I remember like it was yesterday: I had finally earned my time as goalkeeper and was ready to be the star of my first sports team, the Grizzlies. I was ready to lead them to a great season. The game started out great and I had gotten a few saves...but things took a turn for the worse in the second half when the other team scored seven goals on me. As a seven-year-old, this was devastating. What made it worse was that my dad got the whole thing on tape.
Over a decade later, I still recall that day vividly. I remember standing in the goal with tears coming down my face, the ball slipping through my fingers. I felt like I was letting my fellow Grizzlies down. Although it's a blue memory, reminding myself of that moment helps me push through the hardships of athletics in order to be successful.
When fourth grade rolled around, I traded in my soccer shorts for some spandex. Since then, volleyball has become a huge part of my life. From getting my first kill, to winning the CYO championships in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades, to all the years of club volleyball, and to committing to play at the Division-III level at Denison University, volleyball, and sports in general, will always have a fond place in my heart.
The lessons I learned while playing with the Grizzlies recreational soccer team helped me on the court at Denison. When we are getting destroyed by the team on the other side of the net, I remember the horrendous feeling I had when I let seven goals pass me so many years ago. Reminding myself of that fuels me to do better.
Being on the Grizzlies soccer team taught me the impact of losing and persevering through it. Whether you stay with sports for the rest of your life or only do it for a season, athletics teaches kids so many wonderful life lessons. On sports teams, kids learn the importance of sportsmanship and friendship, that winning isn’t everything, to never give up, the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, time management, and how to be a team player.
I’m so excited that Sportique is partnering with Fit Kids Foundation, a Bay Area charity that encourages youth to stay active, build relationships with others, and increase self-confidence. It’s so important to encourage kids to live actively so they grow up to live healthy lifestyles with the lessons they learn through athletics, just like I have learned growing up playing sports. The Fit Kids Foundation helps kids live active lifestyles. From personal experience, I can definitely tell you that, the earlier you start living actively...the better.