1. When I was 4 or 5 years old, I leaned over a pier, fell about 10 feet, and landed on my head/neck. I landed on sand, which was quite firm due to the drought in Lake Tahoe at the time. Injuries sustained: none (I think).
2. My first recollection of playing soccer was on dirt streets with turned over metal trashcans with Venezuelans (when I lived there). I kept playing the sport growing up; I just enjoyed it. I was digging through old e-mails to confirm this, but in high school, I had some recruitment offers from a variety of different soccer programs, specifically: Hunter College (Manhattan, haha!), Ottawa U (small school in Kansas), St. Andrews (700 students, located in North Carolina), Presentation College (northeast South Dakota), North Central (Naperville, Illinois), Westmont College (Santa Barbara, California). I didn’t “like” any of those schools and the level of play, or apparently, I didn’t “love” soccer enough, because I didn’t take any of the offers. I ended up going to a community college for my first year out of high school (later transferred). Sometimes I wonder how different my life would have been if I did go to play soccer for one of those programs.
3. I used to hate writing. In high school I told my dad this and he was truly displeased. Somewhere along the line in college, I got into journalism and loved it. I also, subsequently, now love writing. If you’re into reading, here’s a link to an opinion piece I wrote in college; it’s about becoming religious for a week (http://www.laloyolan.com/opinion/losing-my-religion-or-lack-thereof-adios-agnosticism/article_2032b53c-d77b-5f63-b923-4ebce27b06c8.html).
4. When I first moved to New York in 2009, within one week of being here, I almost purchased a ticket to Norway. I was completely unhinged and was ready to go anywhere in the world. Norway would have been fun, I guess because I’m 50% Norwegian and hardly connect with the culture. What kept me here? Following the day of that consideration, I got a job.
5. I often consider leaving it all and moving to the mountains to become a ski instructor. Skiing is a passion in my family, and with snow and skis under my feet, I feel comfortable and free. My dad and I were talking about powder skiing earlier this year and why it is so great. It became clear. Powder is fantastic, but it’s really about making fresh tracks.
As you arrive at the top of the slope, you see uncharted territory. Your turns will ultimately become your flags. And like all humans, you want to claim your land. It’s freedom at its finest.