most universal language I know is soccer.
I step into a pickup soccer game anywhere around the world, I enter into a
brief, informal social contract. At
first, male players eye me warily as I walk onto the field asking if I can play,
then gradually the game unfolds.
friendships form as players learn each other's styles. Trust emerges as the
team settles into a rhythm. My teammates, many of whom have never before played
fútbol with a woman, realize they can pass me the ball and I won't let the team
is when I'm in my element. Nothing gives
me so much satisfaction as the moment I gain the trust of a group of guys who
just five minutes ago rolled their eyes when I walked up to the field.
take this universal spirit of soccer with me when I live and work abroad in
cultures, countries, and industries where I may not be what people expect. I
will let my enthusiasm and results prove that I deserve a place in the game. I've
learned that a willingness to work hard and have fun can win over teams in even
the most difficult of situations.
if I can't always speak in "soccer," I will carry its lessons with me everywhere.