It’s officially been one month since I’ve trained or played at all. Since I started playing soccer as a 7-year-old, I’m not sure I’ve ever taken more than a full week off from playing or training of some sort. Why now?
I’ve found that life, and my body, have their ways of keeping me in check when I’ve gotten off course. It’s just a matter of listening, which I haven’t been good at.
You see, I’ve trained myself to push since the time I was very young. I can push myself out of my comfort zone, and employ extreme discipline when others may take the easy route. The more I add to my plate, the more I find ways to get it all done thoroughly and efficiently. My will power is something in which I take a lot of pride.
I have a pervasive life belief that if we want a certain outcome, we have the power to will it into reality, through diligent and relentless work. This belief system has served me well for the most part. But there are things in life—a lot them—that don’t follow that logic.
Years and years of living the way I was has caused me to be out of balance.
In 2012, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. I’ll spare you the details (feel free to google), but the condition is very stress-related and very unpleasant.
This past year and a half has been the most tumultuous of my life. Nothing catastrophic, but a lot of upheaval and uncertainty. As I attempted to navigate two in-season, cross-country moves, running a startup business, raising a puppy (although I love him dearly), an injury during preseason, and the typical mental and physical stresses of the season, my body tried to warn me.
Just like I’ve been so well-trained to do, I ignored the signs and pushed forward. I worked countless hours on my business, rehabbed diligently to get back for the first game of the season, meticulously organized the moves to fit a tight budget, and forged ahead to help form the NWSL Players’ Association.
Before I knew it, my Colitis had flared up full force. I struggled to make it through the season and returned home to my parents’ house a complete wreck. My physical discomfort and mental fatigue from pushing through sickness for months on end left me with no choice but to contemplate. What had I done? Why had I done it this way?
I’m about to celebrate my 31st birthday, and it’s time for me to adopt a new way of living in the next phase of my life. I’m done pushing to the max. There’s a core part of me that will never change, but I’m finished trying to impose my will on situations that are not mine to control.
No resistance. I’ll train hard and well but not push my body when it shouldn’t be pushed.
No resistance. I’ll be happy enough with myself and my imprint on the world that my personal relationships need only serve to enhance that. They are not my responsibility to completely shape into my vision of what they should be.
No resistance. I’ll strive to grow my company through diligent work, but trust that the pieces will fall into place when the time is right.
No resistance. I will take life as it comes, with patience and faith.