A Thank You to My Role Models

I think that having to pick one singular role model is especially hard for me to do because there are so many influential people in my life that have shaped me into who I am today.

Growing up, I looked up to many famous female athletes, such as Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath, Abby Wambach and basically the whole US Women’s National Soccer team. My dream was to be who they are. They are advocates for young athletes and equal pay, all while being hard workers and successful people. Although I looked up to them, it’s hard to say that they are my role models.

I’ve had coaches that have helped me become a better person on and off a field or track. They pushed me to be a good human and a strong leader. These coaches never gave up on me – ever. From the time I was 12 until I was 18, I had two soccer coaches that saw me differently than anyone else, including myself. They had faith in me when I didn’t. I thank them for shaping me into who I am today.

My high school track coach never gave up on me either. She showed me what it was like to keep trying no matter how many times you fail. She also taught me how to enjoy a sport while taking it seriously at the same time. She encouraged me to be kind, to laugh on days that were hard, and be confident in myself; she was always there for me. Further, these coaches are also role models in my life.

My grandparents are also huge role models in my life. They taught me how to love your family no matter what, how to make good decisions, and are there for me unconditionally. My grandma was always there as a kid to let us sleep over; she would always prepare us breakfast and dinner on these occasions. My grandpa took us to Wawa and on car rides to see horses while making my sister and I laugh at absolutely anything he said. We’d go out in the morning and feed his fish with him.

My nanny was always over after school and would sit and talk for hours about anything and everything. She’d always check in on us and always ended the day with a “love ya.” These people showed me how to love your family no matter the circumstances and no matter how hard things get you’ll have people with you always. That is why they are my role models.

My sister, although she is younger, is a role model in my life. I lack confidence at times, which is something she does not lack. She has taught me how to love myself and is by my side every step of the way. She makes me laugh till I cry and is ultimately a ray of sunshine in my life. I look up to her confidence, humor and her kindness immensely; I’m so grateful that I have her in my life.

But ultimately, my biggest role models in life are my parents. I know it sounds cliche to say, but they truly are my greatest blessings. They are the people I look up to the most and I never say that enough. My mom and dad spent most of my life driving my sister and I around from soccer practices, friends’ houses, school, and many other events.

Each Saturday and Sunday from the time we were 12 was spent on a soccer field, whether it was five minutes away from our house or two hours away. They were always there. Even when it came to college, they were always at my games my freshman year. Weekdays were spent at track meets, basketball games or school soccer games straight to club soccer practices. Summers were spent (and still are) with at least one family vacation to somewhere we all enjoy going. Years were spent going on trips to Disney World, which is special to all of us.

My parents did all of this while having to take care of themselves, working full time jobs, paying bills, and making sure that their two kids were happy. My parents have taught me all my life lessons: how to be kind, how to stand up for myself, what it’s like to go through good and bad times together, what it’s like to be confident, and that it’s okay to not be okay sometimes.

I don’t think that I’d be who I am today without them. I aspire to provide my future family and children with the same care my parents did for me. They are my biggest role models in life, and I love them endlessly.