It Is Impossible To Get Better & Look Good At The Same Time

February 21, 2021

So often because we’re afraid of “how we’re going to look” and “what people will say”, we just don’t even try. And we’ll surely look back and always say “what if”. Well what if we just accepted that we’re going to look clunky and even silly sometimes trying to get better at something and call it out as we’re clunking it up, and laugh at ourselves and not take ourselves SO DARN seriously (because well, we’re all going to die so does it really matter THAT much anyway?), then maybe we’ll give ourselves that chance of doing the thing we’ve always wanted to do?

When I was 22, I was working in investment banking, hating my job, and 9/11 happened. It was my wake-up call and I wrote down what I wanted to do with my life if I died tomorrow. Playing professional soccer was one of them. I found out that the NY Magic was holding tryouts and I said screw it, I was going to try even if I made a fool out of myself. So, I snuck out of my job twice a week, got to Brooklyn for the tryouts, (while stretching in the car and getting out of my banker suit and putting my soccer kit on) and would go and try out against over a hundred Division 1 soccer players.

I felt like an imposter both as a “banker” and also as a “wannabe pro soccer player” but I went for it anyway, and did the thing, even if I thought I would look stupid. And I was clunky and felt like I sucked in the beginning but I kept finding a new way to get my head in the game faster with each tryout so after two and a half months of trying out where they cut people at each practice and somehow I kept seeing my name on the list, the final day came and the Italian soccer coach announced the starting lineup…and there it was, my name uttered on his lips with his Italian accent…I couldn’t help but burst into tears. All of the sleepless nights and clunky-figuring-it-out-ness paid off.

(But then I tore my ACL in the first game of the season, so that’s another story/lesson)…