Five Pieces, Some Easy, Some Not

It has been my dream since I was 9 years old to be a professional fútbol player. Since that time, everything in my life has in one way or another been tied to fútbol. Not only do I love the sport, but I genuinely love the process of trying to be the best that I can be. I don’t see my fútbol career as separate from my existence, but instead it is a part of who I am and how I view the world. Here are five seemingly random, new (or semi-new) things in my life and how they all are intertwined and related in some way to fútbol. Sky Blue F.C. vs. F.C. Gold Pride (Part II)

In an interesting coincidence, we opened our season against Chicago with a win, then lost to F.C. Gold Pride, beat Chicago again and then lost to F.C. Gold Pride, 1-0, last Saturday night. Early in the week it was in the 40s and we were wearing sweats at practice and by game day it was well into the 90s!

The sudden change does not bode well for someone who sweats as much as me (I normally change jerseys at halftime to keep the first row of fans from leaving). I knew it was going to be hot, so for the 48 hours leading up to the game I went on an intense hydration regimen. I finished two, gallon bottles of water, loaded with special electrolyte mixture and did several painful ice baths to make sure my muscles felt as good as possible. I think it all helped because I felt relatively good on game day. For a recap of the game, you can go to here.

Recovery Tights

About six months ago I invested in a pair of compression recovery tights. The idea is to compress the muscles to increase blood flow and help them heal/recover more quickly and efficiently. I’m not sure if it’s mental or actually physiological, but these things are magic! I wear them every second that I’m not training and sleep in them every night. I swear that I can train eight hours a day and then put on my recovery tights and my legs are good as new. (If anyone wants to donate a new full-body recovery suit please me know!)

Smoothies I recently went on an online buying spree and one of my purchases was the Magic Bullet blender. It makes smoothie making incredibly easy. I’ve been experimenting with various concoctions and I think my best so far includes frozen mixed berries, a little bit of strawberry yogurt, a banana and some orange juice.

I’m going to be trying all different mixtures, though, with cucumber, squid and tapioca balls up next on the “attempt” list. It’s a great snack for after practice or on a hot day. I’ve been paying a lot of attention to my diet because the more I fine-tune my training, the more I realize that every bit matters. Eating well is so important to recovery and maintaining high-level performance.

Hand Surfing

For those of you who have never hand surfed, this is a must-try. Hand surfing isn’t new for me, but every year when the weather gets nice, it re-emerges on my drives to and from practice (I live about 45 minutes from where we train and play with Sky Blue F.C.). Hand surfing is when you put the window down and let your hand ride the air current created by the speed of your car. It’s extra fun to hand surf with good music playing on a sunny day. Hand surfing can be a complex activity. You can vary the level of how into it you get as a direct correlation to how stupid you want to look to other drivers on the road.

My commute to “work” every day has become an essential part of the season. I love the time by myself where I can think, or sometimes not think and just hand surf and blast the music. I’ve established a rule for myself … after a game or practice, I am allowed to feel however happy, angry, frustrated as I need to be on the drive home, but once I leave my car I let the emotions go. This is an important mental health practice to get through a long season of ups and downs.

Check it out. You can sign up, choose your interests, and then “stumble” through the Internet’s infinite wonders. You click the “stumble” button and it takes you to a new Web site that might interest to you. If you don’t find something you like, your next great find is just a click away. I’ve found a lot of amazing photos that I like, some jokes, good quotes and more. Warning: If you have an addictive personality or are a procrastinator, this Web site could be dangerous.

Here’s my most recent favorite “stumble” titled “The Daffodil Principle.” I try to live by this principle and I love this story.

“One bulb at a time. No shortcuts — simply loving the slow process of planting.”

I firmly believe in doing the little things methodically and consistently. This applies to almost any aspect of life, and especially fútbol. If someone were to watch me train on my own, they would be shocked at how simple my training is. I repeat the basics over and over again until they become second nature. And I am passionate about the little details that may seem boring or unimportant to some people.

“The Daffodil Principle” is simply that: “Learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time — often just one baby-step at a time — learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world.”