An Ironic Smile

As I packed my bags for our East Coast trip to New York, I realized I had way more stuff than when I arrived two months ago. A few trips to the Nike and adidas employee stores will do that to you I guess. Having somehow zipped the last zipper of my borrowed Portland Pilots duffle bag (traumatic), I sat by my luggage wondering who was going to carry all that stuff to the car. Unfortunately for me, my brother wasn't around and I had to do it alone.

Once I was back in the house doing my last check for anything I might have forgotten, I realized I didn't have any of my material items in sight. Even my phone was in the car. All I had for that brief moment was all I was.

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The night before our last regular season home game I watched The Dark Knight because it happened to be on TV. Similar to when Pink Floyd is on the radio, I can never turn Batman off the TV if it's on. There aren't many movies that can take me away from my cell phone, or my selfie phone as I like to refer to it now, but Batman hits me where it matters - right in the feels.

When I was little, I had a streak of about five years where I was Batman for Halloween. Not Cat Woman. Not Poison Ivy (as if anyone would be her anyway) and certainly not Vicki Vale. (I don't even count Batgirl, sorry). I was Batman. I was a superhero. And that image as a six-year-old has rarely escaped my mind.

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The Pursuit of Great

I randomly picked out the book Examined Lives by James Miller - because like most athletes, I think I'm on the path to becoming the next Socrates. (The irony of that statement is that Socrates was also one of the Brazilian soccer players I grew up idolizing - video clips here). Regardless of all the amazing coincidences that naturally occur during my writing, Miller talks about some of the greatest philosophers of all time and ends the chapter about Socrates with this bit of verbal gold:

"I know of no better aim of life than that of perishing, animae magnae prodigus, in pursuit of the great and the impossible." - Friedrich Nietzsche

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Taking the Next Step

This is my first post since joining the Portland Thorns of the NWSL. If you weren't aware that I changed teams, now you know. I made the daring move from my "comfortable" life overseas back to the country I was born in. I imagine people have been dying for a post about the Thorns. I feel like they want to read about how Christine Sinclair never misses a shot in training or how Alex Morgan has a professional hairstylist straighten her pony tail every day for training.  Or maybe how Rachel Buehler randomly tackles complete strangers while walking down the street. Haha - what? None of those things are true.

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For Alitd (Forever)

I read today on Twitter that you should have the last sentence of your novel finished before you have your first sentence. I think that's true whenever I start to write. I know how it will end up, but i's always the most difficult to begin. So, now that you know you're with me through the most difficult part, maybe we have made some sort of connection. The beginning, of anything, is always the toughest. You are in a transition phase. You're learning. You don't quite understand the people around you or the process that is required. It's a lot like starting with a new team. What worked for one coach won't work for another. And you'll have a different assortment of teammates no matter where you go, especially different countries.

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Defining Success

It usually takes a lot of thinking to get to this point. The point where I'm sitting  at my desk listening to some song that has no words by a dude born in the 1700s, looking at a blank post, eagerly awaiting those first few words. It takes even more actually to type though. Sometimes themes are more obvious than others. Sometimes it's just one instance that triggers a thought; sometimes it's a series of different instances with the same idea behind it. And that's what it has been like this time.

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Why nutmegs are metaphors for life

What does it really mean to nutmeg someone in soccer? After doing extensive (typing the word “nutmeg” into Google) research, I found this on Wikipedia:

“The most likely source, however, was postulated by Peter Seddon in his book "Football Talk - The Language And Folklore Of The World's Greatest Game".[3] The word arose because of a sharp practice used in nutmeg exports between America and England. "Nutmegs were such a valuable commodity that unscrupulous exporters were to pull a fast one by mixing a helping of wooden replicas into the sacks being shipped to England," writes Seddon. "Being nutmegged soon came to imply stupidity on the part of the duped victim and cleverness on the part of the trickster." It soon caught on in football, implying that the player whose legs the ball had been played through had been tricked, or, nutmegged.”

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We Are Magic

If you're familiar with 80s music then maybe you know where my title came from. I had my iTunes on shuffle and this Olivia Newton-John song came on. I didn't even know it was on my iTunes at all. This line "you have to believe we are magic" really got me thinking. The idea that we are "magic" is more true than any other I have heard about the human race.

Magic: Dictionary DefinitionNoun: The power of influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces Adjective: Used in magic or working by magic; having or apparently having supernatural powers

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A Finntastic Weekend

As we drove up the winding, snowy hills to our destination, a few things were immediately obvious. 1. We weren’t going shopping in any kind of downtown Helsinki coffee shop infested areas 2. It was borderline creepy how smoothly we were driving on so much snow and 3. Any minute now we would run into a huge candy cane sign that said “North Pole”. But whatever. We didn’t care. We just wanted to get to our beds ASAP. We had left Hjørring at 2pm and arrived to the training center at 2am. Twelve-hour travel days are the best.

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A Conversation With Your Next Week Self

As I was sitting on the plane from Newark to Amsterdam, beginning my journey back to Hjørring for the second part of the season, so many thoughts went through my head. I was having what I like to call unorganized thoughts, or mixed emotions.

For the most part in my life, I know what I feel when I feel it, and usually my emotions have been on par to the situation at hand. If I score a goal or we win a game, I'm happy; if I lose something I'm frustrated with myself; if I don't finish a workout I'm disappointed in myself etc.

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