espnW: Bryane Heaberlin
There are plenty of articles on the Internet about how we are playing as a team and who we are playing, so I wanted to change it up a bit and give you an inside scoop on some different areas of my life as a Tar Heel.
At Carolina, you must live on campus in a dorm room your freshman year, but after that you can choose to live wherever you want, on or off campus. I made the choice to move into a historic “soccer house” with five teammates. Four other sophomores and one of our senior captains, Kelly McFarlane, also live in the “Yellow House,’’ as it is called.
Previous women’s soccer players who have lived in this big yellow house include professional soccer players, doctors, teachers and aspiring coaches: Amber Brooks, Meghan Klingenberg, Anna Rodenbough, Sterling Smith and Kristine Welsh-Loveman, to name a few.
Like the past players who have lived in the house, I chose to because of its proximity to campus and the awesome concept of living with my best friends.
After I decided to move into the Yellow House, I knew I had quite a bit of work to do to make my room feel like home. The room needed paint, furniture and my personal touch. I thanked my dad a few different times, but I think he deserves another thank you for taking a week off of work and for his energy in helping me move into the Yellow House.
As you can see in the picture, I am a very visual person. I was definitely in over my head with the paint scheme I chose. My dad and I taped off all the walls, and primed and painted three stripes: a big one called Moroccan Sunset Yellow, one a little smaller called Eccentric Teal and the smallest named Juicy Red.
This process took about two days with the help of my housemates, who one by one took turns helping us paint. The MVP of the entire room makeover was definitely my fellow goalkeeper, Lindsey Harris, who used her engineering ability to put together my IKEA desk, chair and chest of drawers.
The elaborate paint job and contemporary furniture makes me feel comfortable and give me a place I can do homework and study, but without the personal touches on the walls I would not feel at home.
Hanging above my bed is a custom, one-of-a-kind shadow box that houses my Under-20 world championship game cleats, gloves, signed jersey and gold medal. There are few material things I would say I could keep for the rest of my life, but this is one of them. It was given to me by a very close family friend, and I can honestly say I will keep it forever. To the left and right of my shadow box are pictures of unforgettable memories of the Under-20 World Cup.
I think having a place where I can focus and relax is very important. My room is now a sanctuary for me to get my work done, watch movies with teammates and dream about winning championships.
My first semester at Carolina in the spring of 2012 was remarkable in many ways, on and off the field. I traveled with the U-20 women’s national team to Panama and all over the country in preparation for the Under-20 World Cup.
I missed a lot of school that spring and a lot of soccer with UNC. In one of our spring book club meetings with my pseudo freshman class (since I gray-shirted I didn't have a freshman class yet), coach Anson Dorrance wanted us to come up with a personal affirmation. Basically, he wanted us to choose two or three sentences that described how we wanted to play and develop. He wanted us to have our own self talk before every practice and game that would begin to teach our brain to believe it.
I went back to my dorm that night and started writing things down on a half sheet of printer paper. “Determined,” “strong,” “willing” and “hard work” were a few of the words I scribbled. Looking down at the paper with those words on it, I knew they were meaningless without a common thread: passion. My affirmation could be the most moving and inspirational two sentences I had ever written, but if the true meaning didn’t already pump through my veins, then my affirmation wouldn't fulfill its purpose.
After many more half sheets of printer paper, I came to this realization and wrote this affirmation: “I am the most explosive and consistent goalkeeper in the world. No one out-works me.’’
In this blog I will share my experiences as a Carolina student athlete on the road to bringing my affirmation to reality.