For the past few months, since MLS has shut down, none of us has been able to use any of the team facilities or training areas. Everyone’s at home trying to train on their own. Like everyone else, I’m at my house lifting weights or doing what I can for in-home workouts and running sprints up the street. It’s quite an adjustment going from working out in world-class facilities to the feeling of being back in high school, prepping for the season.
But I’m OK with that. The way I became pro was by going to college and being drafted from there. It takes a lot of self-motivation and self-training. You have three months of competing and then when your season is done, you have to learn how to stay healthy and fit for the other nine. I’m used to this.
Thankfully, a buddy of mine lives just down the street from me so we’ve been able to get together to kick the ball around at the nearby park. The field is nowhere near the pitches we’re used to, but it’s helpful to get some touches on the ball. Outside of my training with him, it’s been almost impossible to maintain community with the rest of the team. We do have a few Zoom calls with the team each week — one with the whole team, one with just the player, and one with just your position players — but it’s not the same.
The thing is, we all are in different positions in life. Some of my teammates are single and living alone or with roommates. Some of us have kids running around at home, vying for our attention since we’re here. Some of my teammates are international, finding themselves very alone and stuck in a random apartment, far from any family and friends and struggling to communicate in what is not their native language. The difference from one player on our team to the next is drastic. As much as we want to stay in touch and be in community, it’s very challenging.
It’s in moments like these when we’re able to keep from freaking out because we trust in the Lord. We trust that He is purposeful in everything He does. The coronavirus is not catching our Lord by surprise; He is sovereign over it. He’s using even this to work all things out for His good and the good of His people. So my wife and I have been asking ourselves, since we are home during this time, “How do we not waste these trials but grow during this time? What can we do to work on our family time and do the things we’ve been wanting to do together?” So as we continue to do house projects, go for walks as a family, and just spend time together, we thank God for giving us a family to do life with and an opportunity to build our trust in Him.
A lot of us are finding ourselves with good things to look at and discover about ourselves and about God, we just have to do a little bit of searching. What are you discovering in this time?
— Ryan Hollingshead, FC Dallas midfielder/defender
Ryan Hollingshead is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing articles and opinions. Check out Ryan’s Increase profile: https://theincrease.com/author/ryan-hollingshead/
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