Fear is a powerful emotion. 

Think about a time you were fearful of something. It can be both physically and emotionally paralyzing. Not allowing you to move. Stopping you dead in your tracks. Everything around you keeps moving and growing but your stuck in this “deer in headlights” position. This was me 3 months ago.

After battling over two years in physical therapy to get back on the field, overcoming a flare up on my right knee and many mental roadblocks, I felt closer to what I had worked so hard towards for so long...but I was stuck. Fear crept in. 

My fears sounded a lot like this:
Will I be good enough? Will my knee be strong enough? My body fit enough? Will I ever be as good at something as I was at soccer? For this blog, will I write the right thing? Will it have enough impact? Will I be judged? 

Once it started, it was a domino effect and one fear after another started to come up in my mind.

Through this process I have been challenged on many levels, but the mental aspect has been the hardest by far. To me, 
Belief is the opposite of fear

Belief is having hope that what is in store for you is going to be better for you then you could ever imagine. 

Part of my belief was to understand I had to let go of the control I thought I needed over my life. I thought if I held tight onto this idea of once again playing soccer, there was no other option but for it to come true. What was really happening was I was squeezing the life out of my dreams. 

It made me think of when you hold tight onto sand, it just slips through your fingers; but if you cup the sand in your hand, leaving your hand open to the sky, the sand can just sit there. The fear I had of me not being able to play soccer again made me hold on tighter when really what I had to do was let go a little. Still holding my goals and dreams, but opening up my mind and soul to all the options life has for me. 

Once I had this realization, I felt like the pressure I put on myself finally fell off my shoulders.

Looking back, all that noise in my head was preventing me from being ME. I let go, believed, and things on and off the field opened up! Job opportunities arose and I felt open to explore them while still pursuing a soccer career. It felt so nice, my mind was free again from the fear that was holding me back just days before.  

Then one day at the end of May, I crossed the white line at the training field and told myself I was fine…and I BELIEVED it! That’s a huge part of the equation. 

My belief in the purpose of my journey trumped my fear. 

I know I am meant to be on the field, I feel it when I am out there. 

After 2 months of training hard/smart, and knocking some of the accumulated rust off, I jumped on a plane and took what seemed like a long trip across the US to Washington D.C. As I sat on the plane, I had a mix of emotions running through me:

Excitement – how amazingly cool is this that I was given the opportunity to train with the Washington Spirit! I was jazzed at the idea of being with a team again. “Train. Get better. See how far away you are from that level.” That was my self talk as I prepped for that first practice, putting no pressure on myself to prove anything or do anything I didn't feel I was ready for yet. Saying this to myself helped me bottle up the excitement and use it in a constructive way. 

Nervous – for the plane ride and the whole next day, I just wanted to get out on the field. The anticipation of the first practice was something I hadn’t felt in a while…butterflies! That nervous energy that makes you feel like your doing exactly what you love to do. I soaked it in, felt every flutter in my stomach. If I weren’t nervous, then there would have been a problem.

Once I stepped on the field that wednesday evening, even though my first training back was a public training, I immediately felt a sigh of relief. Now all the waiting and thinking can cease and the feeling, moving, playing can commence. I believed I was right where I was suppose to be. 

Its hard not to smile now when I am on the field. 

More then ever I believe this game is gift, and every time I get to play, it truly makes my heart happy:)

Jeremiah 29:11


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