TAKING MYSELF OUT OF THE GAME AND INTO A NEW FIELD
With the start of any new adventure, comes a change in routine, new connections and endless opportunity. For me, competitive sports have been a part of my life since I was 4 years old playing U6 soccer in rural, southern Minnesota.
I had a very successful high school soccer career. My team advanced to the state tournament my senior year and I was honored on the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) All-State Second Team. I loved the game and was excited about my future within the sport.
I was fortunate enough to play at the D3 level at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. College athletes are allowed four years of eligibility, and I had no reason to believe I would ever stop playing until I graduated. Life however, had different plans for me. My college athletics experience fell short of my expectations. I didn’t fit in with the team and never truly felt accepted as a teammate. I didn’t receive the playing time I wanted or felt I deserved. While I am forever grateful for the opportunities that my athletic career has given me to grow as a student, competitor and overall human, I chose to take charge of my future and invest my time in my career, travel and friendships.
Soccer will always have a special place in my heart. The people I have met through my athletic career have been influential in shaping who I am as a person, but the sport took its toll on my mind and body, and it was time to be done. I no longer felt a drive to run full-field sprints and wake up early to put in extra work, just to know it wouldn’t amount to anything. I love working out, especially weight lifting, and our team workouts took that joy from me. The thought of wasting my summer working toward something that no longer held meaning in my life felt pointless, and I chose to let go of that weight.
I hadn’t realized the magnitude of the weight until I let it go. The choice I made to pursue my newfound passion for videography set me back onto a path geared toward my future rather than my past, which was freeing in a way I could never have imagined.
Releasing myself from the ties, structure and restrictions of a team I didn’t truly feel accepted in was incredibly uplifting and terrifying at the same time. A wave of relief and fear came across me, but I knew that I was ready for the challenge. Stepping out of my comfort zone and pursuing video production as a career was terrifying for me. Feeling underqualified and going after something I chose for myself was something I had never done before.
My internship this summer at the National Sports Center has provided me the opportunity to surround myself with the sport I love. I’ve been working to expand my comfort zone and push myself to continue to pursue my passion. I have had the opportunity to interview youth teams and players from across the Midwest as well as professional players and administrators on the Minnesota United MLS team. If it weren’t for the struggles and frustrations of my past, I would have less appreciation for the opportunities to come in my future.
I’ve found my passion and I’m going to pursue it as long as it stays my passion, because if I’m not passionate, what’s the point?