Wednesday, March 23, 2011

If You Do Not Have 'C'~~You Have Nothing!!

After my Father passed away; I experienced my first real exposure to life. There are many things that being alone in life teaches you but the most important thing I learned was a sense of CONFIDENCE. The Big 'C".  A confident person can succeed even if they are not the best person for a particular job or activity.

When I was 18 years old; I dropped out of college after one year because there just was not any money to pay tuition. I found myself alone and nearly penniless. I found odd jobs and did anything I had to do so I could get back to college.

My passion; my one overwhelming passion, was soccer. I touched my first soccer ball at age 4 and never looked back. Soccer has always kept me on a straight and narrow path. But I was in a situation, at this point in my life, that held me away from the game. After all; putting food on the table and a roof over my head seemed far more important.

Like any passion, staying away was only a temporary thing. When  I was not working; I was practicing in a local park. My goal was to eventually play college soccer.  During my first year of college I sat on the reserve team waiting for chance to play. But now I was not sure that chance would ever come.

On weekends I went and played pickup games in the Hispanic neighborhood not far from where I lived. I had to worm my way into men's games because that was what was available. Each night I left the field bruised and hurt but I kept going back each week. What these games taught me was a form of mental strength and confidence I could never have learned on any college team.

After two years I had enough money to return to school but had to work at the same time to make ends meet.

 “The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.”

 ~~Sven Goran

So there I was back in school and soccer tryouts were being advertised. I went to the tryout and sat in a locker room with some of the best female players in America. World class players. Believe me I was scared. A college soccer team carries about 20 players, that actually dress for games, and another 10 or so that are on the reserve team. Kind of like football practice squads. Here is the problem. Those first 20 players were all on scholarship so they were on the team. I was battling over 40 girls for one of the remaining 10 slots.

My goal~~make that reserve team. I made sure that I was at practice earlier than anyone else. Gave 100% every second on the field. I found a position that the team was short on and concentrated on that slot. Defender; I  had never played it before. But I did everything I could to achieve my dream.

I would like to tell you that it went smoothly but that is not the case. In the end it was down to me and one other girl for the final slot. Number 30 on a team of 30. The coach told us that we were equal in every way. He also said that we were to show up at the practice field at 7am the following morning to run a 100m dash. The winner was on the team. The loser went home.

“Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.”


I was scared to death. All this work came down to me running 100m. I spent that night staring at my Mom and Dads picture wishing life had been different. But my Dad always told me that life gives you whatever it gives you so deal with what you get.

I ran that 100m in less than half a second faster than the other girl.  Half a second changed my life!! That short time led me to a scholarship the next season. It led me to 2 years as a professional player. It built me the confidence to know that I could do anything.

That short time span made me who I am today. There is not a day, the entire rest of my life, that I have not felt confident in what I want to do.

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience by which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.”

~~Eleanor Roosevelt

I have not told this story to praise myself. I told it because every person needs to understand the value of being confident. It is alright to have fear. Hell its normal to fear some things. But you have to face those fears and not let them overwhelm you.

Conquer your fears, portray a confident attitude and you will be able to grab all you need from life.

"Life gives you whatever it  gives you so deal with what you get."
~~My Dad

Love ya,

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