmless-looking little donation box for the upcoming Winter Wonderland Dance, just remember that whatever you put in that box is going towards the emotional scarring of your already-fragile adolescent child.  And you'll probably get stuck with the therapy bills, or at the very least, the tears at the end of the night.

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