Sweat ran from my brow like rain and blood gushed from my open wounds. I was plastered head to toe in muck and bruises. Everything was in the palm of my hands. When I was young I was told a story about a little engine that could. That little engine never gave up and kept climbing up the hill pulling his coach cars until he got to the top. Would I be able to even have half as much heart as the little engine did that day? Distinguished Army general George S. Patton said, "The difference between the impossible and possible lies in a person's determination." Determination and heart is what I desperately needed. To possess these qualities and become a leader on a frigid November night is what I desperately wanted.
It was the coldest of nights in November of 2007 and the Ohio Adult Soccer Association State championship was on the line.
Everyone's body was chapped before the game even began. If you got smacked with the ball this night you would shatter like glass. This didn't stop my family from coming to support me. Everyone I knew was there. My mom, dad, uncles, aunts, grandparents, cousins, brothers, and sisters were all there with loving encouragement. With the stadium lights gleaming and the crowd fired up it was time to play.
Our opponents had the opening kick-off and that was the start of the nightmare. It was not even five minutes into the game and the other team had already scored. It was hard to keep up with them. They were faster, stronger, taller, and dreadfully physical. They were beating us around like we were pinballs. I distinctively remember dribbling the ball down the side line and one of their defenders came charging at me with full speed.