CHRISTEN PRESS, Stanford’s all-time leading scorer and the 2010 Hermann Trophy winner, begins her first European season April 10 with Kopparbergs/Goteborg FC of Sweden’s Damallsvenskan. In the meantime, she has been providing regular posts to the Athletics website.
After graduating in 2011, Press was the 4th overall draft pick of the 2011 Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) draft, signing with the Atlanta Beat last November. But by January, the WPS announced it was suspending play to focus on legal issues.
In her first blog post, Press wrote:
“When the WPS league suspended operations for 2012, I, like other players in the league, was left in a state of anxious uncertainty. . . . While the old me tried to rear a rigid head in panic, the new me decided to take stock of my situation and look beyond the horizon for a new opportunity. . .
She needn’t have worried.
Here’s an excerpt from her third post titled Restart:
“I have been in Sweden for over two weeks and I think it’s a good time to decompress. I like to speckle my weekly blogs with alliterations and metaphors, as I relay specific lessons in soccer and show how that lesson altered my point of view in some way. Now, I feel is a good time to step back and give you a little background perspective.
I’ve brought nothing with me to Sweden but an open mind … and about 140 pounds of luggage … and okay, my 20-year-old Teddy bear, Brown Bear (I was a clever 3-year-old), but you get my point. I left my expectations and preconceived notions at home, as I set off to accomplish two big things.
First things first, change is scary! It’s hard to leave home, especially when home is Palos Verdes Estates, California. But my little sister, Channing, recently brought to my attention that I am change. I love fashion, but I change my style spontaneously (not good for my bank account). I left Chadwick, my high school, claiming to be a moderate. When I left Stanford, my sister Tyler described me as “a baby hippie.” I can cut off my hair on a whim, like last month, and I am glad to be at a point in my life where I am secure enough to love it. I am determined not to miss out on any experiences in life. My motto here in Sweden is (á la Nike) … “Just do it… Just do it all!”
This season I’m hoping to have an Existential Experience Exploring the Errors of my Earlier Existence …(couldn’t resist) Meaning, I want to find myself and learn to love myself unconditionally. I believe that traveling and living abroad is just the opportunity to do such a thing … but I’ll get back to you on that in December.
When I walked through the gate at the Gothenburg airport, I was prepared to receive a new culture with open arms. I’m not shy or introverted. I am not afraid to meet new people or to be alone … Still, I wanted to make sure I left any tendencies to be standoffish behind. I’m not the same girl I was five years ago, nor do I want to be. Another objective is is to push my game to its physical and mental edge. I have big goals for myself in soccer. It’s no secret that I want to play on the world stage someday soon. But instead of focusing on the disappointments of 2011, my plan for 2012 is to ensure I am the best player I can be in 2013. And to do so, I want to be exposed to another facet of the game — goodbye soccer, hello football!”