#dreamchasing

part one: day one 

If you follow me on social media, you've probably seen me use the hashtag “dreamchasing” (#dreamchasing). And if you’ve been around since day one, you know that this hashtag has been there for just as long. Of course there’s the obvious, in that it’s a hashtag or a way of tagging or filtering your post on social media, but it’s more than just that to me. It’s my story, my motivation, my inspiration. From the first time I kicked a soccer ball I knew I wanted to be a professional soccer player. I was a little kid, knew next to nothing about soccer, but knew I loved it, and I wanted to play it for as long as I could, and once I found out I could make a living doing it, well, there was nothing else I wanted to do with my life. I had a dream and I was going to chase it. 

You’ll have to excuse my memory, and I know my family will most definitely let me know if I misspeak, but the dream started 19 years ago. Quick back story: I was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. My parents were not. My Dad is originally from Gulfport, Mississippi and my Mom is from Atlanta, Georgia. They both graduated from The University of Mississippi before moving to Winston-Salem where my dad would attend Wake Forest Law School. After graduating, my Mom and Dad moved to Raleigh and a few years later had me. What’s the point of all of that?! Well, back in the day, soccer wasn't a thing for my parents. Football was, basketball was, track and field was, but soccer? Neither one of my parents played it, neither one really ever watched it. Sure there were the occasional games in Atlanta that my Mom knew about, but the sport was foreign to both my parents. So fast forward a few years and I’m now 5 years old, or old enough to play on my first competitive sports team. And I wanted to be on them all. My parents did an incredible job of exposing me to everything as a kid. But being a 5 year old boy, it’s pretty obvious that I wanted to play every sport I possibly could. Basketball, tee-ball, soccer, swimming, you name it. But soccer was special. I couldn't have told you what it meant then, and I struggle to even explain it now, but soccer was it for me. I wish I could remember the team names and I know my Mom has all of my team pictures back home, but my soccer career would begin at the Raleigh YMCA and Salvation Army. I was 5 years old, on my first soccer team, running aimlessly around the field with 21 other kids like a bunch chickens with our heads cut off, chasing after a ball we really didn't know what to do with, but in love. Soccer did it for me. And to top it off, my Dad would be one of my coaches for my first handful of teams… 

And after that, there was no looking back; I got a taste and wanted more. Little did I know that was only the beginning…