I grew up a competitor. No matter what I was doing, I always pushed to be the best. When I was just two years old, I joined a local dance and gymnastics academy where I always kept my eyes on the top athletes in training. By the time I was five, I was performing advanced gymnastics routines and soon after joined the competitive travel team, which required 30 hours of rigorous training each week after school. At the age of seven, I won the national title in dance and gymnastics for my age group in Myrtle Beach. The same year, I traveled to Hollywood with my team to compete in a live television show called “Live to Dance.” Although we didn’t win, I learned many valuable lessons about competition and what it takes to be the best. As my training continued over the next few years, I became more skilled and I wanted more out of my athletic career. I thought about going into gymnastics training for the Olympics, but after being told that I was “too old,” I began to consider other athletic options.
When I began seventh grade, I finally decided to switch gears. I gave up dance and gymnastics and began playing soccer. The sport came very natural to me. I was fast, powerful, and quick on my feet. Other players would often ask me who I played for and how long I had been playing, and many of them did not believe that I was new to the sport. Within a year, I tried out for the Olympic Development Program and made the team. Not long after, however, I broke my tibia and fibula doing a flip throw and I was grounded for my entire eighth grade season. As a freshman in high school, I made the varsity team. My coach was so impressed with my skills that he referred me to the coach of the Players Development Academy (PDA) out of Toms River. I tried out for the team, made it, and I’ve been committed full time ever since. I currently travel to Toms River (which is an hour and a half north of where I live) three to four days per week to train in addition to the travel that is required for games and tournaments. This is a lot to handle on top of taking four AP courses in high school, but I have learned to manage my time effectively along the way.
After high school, I hope to continue my soccer career in college while majoring in biology. As an athlete, I have always appreciated the resiliency and wonders of the human body. My goal is to work in the medical field as an anesthesiologist or physician in some capacity. I know I have a lot of college in front of me, so getting to play soccer would make it that much more enjoyable.