This I Believe

Rachel - Morrilton, Arkansas
Entered on February 7, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

It was a typical soccer practice. The usual 2 laps around the soccer field for a warm up, the circle stretching, a few footwork drills, and then practice began. “Get into formation ladies, hurry!” the coach over enthusiastically yelled. We did as we were told, me running to my usual position, the outside mid field. After all 11 of us were placed properly, instructions were given. “During this drill, the goalie will punt the ball to someone on the field, and if it comes near you, call it, and get it to the ground on the first touch. Ready, Go.” The whistle blew and the punting began. The first few balls went directly in the middle of the field or towards the other side. With every ball that didn’t quickly fly in my direction, I felt an inkling of relief. As the next ball was punted, I saw the goalie make eye contact with me. It was coming. I saw the ball being kicked to my side of the field so I yelled “Mine! Got it!” over and over to let my teammates know this ball was mine and I was going to get it under control, but with each step towards the quickly moving ball, I could feel myself shaking. Carefully timing the ball to where I could simply head it to a teammate, the ball met not my head, but my face. Slightly embarrassed, I brought it to the ground and quickly passed it back to the goalie. “Facing” a ball in soccer is not a common move, but when it occurs, it can be humiliating, but humorous to those who watch it happen. My teammates laughed, the coach cracked a smile, and the drill continued.

As balls were repeatedly passed to my teammates, I, secluded in my outside section of the field, began to let my mind drift, as it usually does. Then, ironically, like the ball that recently hit my face, a truth smacked me just as hard. I made a connection. That ball that had hit me in the face is similar to obstacles that occur in life. I believe in facing problems head on, or in my case, face first. Obstacles are put in my life to teach me lessons; however, I don’t always learn the intended lesson. It often takes a few “face balls” to get the proposed point across. This being said, I believe firmly in learning. I believe in everything, there is something to be learned, something to be discovered, and something to be unraveled and revealed. Some obstacles are tougher than others, but somewhere down the road of my life, there will be a use for every lesson I’ve slowly accumulated throughout my sixteen years of living. Deep in thought, a whistle broke my stream of reflective thinking as I ran to join the rest of the team in the next drill. I was satisfied with the small things a simple soccer ball taught me that warm February evening.