If you ask any professional athlete, they will tell you their career has been full of ups and downs. Everyone travels their own path throughout their careers and we all must learn to deal with the highs and the lows. I am no different; I have experienced the great highs of winning a professional championship and the disappointing lows of sitting in the stands throughout the season hoping for an opportunity that never came. Hardship is inevitable, but it is what helps you grow as both an athlete and a person.
My first two seasons in professional soccer, I played roughly 5 games in total with relatively little success. Going into the offseason after my second season, I realized I would need shoulder surgery that could possibly keep me out well into preseason. Instead of letting this get me down, I worked as hard as possible to get back as quickly as I could to put myself in the best position to earn my spot back on the team. After spending a season training and getting no playing time, I came into my fourth season determined to do everything possible to prove to myself that I deserved to play professional soccer. I always knew I was capable, I just needed the opportunity. Roughly nine months later, I was celebrating a championship season with my teammates. Never stop believing in yourself.