About five years ago, one of my hockey coaches said I was like a piece of coal. Who would have thought that would become my favourite compliment. “Do you know what happens to coal under pressure?” He asked me in our mid-season meeting. “It turns into a rock?” I replied. He laughed, shook his head, and responded,” It turns into a diamond”.

Four years ago, I decided to tryout for my college varsity soccer team. I made it, but I was no diamond. I ran like a yeti and often tripped on my own feet during the agility ladder drills. With the help of my very patient coaches, I began to see improvements. I was a starter for most of the games.

Now I start every game and breeze right through. Just kidding. Not even a week ago, I was sitting with my coach in tears, swirling in my own frustration. I felt so defeated, my touches were off, my kicks weren’t accurate, I wasn’t winning battles, and I still ran like a yeti. Three days later, I have the best game of my college career.

I have cried four times after soccer and there has only been one game of the season. I  promised myself years ago, I would never give up on something. Once you know quitting isn’t an option. The next steps become pretty clear, take a deep breath, be positive, work harder. Eat healthier, drink more water, do you’re research, bounce back, and embrace being a piece of coal.

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