There are so many pluses to living in back in Buckhannon. I now sound like one of those people that say, "When I was your age I had 3 jobs, went to school full time, walked up hill to school both ways in the snow with no shoes." Except I say, "When I was in DC....".
I went to the grocery store with my mom last week to get food for the three of us for a week. First of all, the cashier looked at us, in the eye, smiled, and talked to us. She was happy and nice. I approached with caution.
As our cart full of groceries were rung up, I winced thinking of the total and hoping that another mouth to feed wasn't too much of a burden. And then the total....$137. I almost kissed the cashier!!! I couldn't believe it. I would spend $100 on myself filling two bags that I could carry myself, and that would only last for a week. I wish I would have moonwalked out of the Kroger, but I didn't have my fuzzy socks on (it's a scientific fact that you have to wear fuzzy socks on hardwood floors in order to properly perform the moonwalk short of being the King of Pop himself. It's been laboratory tested.)
Another awesome thing about living here is that I can go to the gym at WVWC and it only costs $10 a month. That's right....$10. It's just the kind of gym I like. Dirty and loud.
As I was running on the treadmill today, I had a flashback to the last time I remember being in that gym. When I was a little girl my dad taught karate, gymnastics, and women's self defense at WVWC, so my brother and I were over there with him all the time. We would run around in the green room downstairs, we would watch him teach classes in the mirrored room (we had very logical names for these locations), or we would watch him work out in the gym. As I got older, he would let me work out with him.
When I was in seventh grade I joined cheerleading. I wasn't very good at doing gymnastics without a spot, but after my freshman year of high school I decided to try something even more difficult. I quit the cheerleading squad and decided I was going to try out for soccer. Why not!?
I had a few months to prepare myself for tryouts. In order to get on the soccer team you had to run 1.5 miles around the field in 15 minutes wearing soccer cleats. I had never run in my life so I had to get to work. So I go to my dad and ask him to train me. He gives me a workout to do in the gym at the college and then I would go outside and run around the track as he timed me. One of the first things that had to change about my lifestyle was that I had to actually eat food so that I would have energy. Back in my cheerleading days all I would eat for an entire day was donut sticks from the vending machine at lunch and then a salad from Wendy's for dinner. That's it. So with my new intense training schedule I had to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I remember hating it, but doing it anyway.
By the time that tryouts came around, I was ready freddy. I got on the team.
But that was just the beginning.
What I didn't consider before was the fact that basically all of the girls on the team had been playing soccer and developing their skills since they were kids. I played soccer as a kid for one season and then dropped out. If I remember correctly, I quit because of massive amounts of embarrassment brought on when my dad interuppted one of my games to make me tuck my shirt in. (I was the only girl on the team and I wanted to fit in with all the boys that had their shirts untucked, but my dad didn't think that was lady-like...I don't really get it, but whatevs). Anywho, I quickly realized that if I was going to be taken seriously I needed to actually learn how to play soccer...novel concept, I know.
I was horrible with touch on the ball. I just didn't have the graceful foot work it took to be a good player. The one thing I was good at, was sitting on the bench and cheering for the team. :) Those cheerleading skills did come in handy. But, as a rule, every player got to play at least 30 seconds of every game no matter what. It was always a little disheartening when it was a close game, but there would be only a few minutes left on the clock and Coach Bush would realize he hadn't put me in yet. He would look at me like, "Please, don't mess this up!" and then would yell, "McNemar!!!! Get in there!" I remember one game we were playing against Lewis County (the worse team in the district). I actually got to play an entire half. The highlight of that game was that I got an assist. It was a complete accident, but it still counts. I was running down the field at full speed and Shayna Williams was running parallel to me. Someone downfield passed me the ball and it accidently bounced off my leg and over to Shayna for the goal. I was so excited!!! Until later in the game when I got clotheslined by a girl that gave herself the nickname Butch. I was running full steam again down the field. Other than my cheering skills I was also pretty good at running through people without stopping. I was short and fast. Butch had the ball so my plan was to run right through her and take it from her, but she must have known because as I ran at her she held out her arm and bent down low just in time to have me flying through the air.
The other girls knew I was trying my best even though I sucked. They didn't treat me like a cheerleader, which was awesome. They helped me any way they could. Unfortunately after losing my third toenail, and suffering from a mean case of shin splits, my doc told me I couldn't play anymore. Honestly, I was relieved. I knew from the beginning that I was sucky, but I didn't want to give up. At the beginning of every game when we did the warm-up routine as a team with the stands full of parents and friends, I got so pumped up that if I would have had wings I would have flown.
As I was running today, I thought about why I ever thought I could try out for one of the states best high school girls soccer teams with zero experience and/or talent. But, I didn't like people telling me that things are impossible or that I couldn't do things. This wouldn't always prove to be a good motivation in my life, but in this instance it was. I may not have become the star player, but I tried. I may not have scored a goal or gotten to play a full game, but I tried. I gave it my best. That's life. If you feel something stirring in you, but you're afraid that you don't have what it takes, so what!? You gotta try, or you'll never know what you could have done.
Whatever I end up doing, and wherever I end up going, I'm going to do my best and try. If I fail, it's only because God has something better for me. I truly believe with all my heart that you can't fail at something God has anointed you to do. It might end up looking different than you thought, and instead of fireworks, maybe you get a small flame, but that's okay. Sometimes Jesus had a multitude following Him, and sometimes He was alone....but the whole time He was doing the will of the Father. Even though there were many people that did not accept Him, and still don't, He did not fail. He was denied by and let down by the people closest to Him, but He did not fail. He willingly gave His life, so that we could all live....and He did not fail.
Being here has reminded me of just how far I've come. I am really proud of the woman I am today. I'm going to mess up and fail, but my God will not. AMEN!