Although I appear human, I am actually a vicious jungle animal. I am one of the 3.52 billion ruthless, determined females this world has to offer. A member of a group, so elite, that it has perfected the art of passive aggression, all while never, ever letting go of a grudge. It is within this tumultuous, hormonal jungle of bloodshed that I found my passion for exercise, and uncanny ability to lead the unforgiving creatures: my soccer team. I have a knack for establishing harmony amongst hair pulling, pinching, and scratching females. Girls and teams do not always coexist peacefully: each fighting for their position, yet working together on the field. Drama, infighting, and personal grievances are as much apart of the game as corner kicks and breakaways. My team is ranked in the top five of the nation, and yet girls still bicker over stolen boyfriends. This is the group where I am captain; natural selection at its finest.
Women are definitely not an easy pack to lead. I know because I am one. Girls will never agree on anything, whether it be a jersey design, which plays to implement, or coaching preferences. I have learned that to unify, I must also acknowledge. Leading my team means listening to individual opinions, guiding girls through challenges, and remaining neutral; all while maintaining a vision of what is best for the team as a whole. The law of the jungle is that only the strong survive. I am very strong. It is through this determination and grit that I have come to embrace and thrive upon the adrenaline inducing, sweat beading, teeth-gritting joys of exercise. My aching muscles and fiery lungs push me to strive to be my best self in all competitive environments, and I love knowing I am being my healthiest self.
Not only has exercise become an outlet for emotions and stress for me personally, it has become a separate social area of my life, where I am free to bond with fellow sports-minded people and gather new health tips. In soccer or at the gym or running on the trail, it is so peaceful and energizing running past the encouraging, smiling faces of others, who too are testing their limits with every step. Fitness and soccer have become the foundation of not only my physical wellbeing, but my mental peace, determination, and social interactions.
In order to thrive in my jungle, I employ intellect, wit, and subterfuge. Those are the tools of my leadership. Leading requires listening, and my pack demands recognition and respect. I have perfected the ability to make my teammates believe my ideas are their own, and transition these same skills in my role as ASB Girls’ Sports Commissioner. I represent all the female athletes. I am the project manager, head of communications, fitness motivator, and excel in organization and peacekeeping. As a Commissioner and a soccer Captain, I listen, I lead, and remain ruthless. After all, it’s a jungle out there, why not be your strongest self?