The Confederations Cup is happening right now in South Africa. You know, soccer. That great spectator sport of the United States. I’ve been having fun watching some of the games and looking forward to the World Cup next year.
I started playing soccer in 1994 when I was in 8th grade. The World Cup was in the United States that year. I’m not sure what got me hooked, but I was completely smitten with the game. Soccer hadn’t really caught on for girls yet in my area so my first experience was on a coed team with boys who’d been playing since they were little kids. I did *not* shine. But I stuck with it and eventually found a girls’ club team to play on. My best friend at school took a petition around to the different high school homerooms and we had a girls’ soccer team at my high school starting my sophomore year, thanks to her.
Playing soccer helped get me through my teenage years. I was always a shy kid (shocker!) but soccer gave me confidence and taught me about the power endorphins can have over depression (important life lesson there).
I feel a little bad for my dad. His brainwashing worked for a while. But after years of taking me to baseball games and playing catch with me in the backyard, I ditched our national pasttime for The Beautiful Game.