Opinion by Nutritional Health Coach, Courtney Weaving Combs
There is an infinite amount of literature available that will tell us how to be the best version of ourselves, lose the most weight or how to make the most money in the shortest amount of time. There are award winning movies that can alter the way we think. Our friends and family are there to offer the support we need to achieve our dreams. There are an infinite amount of ways we can seek out motivation to find success.
Then there is sport. It offers a unique way of making a statement. Perhaps it is the combination of physical and mental strength. Maybe it is the emotional roller coaster we get to experience with other fans providing us with a sense of community and belonging. It also could be the ingenious way it makes us look inside ourselves to discover how we can fight the fights that are particularly important to us as individuals and as contributing members of society. But, when the final whistle was blown on Sunday, June 7th in Lyon, France, I couldn’t help but realize the U.S. Women’s Soccer team provided more than a unique statement to men, women and children around the world. They changed people’s blood chemistry by proving, promising and ultimately delivering a World Championship title. They physically got the world behind them on causes that are important to them by biologically altering peoples hormonal composition to change the way fans from the U.S. and opposing countries hearts quite literally beat.
But, before the World Championship title, came 23 unique stories that unfolded this team’s unapologetic journey through France. As a Nutritional Health Coach, I believe this organization has offered prominent teachings of how bigger and better things are in our future when we prioritize our own personal wellness. Here’s how.
They’ve taught us how to trust the process.
Did you know Crystal Dunn, the power-house, turn-over-creating queen didn’t make the 2015 World Cup roster? Did you know Megan Rapino tore her ACL three times? Did you know Lindsey Horan moved to France at the age of 18 to join a team that barely spoke any English? Christian Press cried during or after every college soccer game because she thought she didn’t play her best. They all had a dream to win a world championship and be a part of something bigger than themselves, but their most disheartening moments are examples of how trusting the process and truth within ourselves can lead to most rewarding times of our life.
They’ve taught us how to be our authentic self.
Megan Rapino & Alex Morgan particularly gained a lot of press for being too confident, but every single player on the team delivered the Cup to America by defining their own success and their own strengths that ultimately contributed the greatest women’s soccer team to date. I believe they have done an incredible job reminding us that we are not doing ourselves nor anyone else a favor if we do not carve out space for what is important to our unique personal journey before we worry about others.
They’ve taught us the importance of surrounding ourselves with communities that lift us up.
The 2019 USWNT utilized their support system to make one another better knowing that coming from a place of abundance can move mountains of change and improve one another. This team's performance and character made us fall in love with each and every single player, and recognize that focusing on our individual strengths can make everyone around us better. If there was one poor performing, bad attitude on this squad, they would have never defeated France, Spain or England before they made it to the final game.
They’ve reminded us the importance of celebrating small wins.
Many of my clients swing for the fences, and are disappointed when they’re not meeting their major goals. The Passion Paradox by Brad Stulberg & Steve Magness shares the proven importance of focusing on small wins to reach major milestones. This tournament was a great example of how every single goal mattered, and celebrating every small win was necessary to bring home the Cup regardless of how unconventional those celebrations may have been.
They’ve showed us how to pay attention to what matters.
I am constantly suggesting to my friends, family and clients that what you pay attention to grows. Every member of the U.S. National Team had games that out-shined others, but they continued to show up to every game focusing on what was ahead. According to Megan Rapino’s interview with Rob Stone on Fox Soccer in France, they close-up each match in the locker room after each individual game. They are unbelievable examples of using every experience as momentum for the next, and not resting on our laurels.
It’s rare to witness such a dominant team make such a profound statement. The USWNT proved that there is no substitute for perseverance, authenticity, community, triumph and focus. What if we all followed suit? What could you accomplish if you prioritized yourself, and focused on the beat of your own heart. Imagine how that could shift others blood chemistry and engagement of what is really important.