Recently my soccer team was asked to write a short essay on why we play. I thought mine applied well to life, so here it is.

I had played soccer before last year. However, I played last year for one reason. Mack played. So I just did. There was no question. I didn’t realize that it would be something I would fall in love with. I was always passionate with judo. I flowed well and played without my mind getting in the way. Soccer was clunky and awkward. I hated it. I hated showing up for practice. I hated the mental strain. I hated it so much that eventually I fell in love. I couldn’t help it. I had been trying to like it for so long that eventually it just came naturally to me, obviously not the skill and technique. The heart came. The drive to be better than I was came to me. I wanted to be better because soccer was something that I wanted to do. It was something I was going to be good at. So I worked hard. I practiced all the time. I worked outside of practice. I made myself better. However I think I owe my love of the sport to Mack and Taylor. Had they not picked me up last year and showed me how to walk and talk I would be nowhere now. I would still be sitting on the bench wishing to touch the field. I play soccer because I love it. Now, when I step on the field I am ready. I am no longer awkward. Things begin to flow for me with every ounce of experience. I play for the rush of the game. Soccer is a part of me. I never thought it would be. I thought I was going to play to improve my footwork for judo. I thought it would be easy, quick, and painless. AI thought it would be a no effort type deal. I was wrong. I was so, so wrong. It was long and hard and painful, every single day of it. But I learned something with my progression. After what I was last year, to what I am now, I have learned that the best things in life, the most valuable, and the most genuine things must be worked for. You have to bleed a little. There has to be some sweat. And, if tears don’t flow it wasn’t worth it. Anything worth having should require hard work. So I play. I play because I know I can be better. I play because my heart drives me to. Now, I don’t know what I’d do without it.


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