The legendary college basketball coach John Wooden, voted The Greatest Coach Ever by The Sporting News, understood the value that sports can have on one’s life. Wooden’s successful coaching career helped him become an expert on the subject of leadership and on the attitude it takes to be a winner in life. He imparted his knowledge to many through his inspirational books and lectures.
One of my favourite John Wooden quotes is, “It’s not so important who starts the game but who finishes it.” This week, I will finish a game that’s been a major part of my athletic life for as long as I can remember.
I played soccer for the University of Alberta women’s team, the Ottawa Fury W-League women’s team, Seoul Celtic men’s team and now back in Winnipeg I play for Action FC in the women’s premier league. I have identified myself as an athlete for years and years…and years. And in a matter of a week I will no longer be playing! So what then?
Winnipeg hosts the Jubilee & Challenge Trophy tournaments for men’s and women’s premier soccer in Canada from October 3 to 8, 2012, . Representing Manitoba for women are WSA and my team Action FC. The games will be played at the Waverley Soccer Complex and the University of Manitoba outdoor fields.
When I moved back from living and playing soccer overseas, I decided that soccer wasn’t my number one passion any longer and I took up other pursuits. I wanted to spread my wings and start really molding my own life into a path that would lead me to more internal insight, joy and fulfillment. I was a wedding planner, business developer and life coach before I found my true passions of comedy, acting and hosting. But somehow soccer crept its way back into my life and I ended up on one of the top women’s teams in Manitoba. Life is tough! Haha!
But now my physiotherapist has made me promise that I will quit soccer as soon as this season is over or risk doing irreparable damage to my already at risk ankles. I still remember having my ankles checked in university and having the doctor wince at the lack of support. I was told I had a healthy body except my ankles which were worse than a 90-year-old man….perhaps a bit hyperbolic, but nonetheless point made!
So after Nationals I will hang up the boots and start packing the coffee and Baileys to watch from the sidelines. And in true John Wooden fashion, I will finish playing the game I have loved for so many years.
Until then, come out and support local soccer and cheer me on…I’ll be the one with walkers on my ankles!