How cool could it be to play and play a bit of tennis? And I thought, ‘This is so cool that I might as well do it myself.’” I remember being so excited to have that moment. I felt like I was there watching the magic happen. And with the magic, the two of us, our coaches and our tennis players had met our destiny of playing together on a daily basis for the next 8 years.
After tennis, I played on the team of an awesome high energy girl that also happened to be from an upper grade soccer program. She got me good to the point where I could run and jump and play in varsity leagues. It was the high school level and I was the senior, but I was pretty good. So I was pretty good at soccer. Even though, at 18, I hadn’t played and really had no idea what I was doing. I figured it would all work out in the end!
So, despite not really thinking about my career path as much as I should have, it didn’t happen (I think I just started at the same time and was in my first year of high school). But it happened somehow and that’s when I realized the power of sports, of the chance to make a difference or maybe just be helpful. Not that long after that, I was the first ever person in the world to win the Grand Slam while playing soccer.
That second year of playing soccer was fun, especially the whole “I’m not playing for my school” problem, but it also exposed me to so many other things I missed out on when I was growing up playing a sport at an elite level, seeing my favorite celebrities, and seeing other people who weren’t doing it, like my sister and my best friend. And having to play soccer in the same year as my son’s birthdays, birthdays, and graduations.
After high school, I studied business at a regional university, but didn’t really enjoy what I was doing I was pretty bored and had no interest in reading, writing or studying.
I was a fairly successful business owner before I realized how hard it was in business to make a living at something, especially when you run your own business. And I could have never been successful as a coach had I stuck with it like I did.
When I read that article about how the team that I coached at one time played tennis in the Olympicsand that was the first time that I made such an attempt to help my teams get to the Olympic level, even though they’re not even top 25 on the RPI, well, that was just one more one of those moments when everyone becomes aware that the greatest joy in life is making a difference for others.
We are all heroes and no-one says it better than Mark Twain.
There’s only one way to see it: to be that hero.