Professional soccer player Yael Averbuch:
The national anthem is only roughly two minutes long. But before a game, sometimes it can feel like an eternity.
It had been so long since I stood on the field with my hand on my heart, that I almost forgot my little routine. I put my hand on my heart, not only out of tradition and loyalty to the United States, but so I can feel the thump of my heartbeat. My heart is always pounding. This is how I know I’m meant to play this game. I summon the feelings of extreme gratitude. I say “thank you” for having something in my life that can make me feel so alive. I say “thank you” that I am healthy and able to step on the field. I say “thank you” for the opportunity to play the sport I love and express myself in the best way I know how, with the ball at my feet. I say “thank you” for my existence in this moment.
Click here to read the rest of Averbuch's eloquent tribute to the game she loves.