UW Health Sports Medicine 

Until next year...

By Michele Dalton, Wisconsin women's soccer

It was disappointing that we didn't get the result we had hoped for this weekend. We battled for 90 minutes, and unfortunately came out on the losing end. But, in the words of our coaches, "As soon as the whistle blew for the end of the game, the 2010 season began." This harsh realization was hard to swallow, but then I looked around.
 
I still get another shot, another opportunity to play the sport I love... the seniors don't. For them, the ride stopped at the sound of that whistle. A ride for many that began during youth, evolved into a love through adolescence, and resulted in a passion by adulthood. What's left is a lifetime of memories, of moments that define the women we've become today. The harsh realization became a little easier to accept once I thought about the seniors.
 
Sport is inexplicable to anyone who hasn't played. In fact, I'm surprised there isn't a psychological diagnosis entitled "Athlete." It might look something like this:
 
Symptoms:
 
Constantly stresses body, often to absolute capacity, only to recover and do it again. Absolute devotion to teammates. Injures body on a regular basis. Wants to rehab to come back to play as soon as possible. Obsessed with winning. Compulsive tendency to be active. No amount of work is ever good enough. Often makes statements such as, "Willing to throw self in front of a bus to win." Competes with pain, cramps, headaches, fatigue, etc. Only wears athletic apparel; annoyed when forced to wear nice clothes. Reoccurring dreams about respective sport.
 
For someone on the outside, it truly must seem unhealthy. Only those of us who've experienced the above "symptoms" fear the day when the symptoms will disappear. Unfortunately, this day is inevitable for all of us. For the seniors, that day was last Friday.
 
All that can be said now is thank you.
 
In my years of competing on various teams I've gotten to know a lot of athletes. The older, more experienced athletes are truly the ones that carry the weight of the team through good times and bad. This team is no different. We've carried each other through these times and we've turned to our seniors for guidance. Thank you.
 
You've inspired us on and off the field. Thank you.
 
You picked us up when we were down, and drove us to reach higher when we were up. Thank you.
 
You pushed us to work harder, get better, change the program. Thank you.
 
You were our leaders. Thank you.
 
You will be missed and your mark on Wisconsin women's soccer will be remembered forever.
 
Thank you....
ON WISCONSIN