Julie Foudy's sports love feeds her soul
I know there are currently a lot of negative stories floating around college football, college basketball and sports in general. I know there are less than ideal role models at every sporting level. I know cheating and bad behavior have become daily topics on sports talk shows. I know, I know, I know ...
But when you just look at what has transpired with the men's NCAA basketball tournament and the women's Final Four this weekend, I am reminded (thank you VCU/Butler and Texas A&M/Notre Dame) of why I love sports. So, in honor of all the feel-good stories coming from the underdogs this past weekend and to give us a welcomed respite from the negativity that too often surrounds sports these days, I decided a healthy exercise would be to make a list of "Why I love sports." (I highly recommend it, by the way. Kinda like eating a huge, gooey donut -- it is good for the soul.) So, here it is ...
Why I love sports (in no particular order)
• When outsiders say you can't, the team says we can.
• Laughter is permitted.
• You understand that the sky is not the limit, thanks.
• We celebrate others (and life could use more of that).
• Good pain is hard to find.
• People who take shortcuts eventually finish last.
• If you believe, you can achieve.
• We discover what truly matters in the soul of a teammate.
• Sweat and tears aren't just words on a shirt.
• We can care more than others think is wise ... and cheer as loud as we dang want (important to the Loudy Foudy family).
• We beg to run through brick walls.
• We learn how to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations.
• Those moments when the world stops -- or your world stops -- to cheer, celebrate and unite for a common goal.
• Mediocrity has no place to hide.
• The smell of fresh cut grass on the field ... the smell of a gym ... the smell of my volleyball knee pads when left in my bag overnight (ohhhhhhh, not right).
• The lovely sock tan from summer training sessions.
• The euphoria after running fitness longer than you ever thought you could run (and not passing out).
• Character is molded.
• You understand that pressure is a privilege.
• Confidence follows.
• Or you learn to fake it 'til you make it.
• Hard work becomes a habit.
• Risk is indeed rewarded.
• That feeling of BRING IT ON, when you know you are fit and ready.
• The chance to kick someone and then hug them, all in the span of 10 minutes.
• You teach the butterflies to fly in formation.
• Discipline matters.
• It allows me to eat donuts.
• When you fall, a teammate will lift you up.
• Running around makes me smile (except after losing to those pesky Norwegians in the 2000 Olympics).
• I am happier when I am healthier.
• We learn that TOGETHER we are always stronger.
• Loss means growth (but it still stinks).
• It gave us one of the all-time best movie lines: "If it were easy, everyone would do it. It is the hard that makes it great."
• Adversity is welcomed.
• Teammates are friends for life (at least mine are stuck with me).
• Complacency is forbidden.
• A No. 1 next to your team name only matters when you are the last one standing on the podium.
• Dreams aren't crazy, just courageous.
• The older I get, the better I was.
That is why I love sports. You?