Word Count: 504 The world I am from is one of looking beyond the past and searching ahead. In the seventh grade, my seventh year of playing soccer, I had become adapted to the tougher, late-game situations, and being the second best goalie in the league (including the eighth graders), I had pride in my ability to perform under pressure. But, in the last few minutes of a tied game with a penalty kick against me coming my way, I was terrified. The shot had fired, and sure enough, blocked like I was trained to do.

I immediately jumped on top of the ball, and the player, hoping to kick the ball out of my grasp, broke my right foot and became the Achilles’ heel to end my career. To live each day watching my younger siblings have the privilege of playing the amazing game while I am unable to punt a ball without feeling the burning sensation in my ankle from that horrible day was unbearable. There is still no possibility of ever being able to play again, and yet, as the years went by, the fear of never getting over my loss gradually lifted off of my shoulders and I found loopholes within my restriction.The issue at hand was never being able to enjoy the game of soccer again because I was unable to kick and handle a ball with my right foot, and more specifically, the inside of the foot which is arguably the most important body part for soccer. As there is no way around not using my right foot at all, I had to find other ways than actually playing the game. One day at Horsecreek Soccer Fields I was watching my little sister’s practice, and it was on that hot, summer day that I finally found what I was longing for for so long: an opportunity.

Right as the routine scrimmage to signify the ending of a practice was to commence, Coach Holly asked if I would be able to help coach the practice alongside her. Not only did I coach that practice, but I have now been coaching my little sister’s indoor and outdoor soccer teams for two years now, and it has been an amazing couple of years. Another opportunity that came up shortly after that practice was when Mrs. Yatabe came to me and asked if I would be interested in refereeing soccer while I wasn’t coaching.

To this day I am still refereeing about three to five games every weekend, and I am enjoying every minute of it. That last moment on the soccer field that destroyed my career was a life-changing experience, but there is a silver lining in every cloud. Now, as the proud coach of the U12 Thunderbirds team and an elated Grade 8 soccer referee, I am happier than I had ever been before. This experience has taught me to look beyond what was in front of me and to always look to the future instead of staying stuck in your past.