On January 14th I decided to finally follow one of my life long dreams. This wasn't how I imagined it happening originally, but life happens and things change. After long deliberation I signed up to go to the Houston Dash try-outs.
This became a big deal to me because I had thought about it for two years. I had been at school when try-outs would happen and I enjoyed playing for my school and wanted to finish my career there before trying to pursue anything further with my soccer career. I talked to a lot of friends and family to get their opinions and see their thoughts on me trying out, and one thing that almost everyone told me is "Why not? You don't want to grow up and think 'What if I did that?' or 'I regret not trying'". That made me realize that I had been holding on to fear and doubt for way to long. I knew that going and doing this would be absolutely terrifying, but I knew I needed to at least try.
Knowing that this day was coming up quick, I enlisted help from my trainer, Tré Dortch, from Beast Body Fitness. He helped me for 3 weeks train and push my body past what I had been used to previously. We worked on speed and agility, conditioning, balance, and strength training. All of these things combined helped my be mentally and physically stronger than I have ever been before. My self-confidence grew exponentially and I finally felt ready. I knew going into this experience that I would have to give anything and everything that I had in me, and thanks to Tré I was able to push harder than before.
Fast forward- February 2nd, 2019. The day had finally come. I was standing out in line waiting to be checked in. Nerves and anxiety were still running rampant through my body, but I knew once I got on the field that would all slows melt away. I put all my gear on and started warming up on my own. I glance around and see photographers and videographers scanning the sea of girls. There was easily 60+ girls at this try out. We were then introduced to the coaching staff and those who would be evaluating us through out the morning. Following that we got in groups to do a warm up and stretches for 10 minutes. We took a jog around the field and did dynamic warm ups to get ready for the activities to follow.
We got split into "teams" and we began playing small sided 5v5 games with different restrictions each game. I felt strong and confident while playing. We then shifted gears and went into a passing sequence to show our speed of game play, and our technical abilities. My groups struggled a little in the beginning, but once we got the hang of things we were able togo very quickly. After doing various patterns and doing small competitions we moved on to 9v9. I was one of two defenders on our team. I ended up playing center back which I hadn't played in 4 years, but I felt at home again. I was able to make some saves and do my job as a defender and prevent then other team from scoring. Following 9v9, we were told that it was time for fitness. This is one of the things that I have struggled with mentally. I have felt like that I am game fit, but when it comes to the fitness tests I dread it, but this weekend I felt strong and I was going to push myself as much as I could physically. We had to run over 120 yards in 37 seconds (there and back). I made it twice with ease, the third run was more difficult my legs felt like bricks. On the fourth run my legs just wouldn't move as fast as I wanted to. I barely missed the time. i was lying down and got up to stretch my legs when the head coach said "just one more". My heart skipped a beat and I told myself that I was going to run it no matter what. I wasn't giving up now. I pushed myself, and made the 5th and final one in time. I felt like death but I was beyond proud.
After we finished fitness we went back to our teams, and we started 1v1 to goal. I started on defense and did what I usually do in sprinting out fast to close down the space. I felt good with how I was doing and then we moved on to 2v2 games. This was a lot of fun being able to play with different people. This allowed for us to do different combinations and make different opportunities. I really enjoyed being able to do this and have the opportunity to play with all different people.
In doing this I have learned so much in such a short period of time. I am proud of myself. I could have not shown up. I could have backed out and not sign up. I could have let my fear and anxiety control me but I decided to do this for myself and use it as a learning experience.
Unfortunately I didn't make the team, but I don't want any "I'm sorry's" or sad faces from it. I am of course a little disappointed because even though I knew it was a long shot, I still had a lot of hope and excitement after being able to keep up with these girls. I have learned so much and am thankful for the opportunity I was given. Most people won't chase their dreams because they are afraid of failure, but I have learned failure is the best opportunity to learn.
I can't wait for my future experiences.