The Woman's World Cup journey over the past months has brought up quite a few memories and feelings for me. Not only that, but also a revolation....Soccer saved me.
I was dischcharged from the treatment center for anorexia because I had "made and sustained my weight".
I returned home and immediately begged my parents to try out for the freshman field hockey team. I had never played before, but all I cared about was the structure, the exercise, and that it would keep me away from home for a couple hours everyday after school. As long as I maintained my weight, said my dad,,,I could play. Continuing to be ruled by the number on the scale...
It was a long season, my weight slowly dipped, everyone was better than me, faster, stronger, thinner. Again, I didn't fit. The focus came back to the scale once again...
One day, at home after school looking for something to do, I found my brothers soccer ball. I began to play., all by myself.....juggling, dribbling, shooting. I loved it. My brain and body became obsessed, absorbed, addicted. I was no longer focusing on the number on the scale, the number of calories I ate, the sit-ups I had done. I set my sights on Varsity Soccer in the fall. I had a goal.
The hammer was laid down yet again by my dad, if I could maintain my weight, I could try out.
My teammates from those early years became my family. I finally belonged, fit in...you all know who you are...Moe, Paula, Michelle, Mary Tara, Sue, Lisa, Kathy, Eileen, Colleen...amazing memories.
Soccer, strength and speed won the battle over the scale, and as I watched the woman's team play the fond memories of those years came flooding back.
I am grateful for the sport and the teammates who saved me from myself.