"Just like it taught me, sports will teach you to be strong.You will discover the power and grace of your body. You will learn to move and the way to move others. Sports will teach you the strength of allies, whether its by blood, or by ball.The goals you reach, you reach together.You will find the courage to stand tall, work harder, and speak louder on whatever playing field you choose in this life." -Gatorade Sisters in Sweat ft. Serena Williams
Running down the field, I could feel my breaths force themselves from my chest. I could feel my heart pounding throughout my whole body as every inch of me was fighting. I could feel the fight in me, and the will to keep playing, just one more minute. Keep playing.
I was in the game. The minute I took my first breath in this life, my game had started... and I was playing.
It has been in the pursuit of my dreams, and the discovery and rediscovery of myself, that I have been able to build a foundation for my life that can not be shaken. It has been on this playing field that I have fallen and risen again.
At the age of 9 years old I picked up my first stick. I remember the way it felt in my hands, it was almost as big as me, but I was in love.
I was in love with the 6 a.m. lifts, the nights under the lights running suicides, the sweat I felt run along the side of my goggles that lined my face, it was the moments I held my breath as it came down to that one single point. It was the pounding of my heartbeat as I had my hand placed over my chest, singing the national anthem before a big game, it was the look I gave my teammate as our eyes pushed one another to do just... one... more.
It was the sound of my stick hitting my teammates as she made that shot, and it was the look in the eyes of my competitors as we lined up after the game had ended... paying respect to the heart on that field.
I was in love with the process, not just the outcome.
I will never forget the "split second" moments... looking up at the scoreboard, with a smile that radiated my face as my teammates sprinted across the field to enjoy those seconds together, but that second wasn't what I was in it for.
I was in it for the hours of training, the hour of play, the plane rides, the warm-ups, and the days spent in "chalk talk" preparing ourselves for that next step.
This is the game. This is life.
The playing field has changed from the Lacrosse field to my daily practice. But the core of who I am is built on the 100 yards of turf that built me.
If you are in it for the "split seconds" of bliss... they will come, but they will also pass.
Those moments are experienced, but it is the process that creates these moments. It has been the process that I have found teammates and built a foundation. The process creates the foundation to who you are and the life you experience. It takes hard work and discipline to build something worth meaning, so enjoy the process, because what you devote your breaths on this earth to, is your testimony. So,
"I beg you, in this game of life, keep playing."
In playing this game of life, it will take hard work, so breathe hard... and sweat harder.