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Most of the time, we talk about failure like it’s a bad thing. The reality is perfection teaches us nothing. When we fail we learn so much more. – Pamela

Hi! My name is Hilary and I blog over at bakesbyranchcookie.com. Today Pamela wanted me to talk to you about resilience. As a college athlete, I am thrilled to share my story of resilience with you on the soccer field.

My journey playing soccer started when I was just four years old. It went from just a hobby to a passion as the years went by. I started playing a couple times a week during the fall season, and that turned into playing year-round including the winters. It became my first love.

From four years old, I went from playing baby fields with baby goals, to playing a more competitive type of travel soccer. I was on my high school varsity team from Freshman year and became a starter my Sophomore year, receiving most valuable player.

Then I went onto to Capital University to play Division III soccer in the NCAA league.

The second I started college soccer it was anything but easy.

Unfortunately, I started my Freshman preseason coming off of a month-long illness, where exercise could become dangerous. It seemed that all the time I spent preparing for the moment I stepped on the field in college was destroyed by coming into a new season and new team out of shape.

What once were legs that surpassed my competitors, now slowed down to barely finish at all. The attitude to never stop came to a halt when my body just didn’t want to move anymore.

It wasn’t just preseason that summer affected, it was my entire Freshman year of college that was affected.

A once starter as a Freshman in high school, I only saw the field once that year, and on the last game of the season.

It was the year that I wanted to quit soccer more than anything.

But not wanting to disappoint my parents who had cheered for me all those years leading up to these moments, I stuck it out. I used my anger and frustration as a way to motivate myself. To remind myself I was good enough. To remind myself that I am not a quitter. Especially when times get hard.

It helped that I had one coach who supported me on my journey. I spent the off season that year working on my footwork, running to keep in shape, lifting weights to get stronger, and working on my ability to communicate with my team.

I learned what hard work really meant. I had always been a natural and been on top until this point, so learning how to prove to someone you can do it, was such a valuable lesson that has helped me so much today because of it.

As my Sophomore year came up, I was a different player. I didn’t act timid or scared anymore. I wasn’t afraid of failing, because I realized that I could do my best, and that was all anyone could ask for.

I may not have been a regular starter that year, but I was always first to sub in. I was a starter of the second half. I was a player that showed consistency in my ability to take charge on the field. But more importantly I think it truly showed how I got my confidence back by working hard to prove to myself that I could do it.

This experience helped me grow in ways I never expected.

  • It helped me to never stop believing in myself. The moment you lose confidence in your ability to do or overcome something is the moment that you give up. Staying positive and believing you can do something is the only way to overcome challenges.
  • Work hard. Life is not easy, so you have to work hard for where you want to be. You can’t sit around and wait for something to change, you have to continue to work hard until you reach your goal.
  • Don’t be afraid to fail. If I have learned anything through this experience is that you can’t be afraid to fail because you will. It is learning from your failures that truly helps you grow.

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