I went for a long walk after dinner.
The kind that works up a good sweat, and let’s me brush up against the young, driven thing I was in the summer of ’99: a recent Conant High School grad, on my way to Sacred Heart University in the fall.
My freshman year was also the first year that SHU competed at a Division I level. I hadn’t been recruited to play field hockey, but when I wrote the coach asking if walk-ons were permitted to try-out, she sent me the summer training manual.
I followed it as best I could. I didn’t have access to an actual training facility, so, I improvised. I made my own water weights and sprinted laps in my parents’ expansive backyard while my then 8 year-old sister, Maria kept pace on her bike.
It must’ve worked, because (miraculously), I made the team.
Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of second guessing. Contemplating why I can’t seem to pick a direction, build a strategy, and just stay with it…
Then I went on tonight’s walk, and caught up with that wide-eyed kid, and it occurred to me: I’m a walk-on.
I’m not the kid who knew at eight, or 10, or even 16 or 17, that she wanted to play collegiate athletics at the highest level. All I knew, when I saw that door open, was that I wanted to walk through it. So, I did.
There are some of us, I believe, who know very early and very definitely what they want to do, where they are intended to go, and who they have always been.
I’m just not one of them.
I’m a walker and a wanderer, who just needs to gently remind herself, to keep a look out for open doors.