Ella Masar - Chicago Red Stars One game, one moment, one second in time can change everything. For a year and half, for 18 months of my professional career I was  “failing” at my job. Harsh – maybe…… honest – yes.

As a forward my duty is to score goals. It sounds so simple to put the ball in the back of the net! Yet, no matter how hard I tried, no matter how much extra work I did, film I watched, or book I read to “fix/help me” I couldn’t get the job done……… UNTIL ……..four games ago.

It’s funny because people keep asking me what happened or what has altered in the last couple of weeks. Let me be the first to tell you, I wish I knew! Don’t you think I would of started doing it a long time ago, ha. The only thing I can tell you is that is been a long, long road and at some point you just have to chose to believe or walk away.

Folks, I have done it all! I have read the Mind Gyms, Confidence Builders, and used Visualation techniques. I’ve practiced, preached, and attempted them all! I would even say I thought they worked until I of course hit a rough patch and found myself right back at square one.

With that being said, I will be open and say that the first half of this season was one of the toughest times of my soccer career. The feeling of defeat, dispair, and doubt were the feelings I could not seem to shake. No matter how hard I tried the tears just continued to come and the hopelessness felt overwhelming.

Undoubtedly, that brought me to my breaking point and to the realization that at the end of the day all I could do/control was pray. Everyone has their own revelation, their own story of finally understand who and what they want to be in their lives.  Whether that is positive self talk, a religion, a belief, or even find that support in a love one. Everyone usually has to hit their darkest time before they can truly see the light.

I know this can seem dramatic but when your career/personal life are hitting rough patches. You find yourself graduating college and being thrown into this crazy world of adulthood. When all you really want to do is go back to the days of no bills, no worries, no cares (ie highschool/college)- things can get rough

However –  one game, one moment, one second in time CAN change everything…

So, I chose to believe and trust.  I was so exhausted of doubting in my career, 2nd guessing myself, and most of all hearing all the excuses I came up in my head.  For so long soccer has been everything in my life, who would have thought letting it go would bring me to this?!?

When I say letting go, I mean I stopped focusing on being in the starting 11, I released my aspirations of wearing the US jersey again, and released all my doubt. I stopped trying to change the things I could NOT control. I went back to the basics, started believing in the fact that the good man above has a plan for me and he has me right where he wants me.

Instead of looking past today, I started taking each day for what it was. When any negative thoughts came in my head (what’s the point, you’re not good enough, what are you doing here) I did that extra sprint, I worked that much harder on getting the ball back, I stayed locked into the task at hand.

I am not saying I didn’t make mistakes, that I have handled every situation with the best foot forward.  I just know that today I stand thankful for the hard times that have come and that I will continue to face.  It hasn’t been easy, it did not change over night, and most importantly me scoring does not affect how I feel.

I have always loved this beautiful game of soccer. I have watched countries come together to play this world uniting sport. I mean look at The World Cup! It brought jobs, hope, peace to a turmoil country (even if it’s just for now). It brought South and North Korea hearing each other’s national anthem, seeing each other’s flags even though they had to travel to a different country to play each other.

Soccer is the game of the world. It brings so much joy to my life and so many others. The feeling of being able to influence someone’s life because of this amazing game,  I will never take for granted. God has blessed me with being able to make some small difference in this oh so crazy world and I do not plan on stopping until he kindly lets me know 

I just hope that women’s soccer continues to grow and empower. That people hear our stories, see our struggle and respect our hard work. That at the end of the day, man or woman, rich or poor, YOU understand that you always have a choice! People will always be telling you you’re not good enough, you’re not the right “fit, but my challenge to you, my question is: do YOU believe in ONE!?!?

ONE game, ONE moment, ONE second in time CAN change everything…

One thought on “One

  1. Ella, I have never commented on a blog before, and I was going to text you personally, but I want everyone to know how much reading that just meant to me. I have endless respect for your work ethic, heart, and passion for what you do…and what you wrote captures that. Personally, reading this couldn’t have come at a better time. I copied the entire entry and put it in my journal. Thank you for reminding me, and everyone else, what is truly important in the constant pursuit of excellence.

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