First, I want to thank everyone for your messages of encouragement and support regarding last week’s post. I think downs are just as natural as ups, and that was my point: Sometimes life is overwhelming, and that’s okay. We don’t have to be ashamed of it, we don’t have to hide it. That said, it’s much easier to bear when you have such great people in your life cheering you on. Thank you all.

Second, I want to talk about the US women’s soccer team. If you’re like most people in America, you may have no idea that the Women’s World Cup is going on right now, and that the US is in the playoffs. But it is, and they are.

Yesterday they played Brazil in the first elimination round. Meaning you lose, you go home. And for half the game, it looked like the US women would be boarding a plane at the end of the night. Thanks to a red card (let’s not talk about the refereeing) the US was playing 10 people against Brazil’s 11. The odds were against them.

Somehow they hung on, though, and the regular 90-minute game ended in a 1-1 tie, which necessitated a 30-minute overtime. Brazil scored almost immediately, and I admit: I thought it was over then. As the minutes ticked away, so did my hope. One announcer even said this would go down as the US women’s team’s worst showing in World Cup history.

Then, with less than a minute to go, Megan Rapinoe kicked the ball to Abby Wambach, who headed it into the back right corner of the Brazilian net. The goal was so unbelievable, so exciting, so perfect, that I actually have tears in my eyes just writing about it now. I screamed, sending my poor dog flying off the couch, and I really think my heart stopped.

By tying the game up 2-2 in extra time, the US forced the match into Penalty Kicks. They made 5 out of 5 PKs. The Brazilian team did not.

The US’s mind-blowing comeback win not only revved me up for the rest of the night, it also reminded me that pressure can be a good thing. Sure, sometimes it’s intimidating, and sometimes it can get overwhelming. But sometimes it pushes us to work harder than ever before. Sometimes it brings out our best. Sometimes it makes us who we are.

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