February 29, 2012… May I first say happy birthday to all of you who only get a birthday once every four years! What a rough day to be born… I meannnnnnnn….. I am glad you are now 4! Seriously though, I bring up the date because just two weeks ago I was in Portland working out, playing soccer and questioning what I was doing with my life. Up to this point in my life there have been only two things I have put above soccer, my family and God. Even then, if there was a conflict between a family function or church and soccer, soccer took precedent… so maybe soccer was my first priority…. What ever, POtato, poTAto. The point I am trying to make is that soccer has been my life. It is what inspires me, allows me to feel free, creative, successful and blah, blah. blah. Anyways, I set forth on a path to play professional soccer when I was probably 10 and have not let that dream slip since… until about two weeks ago.
I was lucky enough to get a scholarship to the best soccer environment in America at the University of Portland, where I had a fairly successful career. How was it, you ask? I am not going to lie, it was filled with a lot of things I didn’t particularly enjoy… but the smiles, happiness, friendships and love that I acquired FAR outweighed the negatives. When I was leaving for college I set a goal for myself that I would graduate in three and a half years so that I could play in the WPS.
Well, those years flew right by…I swear it lasted less than the blink of an eye…but, I achieved my goal of graduating early this past December and shortly after achieved my goal to play professional soccer when I was drafted to the Philadelphia Independence. Unfortunately that was short lived when the league was suspended for this upcoming year. So, there I was out of school, out of soccer.
Bless my dearest Becca was gracious enough to open her doors and let me stay with her so I could continue to train and still be with my closest friends in Portland. But a few weeks of chasing after what was now a dream with no end point was confusing and unmotivating. I tried patiently waiting (a whopping 2 weeks) but I decided I needed to move home to Colorado so that I could really figure out what I wanted to do with my life.
As many of you know I have started a nonprofit called Equipment Across Continents that works to bring sports equipment to children in third world countries who are involved with social development programs. This has been a huge passion of mine in the last year. After the league was suspended this year it was the first time I ever considered hanging up the boots and pursuing something new. However, upon driving through the god forsaken state of Wyoming I received a phone call telling me there was a possible opportunity to play in Russia. My ears perked up and I immediately knew where my heart laid… I still had a few more miles to run on these sore calves of mine.
Skip a few days of signing papers, packing bags and “wtf is happening”’s…and here I am sitting in a bar in the airport of the Washington Dulles airport writing this first blog. I have decided to write this for a few main reasons, which I have listed:
1. To bring peace of mind (and a false illusion that my daily itinerary will be posted) to my family
members whom choked back (or didn’t) tears upon my departure… not to mention names.
(Becca, Grammps Shirley and Popsie)
2. 2. To pass on techniques of perfectly timed humor, through my innate ability to story tell for
those of you who will miss a good laugh from hearing my daily stories. (Bridges, Mic, and
3. 3. To share a cultural experience that many of you will never have the desire nor opportunity to
experience in Eastern Europe
4. 4. To serve as proof that perseverance and dedication to a goal pays off.
5. Lastly, to have a place to talk to myself when I am bored.
Follow me through my adventures and I will cheers you at all my stops… one glass at a time…perhaps we will end up with a bottle full of stories.