Joy's Journal Week 6

Professional soccer player and mom Joy Fawcett of the San Diego Spirit wants to inspire other women to enjoy the benefits of an active lifestyle! Each week, Joy will reveal her personal challenges and triumphs related to her comeback, as well as offer tips women can use to reach their active goals.
Joy Fawcett

Week Six -- Believe in yourself
Believing in myself has been a vital part of my comeback. But having others believe in you can be just as important. This has become very apparent to me with the Spirit's past two games. As always, my family and team have been very supportive, but the support that I have received from the Spirit fans and sponsors, such as ERA Max, have provided an extra sense of motivation.

My family has unselfishly been there to help with my children, while my team has welcomed my daughters as if they were part of the roster. The fans have been overwhelming in their support with their cheering. And sponsors, such as ERA Max laundry detergent, have helped me reach out and encourage women to maintain their active lifestyles. In sum, the amount of support that I have received has convinced me that I clearly made the right decision to continue to play and to be part of the Women's United Soccer Association.

I feel great playing again and San Diego's "Spirit" has been up as well. Since our break, we've really come together as a team and our camaraderie has been incredible. It's been a breath of fresh air being part of the league. I feel we are presenting to women and young girls a league that is truly unique. Overall, there is no real powerhouse and each team still has a chance to make the playoffs. This all helps justify why the WUSA is such a remarkable league.

Both the Spirit and I have been making a comeback as of late. As I mentioned last week, we were coming off of a 10-day break and a disappointing road trip. The loss to Carolina made our next two games that much more important. First we had to travel to San Jose to face the CyberRays who hadn't lost in 10 games. We were in their home stadium and needed a win. The following game was at home against Atlanta, the first-place team. These wins were critical for us to keep contention in post season play. Also, the games would be a test for us to see where we ranked against the top teams in the league.

I like to think that we play to win, but for me I wouldn't continue to play if I didn't truly enjoy the competition on the field. I'm fortunate to be in a profession where I love what I do, it's why I have worked so hard to come back. Personally, I believe that each one of us on the field takes this league seriously. While we all play the game because we love the sport, we work hard to be our best so that the team succeeds. But there are 22 players on the roster and although we all want to start and play every minute, ultimately it's about winning as a team. Today, the team is in fifth place at 6-7-4. The entire team is dedicated to winning the last four games and making the playoffs.

Getting support
As I mentioned before, the success of my comeback should be attributed to more people than just myself. Sure, from an athlete's point of view, I'm the one running up and down the field, but my competitiveness combined with the supportive people in the stands give me a reason to come out and play.

I've received so much support from moms and active women everywhere, but the support is most apparent on our home field. Sunday's game at Torero Stadium was sold out to over 6,000 "rattling" fans. Nearly every person had a San Diego Spirit/ERA Max baby rattle to shake while they welcomed me back to my first home game. It was a unique experience for me. The noise from the rattles symbolized that the fans recognized my success on and off the field. I felt honored both as a professional soccer player and mom.



Following the game, I had a chance to get on the microphone to thank the crowd for making it out to my first home game and to support the Spirit. Their reception was encouraging and helped me realize that my decision to come back was the right one, although reality quickly struck when I had to run off the field to feed Madilyn. I love being a mom!

When I set out to come back, I wanted to be a part of the team and part of the action. I think I'm there and yet I still intend to take a few more shots on goal! (See Joy's workout for this week here.)PregnancyAndBaby.com


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