to walk in her shoes…

Last week I had the opportunity to go to a four-day indoor soccer coach training seminar. I was so excited about this opportunity because it would help me be better equipped to coach my kids Sunday afternoons. The training was a good experience…but it was very different than I thought it would be.

I’ve grown up with a lot of freedoms…ones that I never really appreciated until my trip to Bandung last week. I was one of 40 participants…and the only female. I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting—but being verbally discriminated against because of my gender by the other participants was not it. I didn’t know this when I signed up to go, but it is apparently not socially acceptable for girls to play soccer—it is a man’s sport. I knew that there were some people who thought that, I just had never experienced that attitude before.

It was interesting spending the whole week trying to understand what was being said (since it was all in Indonesian) and trying to still be able to participate. It’s not that they were rude to me personally—but it was an overall attitude. It was rough…but I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world. I had not fully realized the social pressure the girls who are on my Sunday evening team go through when they show up to soccer practice each week– since it’s not an option that is normally available to them. Now that I have had an opportunity to walk in their shoes for a couple days, I am  even more exciting to be able to coach them!