Like many Americans, I have been overcome in the last few weeks by the Women’s World Cup. Following the story of these incredible women as they re-captured soccer’s top prize for the US was an inspiration. Last weekend, there was an incredible documentary on ESPN called Abby Head On. It weaved the story of Abby Wambach from her childhood in Rochester, NY to national stardom. The stories told tell a tale of success, goals (pun intended), frustration, mentoring, hard work, family, and love. All the elements of a hero’s journey if there ever was one.
While Abby didn’t play the World Cup of her life, she LED the World Cup of her life. Her pre-cup reflection was a stunning portrayal of maturity, humility, and sacrifice. If you didn’t see it, pause for a moment and watch:
These events in our national sports life come at simply the perfect time. As I embark on my new adventure in school leadership, I am reflecting frequently on the journey that has brought me to this place in time. From the Vice-Principal’s office at Longfellow Elementary to Mrs. Sobel (Goodloe)’s US History class to Doc’s stage to a consolidated school in Iowa to the opera houses of North America, to the classrooms of Johns Hopkins and Harvard, and back into my own–each of these moments has helped weave my own journey as an educator. Each of these moments, some big and some small, have left indelible marks to make me who I am today.
The Oxford Dictionary has one definition of journey as: A long and often difficult process of personal change and development. This next portion of my journey is simultaneously the end of a long process of change and development as well as a new beginning. A dream fulfilled with fresh dreams ready to take flight. I hope and pray that I might find the same maturity, humility, dedication, preparation, and leadership that I have witnessed these last weeks in some of our nation’s top athletes.
While I don’t have a documentary or a World Cup trophy to my name, I do have an amazing journey. And it has just begun again.*
*this is the first in a series…stay tuned*