I was eleven in 1999. Like all other soccer-playing girls in 1999, I was quite convinced that my future held the University of North Carolina (where Mia Hamm attended college, duh), coaching sessions with the legendary Anson Dorrance, and a long and triumphant career on the women’s national team. There were daydreams about running ladder drills (note: I never managed to bring these fitness-oriented dreams to fruition) and imaginary shots blocked.
When I was twelve, I realized I would not be playing college soccer at UNC or joining the amazing ladies of Team USA. I met another girl, a goalie as well, who was a whole hell of a lot better than me. Not that there hadn’t been players better then me on opposing teams (there were, lots of them), it had just never crossed my mind that they had precisely the same plans I did and were perhaps better suited for them.
I was momentarily crushed as we kicked the ball around my backyard and she described a level of ambition and meticulous scheduling that was totally beyond my capacity for projection. Then I got over it, and decided I could realize any of my many, many other dreams, while she had only the one (or so it seemed).
I kept playing for a few years, traveled a lot, learned a lot, and then high school presented itself with school newspapers and study abroad programs and basketry clubs (NO JOKE). Soccer was over, and that was okay by me.
I didn’t miss it at all, until Sunday afternoon when I reprised my 1999 role of viewer-on-the-couch to watch an epic, heroic, amazing, and fucking beautiful game.
P.S. Can you name the commercial the title of this post was taken from?
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