I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet that I’m a soccer player. I have loved and played that sport since I was U6. Started as a goalie, channeling my grandfather Mike Wall’s, aka Pussyfoot, cat-like movements…or so I thought 😂. At U12 I didn’t like how hard the ball was coming at me from the boys and transitioned out to center mid. I played through university, and was fortunate enough to be part of the CISM (Conseil International du Sport Militaires) team for many years. It is essentially a military national team that competes with other military national teams.I’m not sure why I’m the only Canadian in a sea of Americans in this picture. Where were my teammates?!?
Sport in general has been a huge part of my life and in my mind it is one of the greatest things the military can offer. I have represented my base in regional and national competitions in volleyball, soccer, hockey and golf, and internationally in soccer. On the civilian side of things I never would have been able to do that. But it’s part of military culture to be fit, to compete, and to be part of a team. I’ve gone to England, the Netherlands, Germany, and the USA for soccer alone. I had the honour of carrying the Canadian flag for the opening ceremonies in Germany at the Military World Soccer Championships in 2012. This is the kind of opportunity the military can offer. I see kids pouring themselves into hockey so they can get a scholarship to go play in the states and get their education. Join the military instead! They’ll cover your education, and your sporting career isn’t limited to university.
Seriously, I am so grateful to the military for what it offered in this regard. It allowed me to establish a sport as a lifetime habit. And sport teaches things. A lot of very meaningful things. I wrote about it here. Please check it out.