I played soccer all through grade school. I'm not afraid to admit that I was not good. I was chubby and was able to run approximately as quick as a snail. In this case, slow and steady most definitely does not win the race. My favorite part of the game was the orange slices we ate during halftime. For real, I loved oranges. Needless to say, I was especially not good at heading soccer balls. One time, I attempted a header, and it smushed my neck down and to the side and my head got stuck like that for about a week. No joke, I had to walk around with my head to the side, chin above my left shoulder. I went to the doctor and he said that I just had to forcefully move it every day. So I would sit in a chair and one of my parents would force my head from the left to the right. This was as uncomfortable as it sounds.
I've always enjoyed watching soccer and wish that it was not such an underrated sport in the US. So while jogging on the treadmill today, I turned on the FIFA Women's World Cup, and watched in awe as USA and Brazil went head to head for a spot in the semi-finals. I'm inspired by the whole team and the level of athleticism displayed. But given my history with headers, I am especially impressed with Abby Wambach's leaping header that tied the game. I literally jumped with excitement (as I was jogging) when I saw the grace and power behind this game-tying goal. If you missed it and even if you don't typically enjoy soccer, google a clip of this because it's just absolutely fantastic.
I've been feeling out of sorts at the gym this week and watching this game inspired me to push it today. When the pressure is on, that's when you find out how strong you are. This team is strong. I am strong. You are strong, if you believe it. So this blog post is dedicated to you, USA Women's World Cup Team. Thank you for being awesome. And to Abby Wambach, congratulations on not smushing your neck as I did years ago. That would have made it more difficult for you to whoop French butt on Wednesday.
This orange slice is for you! USA! USA!