As I was writing my first high school blog, I started thinking about this one story I had to share. It’s also the perfect time of year to share this with our high school athletes. Let me paint the scene for you…It was late August, and I was beginning my freshman year of high school. Since I was playing on the soccer team, I had to start doubles practices. For my non-athletes who may not know about those, they are conditioning practices 2 times a day for 2 weeks- GOOD TIMES! In late August in NJ, it’s about 98-100 degrees and 99% humidity. It’s just enough humidity that it will never rain, no matter how many rain dances you perform, and it feels like you are breathing into a hot, wet wash cloth.
…You may or may not know, I am the third child of 4, and we are all very close in age. My oldest sister, Adrian, played soccer when she was younger, so many of the seniors knew me as her little sister. They actually called me “Lil’ Poach” (Pocsi was my last name, pronounced Poachie in Hungarian) so they didn’t confuse me with Adrian. Like I said, many of the seniors knew me and my family quite well, so they knew what to expect out of my competitive attitude, and I believe they shared that with the varsity coach. So that meant, I had an expectation to live up to….
One of our practices late in the doubles training, we were undertaking some serious conditioning work. At the time, I played goal keeper and enjoyed only sprinting for short periods of time; running wasn’t my game. Coach had us running, no, sprinting the hundred yard field, doing push-ups, sprinting back, doing sit ups, sprinting back, doing squats, etc.…what I would call a Tuesday afternoon nowadays. Back to freshman year, I was tired and I seriously milked the push-ups. Boy was that a mistake! Coach called me out! He said, “Lil’ Poach if you don’t figure out how to do push-ups, I’m going to have the seniors teach you.” It’s amazing how quickly I learned how to do push-ups correctly. See, I enjoy soaking up the attention for being fantastic at something; being highlighted for sucking is unacceptable. Oh, the things I have learned how to do in my life by sucking; it’s impressive really. I guess the moral of this story is to always give life your all or someone is going to call you out. Or maybe even worse, they will allow you to just keep cruising through life rather than making the best of what you’re given.
To finish off this story, I just wanted to share one more side note: Jumping ahead to my senior year of high school, I did discover that my varsity soccer coach was a US Marine during Vietnam and forever. That explained so much. Marines love push-ups…Semper Fidelis.