It has almost been 8 weeks since I have walked off the plane from France and what a whirl wind it has been.
From attempting to figure out the next chapter of my life to finishing off the season with the Red Stars, things have been a bit crazy. With that being said, I know I have some explaining to do aka why I have not been updating my blog.
[Many thanks to Pitchside for remaining patient]
I will start off by telling yal that after numerous conversations, with the people I love the most, I have decided to stay stateside this offseason. I was offered contracts to go back over seas, but after coming home and having to really deal with the passing of my father I know it is best for me to stay here. . . for now.
For someone that has been playing for 3 years straight, it is an odd feeling to know that I will get to enjoy a fall in Chicago. I will not deny the fact that it was a very odd sensation to turn down the offers from Europe. I mean for the last 12 years of my life have been structured and dedicated to training to be a professional soccer player.
However, sometimes we are thrown things in life that we simply can’t explain or understand. I still do not understand the loss of my father or why he was taken from me. It is a pain that has not gotten better with time and has left a whole that has yet to be filled. I can only pray that one day it will be. . .
As I mentioned above, I have spent my last month finishing up the season with the Red Stars. I wish I could have started the year with them but with playing for PSG I had to wait til the transfer window opened at the end of June.
I have to say I was pretty nervous to come in and join the team. They had already established themselves as the number one team in the league and had put in the hard work to prove it. The last thing I needed was to disrupt that. . . luckily for me the girls were very welcoming and an absolute joy to be around.
Arnim, our owner, did an amazing job of establishing an environment with a “family first” motto. He set the precedent for what a team should stand for and resemble. He has stuck by Chicago since the beginning and I feel honored to be a part of this organization, always will be. I can only hope that it will continue to grow and that next year we will be a more stable/professional league.
Speaking about Chicago brings me to my next point: this past weekend.
July 27th/28th was important to me for two reasons
1) My father’s final “celebration”
2) the championship game for WPSL.
Let me explain.
When I received the news of my father’s death I was only a couple weeks into my contract in France and able to come home for 5 days. Because it was such a short amount of time, my family decided to hold off on his life “celebration” until I could be a part of it.
At that point in time we did not know if I would be finishing my season in the WPS or heading back over seas. This meant that we had to play it safe with the date. The last weekend of July was the best bet. . . You can only imagine my surprise when I found out that the WPSL final was scheduled for the same weekend.
So after winning on Wednesday in the semi’s it was time to make a hard decision. Do I stay in Rochester and miss my father’s celebration or leave and miss the championship game?
After weighing all the options my family, Arnim, and my coach came up with the best solution possible; I would fly home Thursday morning to spend some time with my family and then fly back Saturday morning for the match.
My schedule was as followed:
Wednesdsay: 8 pm et final vs Boston
Thursday: 9:45 am et flight Rochester to Chicago, land n drive two hours to Chambana
Friday: spend the day with my family n friends and drove back up to Chicago around 10:30 pm
Saturday: home at 1 am, up at 5 am, flight at 7 central, play at 1 et.
It might sound crazy to yal but it was a win win for me. I could be home with my family and then also try and help Chicago win a championship. I know my father would have wanted the same thing. I was playing that game for him. I knew I could mentally push through the game on the emotional ride of the last year alone. I was ready to bring Chicago a championship. . .
. . . 30 minutes in I was making a run towards goal and I heard a “pop.” I immediately hit the ground and started to scream. Never in my career have I experienced something like that before. It literally felt as if something had snapped.
The tears immediately followed, not from the pain that was resonating in my hamstring, but from the feeling of letting my family and team down.
I know you can never expect or plan for an injury but I know that they wanted to win that game for me as much as I did for them. Yet, there I was, sidelined and unable to really bend my leg.
I do have to say though, as much as it hurt to watch, I was so proud to be a part of that group. They battled until the very end. We lost in PK’S and I would not have wanted to go through that experience with anyone else.
And for my hamstring. I have suffered between a 2nd and 3rd degree tear meaning I am out for the next 6-8 weeks. I guess the break was meant to happen. ha
I am going to finish this blog with a quote that one of my good friends sent me:
“Success is determined not by what lies behind us but by what lies within us.”
If there is one thing that I have learned in the last year it is that sometimes you have to just “Let it Be.” From MagicJack, to my father, to the way Chicago ended. . . Life comes at us quick. The ups and downs can easily try to define us but the truth of the matter is that how you handle those moments are how you see who you truly are.
I pray everyday to be the person that God intended me to be n that even though my mistakes have been great I can only hope that I am forgiven for the things I have done and loved for the change I wish to see and be.
A tribute to my father: