Wrapping my head around the idea of making writing my full time job has always been a distant thought. I never saw my love for writing as more than just a hobby to distract me from my disdainful feelings towards my actual career in teaching.
Last year, I took on the job as head coach of the girl’s soccer team at the high school where I was working. While coaching the girls towards a final, the experience reminded me how much I love being around sports. On a bus ride back to school after a game, I made a decision–I decided to apply to be a sports blogger for LAX Sports Nation.
The application required me to submit a sample writing. For that, I wrote a piece expressing my hopes for the new year, with a focus on two things: Frank Ocean releasing new music and for the Dodgers to hit with runners in scoring position.
Ricky Wegryn gave me the opportunity to write for his blog, and once I joined the team, I eagerly took on the role of beat writer for a team I adore–the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Since then, I am being kept accountable for two articles per week, in which I discuss both the Dodgers and the Galaxy.
On a night filled with dreams and boredom, I found myself browsing the internet to see how hard it is to obtain a media pass for a Galaxy game. To my surprise, I found the website and applied. After all, what could possibly go wrong?
After facing a few rejections, the former teacher finally received a media pass to cover the Round of 32 match for the US Open Cup between the Seattle Sounders and the LA Galaxy. Despite my initial excitement, imposter syndrome quickly crept in. It had only been six months since I embarked on my sports writing journey, and I found myself with the opportunity to cover a live game from the press box–a significant milestone after leaving my ten-year career in education.
My emotions embodied the exploding head emoji.
Leading Up To The Game
In the days leading up to the match, I shared the news with anyone willing to listen. By the time I reached the press box, not only my wife, my parents, and in-laws, but also my siblings, my dentist and even my wife’s classmate’s husband all knew about my media pass.
There have been many times where I’ve refrained from sharing my accomplishments with others, fearing that once I let the world know, those achievements would be taken away from me. It’s all a big part of first generation life in the United States, but on this occasion, I gloated. Crossing off this item from my bucket list wouldn’t go unnoticed.
Once settled in the press box, I couldn’t resist capturing the moment. I snapped a picture and sent it to my family’s group chat. The overwhelming sense of pride I felt in that instant far surpassed any teaching moment I had experienced in my ten-year career.
During the first half of the game, I sat behind my computer in the press box, thoroughly enjoying the match while live-tweeting. When Julian Aude scored a sensational goal, I couldn’t contain my excitement. I clapped and clenched my fist in celebration, momentarily forgetting my surroundings.
During the second half of the game, I discussed the match with Dennis Pope, a seasoned writer covering the game. During the conversation, Dennis shared his insight and encouragement, informing me my dedication and approach to this new field of writing would inevitably lead me closer to my goal of becoming a full time sports paid writer. His words provided a much-needed affirmation that I was on the right path, especially during a time that I needed it the most.
Once the game ended, Dennis guided me to the press conference where I had the opportunity to ask the coach and players a question. Obviously, my nerves got the best of me, and I found myself unable to muster the courage to ask anything. Instead, I sat in my chair, absorbing the surreal moment happening before my eyes.
As I walked out of the stadium, I couldn’t resist capturing one more picture to commemorate the experience. In that moment, I took a pause and reflected on the day and realized this could be the only game I cover in person.
Three days later, I received another email in my inbox–an approval for a second media pass. The dream continues.
Photo: Anthony Solorzano/Twitter