Megan Rapinoe was quoted after she tore a third ACL that ¨going through the recovery of an ACL is a time to focus on the things that you can do and not the things you can’t do.¨ I would agree with Megan. I would also add that the rehab process teaches you a lot about yourself, what you are capable of, and what you really want.
I can’t remember a time that I didn’t have a spare soccer ball or a pair of cleats in the back of the car. I started playing soccer when I was about 4 years old. I played whenever I could. Sometimes with the older girls and the boys. I soon realized that it was time to move from the recreational league and join a more competitive club.
My new coach, Franco, began what I would call the foundation work of understanding the game. He played us in a possession style game saying if you can play this style, you can play anywhere, anytime, and with anybody. We worked on footwork, touch and spacing. I was loving it. That was when I tore my left ACL. I was 12 years old.
I watched my teammates move forward in their development while I was sidelined. I focused on my rehab and learned to see the game from a different perspective, the coach’s eyes. I saw the calculated sequencing, play development, and the opportunities I had missed as a player. I was hooked. I wanted to play the midfield and be the link in the chain that connects everyone. Most importantly, I knew I wanted to play soccer more than anything! I worked twice as hard on my return to the sport, physically and mentally, to earn my starting position as an attacking midfielder in the first varsity game of my freshman year and even contribute a goal.
This past fall I joined a local but nationally recognized QC Rush club team that has given me some great opportunities to play on different teams and at bigger tournaments against renowned teams and players. We train and play as a family, each person contributing towards our common goal. This is one of my favorite teams things about the game of soccer.
If you were to connect with any of my coaches and ask them to describe me as an athlete, they would say that I want to get better. I want to understand everything. You can play me at any of the 11 positions on the pitch and I will do it with a 100% commitment, drive, and passion. I’ve played in 90 degree weather and 19 degree weather. I’ve played in rain, sleet, and snow. I’ve played covered in mud and I’ve sat out many lightning strikes. I’ve experienced bruised hips, cleated thighs, blistered feet, and even an ACL tear and I don’t regret any of it. It has made me the player I am today and most importantly, the player I want to become. Im looking for a college that will be a good fit for me academically as well as athletically and help me further grow as a student athlete.