“And after a time you may recognize that the proper measure of success is not how much you’ve closed the distance to some far-off goal but the quality of what you’ve done today.” — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor
GOTHENBURG, Sweden — This past week my parents came to visit me in Sweden for the first time. I showed them around the city of Gothenburg. My typical daily activities, that have started to seem mundane to me, were novel for them. They reminded me to be proud of this adventure and take pleasure in the life I’ve created here.
We are often told to look at the bigger picture. But sometimes it is all too easy to get caught up in that and to measure our success by how much you’ve closed the distance to some far-off goal.
As my parents asked me questions about the public transportation system, sat and observed every minute of my training sessions and thoroughly enjoyed lounging in each coffee shop we sampled, they brought me back to the moment. They reminded me that what I do every day is unique and extremely valuable.
We’re Tramming Riding the bike that the club gave me lasted about three weeks before I discovered the tram system. The above-ground public transportation appealed to me much more than biking the 25 minutes each way to training and back, and my quads thanked me. Anita Asante, Cami Levin and I each have a one-bedroom apartment in the same building complex, so we catch the tram together and then walk to our stadium, where we train and play games. The trip takes about 20 minutes.
Gear Corner My boots, turf shoes and all my training gear are left in the locker room.
It is washed for us each day and left by our locker area. When we arrive on game day our jerseys are hanging for us, and the rest of our uniform is laying out in our spot.
The only thing I really need to bring to training with me is a water bottle, which is easy to refill since the tap water here is so delicious!
The Stadium Our stadium field is turf, so most days I train in turf shoes. For games, I always wear regular molded studs. A typical training session includes a brief warm-up on our own; what the Swedes call “kvadde” (short for the word for square, kvadrat), small possession games with a variety of numbers and grid sizes/dimensions; and tempo spel (tempo play), which is small-sided and simulates game intensity.
My Mates The foreign players, like, from left, Cami Levin, me and Anita Asante, on the team have a unique problem most days: we have too much free time to fill! Often, we spend hours at coffee shops, which has become our primary pastime. Recently, we’ve made some friends outside the team, so we are expanding our horizons, but a typical, nonrainy day here includes a lot of walking and a lot of fika (chatting over coffee and snacks).
I often wonder if I’m in the right place and doing the right thing — for my personal life, development as a player and chance of earning a spot on the United States women’s national team. My parents’ visit renewed my faith that I am. But I must let go of constantly evaluating my decisions and how quickly they will bring me closer to a certain destination. My life is in the journey, and success stems from the quality of what I’ve done today.