As I described in my earlier blog, I can pinpoint exactly where and when my love for soccer and my dream of becoming a pro player started. 7:15 p.m., Thursday, the 14th of November 2013, on seat 54 of row 1 at the little stadium called ‘Tyresövallen’ just outside of Stockholm. Last weekend I was in the Swedish capital, and decided to make the long bus journey from station Gullmarsplan to Tyresö centrum once more.
‘Are you kidding me?’
As you walk onto the Tyresö grounds it’s hard to imagine that the world’s biggest female soccer stars once called this their home. There are only two pitches, surrounded by one big and one large set of stands, and the dressing rooms look like they date back to World War II. ‘Are you kidding me?’ my dad asked, laughing. ‘Is this the ‘holy soccer temple’ you told us about all these years?’. I nodded, because for a moment, I was at a loss for words. Returning to the place where you fell in love with soccer is a surreal experience.
Okay, all New Age-crap aside, walking around Tyresövallen did get me thinking. I often came home sulking from a practice or a game, when things didn’t go the way I wanted them to or I’d caused a penalty for the umpteenth time. But coming face to face with the exact place where I decided two years and three months ago that trying to become a professional soccer player might be a fun thing to do, I suddenly realised how crazy this adventure had already been.
Everything I have been able to experience, the places I have seen, the amazing people I have met. Sure, making it to the national team remains the Ultimate Goal, and everything less than that will be a huge dissapointment, but it definitely won’t be a complete faillure.
Life lessons from Sweden
After a great weekend in my favourite European country me and my dad landed safely back on Dutch soil late on Sunday night. Slouched in the passenger’s seat, more asleep than awake, I couldn’t stop thinking about our visit to Tyresö earlier that day. ‘Being there makes me realise how bad I want it, and that makes me really nervous,’ I said. My dad’s sigh was almost inaudible. This was not the first time he had to retrieve me from panic mode.
‘Of course you want to reach your goals Emma, I understand it completely. But the road towards them has to be fun as well.’ And right he is. Every little step is important. And when you have fun in taking every single one of them, working hard won’t feel like working anymore, and your successes will follow. Maybe that’s the most important lesson I learned from revisiting the place where I met the love of my life.
Thanks for reading, talk soon! 🙂