I am a huge fan of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team. I didn’t grow up watching or playing soccer, but having a husband and two boys that are passionate about the game, I soon became interested. Then, during the Summer Olympics of 2012, I watched the Women’s Team, led by Abby Wambach, win gold and I was hooked. It has been so much fun to share this with my boys and watching this summer’s Women’s World Cup with them has been an absolute blast. When we watch, it is never about gender, it’s about watching awesome shots and saves and seeing a fierce competition unfold.
Here is a post I wrote on my personal blog, (writesforallmommies.com), that describes being true to who we are and learning to value people based on watching them live their passion and never by their gender:
Goals (Soccer and Otherwise) posted on February 2, 2013
“Children are some of our greatest teachers. Young children especially have this wonderful ability to start each day confident in who they are. They embrace every aspect of themselves and express every emotion they feel. As we grow older, it is easy to lose this confidence. Soon, we find ourselves so worried about what the world will think of us, that we begin to filter the way we speak and the way we act. We opt for fitting in as opposed to being who we really are.
I decided enough is enough. For one day I was going to use my boys as my example and I was going to speak and act what was really in my heart. We attended a U.S. Women’s soccer game and instead of being calm and cool in the presence of these incredible athletes I lost it. I was so overcome with excitement by being within feet of my role models, that I screamed and yelled as if my life depended on it.
When I was a kid, there weren’t a lot of female athletes to look up to on a national level. To be given the opportunity to see in person, the women I cheered on to Olympic gold last summer was awesome. Watching women play at this level and intensity makes me feel like anything is possible. Gender, age, you name it, nothing should hold us back. If Abby Wambach, my favorite player, can be only six goals shy of breaking Mia Hamm’s all-time record [which she did and is holding steady], what can I do with my day? What can I do with my life?
I cannot tell you how great it felt to express every ounce of emotion and joy I was feeling. Trust me, kids have got this stuff figured out. There is something magical about feeling something and expressing it the exact instant you feel it with no holds barred.
For today, allow yourself to be inspired by something. Let go, be yourself and trust me, all your goals will seem within reach.
Written by Diana DeVaul, MSW and Parent