So first of all understanding my titles is going to take a little bit of explaining. Okay here we go. I have 8 siblings, no not from the same mom but basically. I have two wonderful, amazing, marine parents. I grew up with only my dad and four other “real” siblings till I was in 8th grade. It was difficult going through those times without a mom so all my friends moms told me they were my “mom” whenever I was with them. But then summer going into freshman year of high school my dad met this amazing woman. She was young and beautiful. They met at a Avenge Sevenfold concert ( I don’t know what that even is) that my dad was working, which now we all work at, and my dad said he could recognize a marine when he sees one but on the other hand she did not. They hit it off that night. Surprisingly my dad still pulls and got her number. As far as I can remember I was introduced to her around my 16 birthday. She had 3 kids making it 8 total kids. Life went on she moved in with us and then boom she got pregnant. Good looks dad because I really wanted a baby sibling to grow up with even though I told him I didn’t want anymore siblings. I gained one of my biggest fans on November 6. So there it was 9 DiOrio-Daroczy children. There was Mo (25), Frankie (21), Amber (19), Creighton (16), Ariana (15), Ryan (13), Sophia (11), Mya (11) and last but certainly not least Angle aka Chico (3).
I always get people asking me, “Wait, how many siblings do you have?” or “How do the holidays work?” or my favorite “Are you parents crazy?” I want to say, “YES! I gladly have 8 siblings.” and “Holidays is probably the mot fun time of the year.” and “Yeah, my parents are something else.” I never expected my life to be the way it is but I am so beyond grateful to have such a supportive, loving, caring, loyal family. I really don’t get it how people can be an only child. I mean I have 100% thought about how different my life would be, but I also think being alone would make me so much more shy and less independent. I have learned so much from all of my siblings growing up. For example, how to handle different situations and how not to ask my parents if I could go out after they yelled at my siblings for something. With being in such a huge family, we each have a buddy and mine is Frankie because we are closer in age, are exactly he same and both play soccer. Basically it is like a buddy system if my whole family goes out. No one forgets anyone. It is really hard to be away from them all the time, but they always try to make it to as many games as they can and are always talking about me whether that is in their schools or in the work place. To be honest, they make me feel like I’m some famous person, but hey ill take it. Even though I have such a large family, we always go out and do things together. We don’t try to be the “normal”, stereo typical family. We all have our own different personalities and thats what makes my family unique. One person can be very artsy and the other can be super sporty, but we all accept each other for who we are. And that right there is what it is like living with 10.
So for this weeks blog I decided to write about athletes, again. One of my teammates from my old club wrote this for one of her classes and posted it on twitter. Her name is Jenny Riemer and played for Elon’s women’s soccer team. I found every word of it true and I thought I write my take on it . Jenny was and still is a very dedicated athlete and someone I looked up to so much which I was younger. She did just graduate so having her speak about this in female athletes I think is going to help other athletes. She also spent four years playing a sport at division one level, so I found this relevant to myself and what I go through.
One of the things she says within the article is the difference between a baseball player and some one who plays baseball. My take on this is someone who just plays baseball is someone who doesn’t play this game with heart, yes they maybe very competitive but this doesn’t mean that they truly love the game. They are athletes also but when you look at a baseball player it is a whole different ball game, no pun intended. A baseball player or any sports player is a individual who “eats, sleeps, and breathes the sport” and I agree with Jenny on this. I personally think this person never goes a day without thinking about the sport or when they are going to miss a practice, game, lift, conditioning you name it are extremely devastated and feel like they are disappointing the coach, team, and parents.
That gets to the whole point of the piece. Jenny talks about how mental health and how it doesn’t exactly translate within the athletic community. “The CDC describes mental health as “an important part of overall health and well-being. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act,” said by Riemer. I’d have to agree with her on this because there is more to mental health than when people think it is just depression or anxiety. Also as a female athlete I know how hard it is to not want to let anyone down and I know from a fact that drains you mentally. Soccer is a sport that many people think is “easy”. Okay, can you run on average 9 miles a game, pass a ball while sprinting to help the next pass immediately, or can you tackle someone who is maybe 2 times your size and still remain on your feet? You have so many more responsibilities than just cheering on the team. If you don’t play, you have to remain positive even though you think you’re a good player, but if you don’t remain positive this idea of you’re not good enough attacks your brain and makes you want to quit or even stop working for your spot back. If you’re exhausted and feel like giving up, from person experience taking a few days off is important. Self-care and reflecting on why you are playing the sport will help you realize why you’re doing what you’re doing. Feeling upset, stressed, angry, or fatigued is okay and taking the time to replenish your body is okay too. You shouldn’t push your body physically and mentally to a point where you break down. Like Jenny says, “Your life is on your terms, don’t let anyone else prevent you from taking care of yourself and putting yourself first.”
Here is the second part of my letter to the new person wearing my jersey that I talked about before.
I know this is long but this number is apart if me. I grew up playing soccer everyday whether that is from Patriot soccer or McLean practice, I always had a ball at my foot. I couldn’t say I am a “legend” at patriot, but I was pretty well known and if you are wearing this jersey PRETTY PLEASE take care of it. It also is a little stretched out because I tuck my shorts into my spandex and I like my jersey big. Okay so Payne wants us to give you some advice and the one thing that is huge to me and the coaches is always do your job and while doing that job work your hardest. No one likes that person who doesn’t move left two feet to get a ball when you pass it to them. Always be vocal. No matter what you do TALK!! Oh something I learned was if the ball was clearly going off you on the sideline for a throw in pick the ball up anyways and throw it in quickly. The refs are a little slow on that aspect so just do it anyways. This number has been through so much, championships, loses, mud, long bus rides, break ups (( don’t date when you’re in season Payne literally hates it and boys are asses unless you have a good relationship than you’re straight )) anything you can think of i’m about 99% sure it has been through it. I guess all the hard work and leadership I had while wearing this jersey has got me to where I am right now typing this message and that’s playing on VCU women’s soccer team. I really hope that you love soccer as much as I did and this team makes you the happiest person in the world because for me it did. Playing on that gorgeous field under the lights was the best memories throughout all high school. You may have a different experience with your career here but love the game no matter what. Everything happens for a reason. I was told I would never make the team by so many jealous girls, but now look where I am. Let those haters motivate you to be the best you possibly can be.
I can’t wait to come meet you and see you ball out in this amazing number. If you ever need anything like advice on school, soccer, boys or just wanna walk and become friends I am so down. I am no scary at all I promise haha. Good luck this year!! ALways listen to Payne and Foley and most of the time the center backs. They know what they are talking about. OHHHH ps I always ate gummy worms before a game, I know not healthy blah blah blah, but they’re maybe some wrappers in the bag. Another thing KEEP THE DUCKS PAYNE GIVES YOU!!!! I am proud to give my jersey up to every has it. Wear it with pride! (:
Every since I can remember I played soccer. I have plenty of pictures of me when I was four or five kicking a ball and having my hair in pig tails. My dad put me in all sorts of sports when I was in elementary and middle school. He wanted me to be a versitile kid and to become very athletic. I don’t remember a time that I was going to practice, practicing or coming home from practice. My dad was a division one athlete at the Naval Academy, so I knew he wanted at least one of his kids to follow in his footsteps. When I reached high school that’s when my dad told me I needed to stick to one sport that I was going to focus on to get me into college and so training every day of my life for soccer began. I tore my ACL in 8th grade and seriously thought I never was going to make it to playing soccer in college, but that didn’t stop me for trying out for the best soccer team in Virginia, McLean, and also my high school team, Patriot. Fortunately both my coaches took me on their teams and I started and played every game all four years of high school and at McLean. Both these two teams grew me into the player I am at this moment. Now the fun part was trying to juggle playing at a higher level and managing school. I remember junior year I was completely done. No one quite understood the stress that was getting put on me for being in four AP classes and trying to perform my best at practice which was usually 8:30 pm to 10:00 pm every night. Some how I did it, even though I wanted to quit everyday. Sometimes it made me wish I played golf or was artistic, so I didn’t have to put that much stress on my body every day with little sleep. In the summer going into senior year, I committed to play division one soccer here at VCU. I had reached my long term goal of my whole life to make my dad proud by following in his footsteps. All senior year that’s all I was into. Everything I did was to help prepare me for playing with the big league. I took somewhat easy classes, a few AP classes but from what I can recall I was running everyday and trying to get as many touches as I can as much as I could in one day. I really don’t know how, but ended up with a 4.2 GPA my senior year and I was not complaining. The one thing that sucks about playing college soccer is that I went to VCU in July for pre pre season. I basically had no summer but the good thing is I was with an amazing team who inspires and pushes me everyday to be the best that I can be. In the fall, that is when our season really picked up and trying to maintain above a 3.0 while training everyday, traveling every weekend and having games all the time was actually the biggest struggle of my life. But guess what? I made it and now I am in spring season and I am currently dying. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have class from 8:00 to 9:15 then 9:30 to10:45 then 11:00 to 12:15. What makes it worse is that on Tuesdays and Thursdays I have to go to practice and conditioning at 12:30, but my last class is all the way in Temple and I have to full on sprint to make it Siegle before our vans leave for the field. It is the hardest days of my life hands down.
So for my high school soccer team my coach asked us to write a few words to the next person who gets our jersey and mine was #7. Here is part of my letter:
Dear new #7,
First of all congrats on making the varsity team. Hopefully it is a big deal as it was for me. So to get this letter started I wanted to introduce myself. My name is Amber DiOrio. I played on the varsity team all four years and was captain since sophomore year, but if you’re an upperclassman you already know who I am and how much of a pain in the butt I was. I was the center back so you already know I was a talker. You can even ask Payne how much I scared her. I was told so many times by her that she was scared of me, which is actually funny as hell because Payne was the sweetest coach around and she had one of the scariest girls on her team. Anyways…I’m going to keep this somewhat short and so sweet to the point where I am sobbing writing this. This jersey means a whole lot to me. I grew up in that number. It has taught me so many things like how to lead a team, how to protect that team, and how to be respectful. I would have to say freshman and sophomore year I got into a lot of fights on the field and it was mainly with refs, but I seriously hate all of them and they’re all slow and dumb. Oh watch out for this young, lady ref with long hair and her short brother who looks like a hobbit. They are the worst ever. Also, I am so sorry that jersey has plenty of blood stains, make up stains and who knows when we beat battlefield last year in the championship there may be a little pee. HAHA whoops. I learned a lot and I mean a lot from Foley and Payne. Foley taught me it is okay to let loose and be yourself on their field. He showed me it’s okay to have people laugh at you when you’re doing something that you love. When I was and underclassman Foley would always take me to subway and the jersey was always in my bag, so if you ever have time ask about those trips. We have so many memories. Payne taught me that family over everything. You may not like someone you’re playing with but you’re a team and being a teammate comes first. You can hate each other off the field but on the field you guys better be best friends or you’re going to run pyramids till you guys are besties.
The worst holiday of all the holidays. I have had the worst luck with this holiday. Being single on this day is especially BAD. Let me tell you, I hate seeing couples post on instagram and twitter about how happy they are to have this person and all that jazz. Like we get it you’re in a relationship congratulations. Don’t get me wrong my best friends/roommates are in a relationship and I am happy for them, but even they don’t like valentines day. One of them even said they wish their guy would treat them this way more often. I totally agree if you love this person so much on this one day, why can’t you do it more than just on February 14? I have no personal experience with being in a relationship on valentines day and that is probably something that may change my mind if I was, but being single on Valentines day for 19 years makes me buy myself the chocolate and the cute stuff that is on sale the weekend afterwards. One thing that I appreciate the most is when I was younger my dad would buy me and my sister stuff, but he would always comment that we weren’t allowed to date till we were in our 40’s. Since I’m at college now, I wonder if maybe I’ll get something in the mail and if I still have to wait till I’m in my 40’s to date. As the day keeps approaching, I just realize that this day isn’t really all that big of a deal. I remember in elementary school Valentines day was when you get cards from everyone of your classmates and your teacher would make sure, especially on the list of names of the people in your class, that everyone got one just so people didn’t feel left out. Then during middle school we start obsessing with the idea that we want that perfect relationship on Valentines day where they get surprised with a giant teddy bear or some flowers. Then high school comes along and reality hits us because we start to think about how lonely we are. Maybe those elementary school teachers were trying to give us some love and a good valentines day before we get smacked with the realization that we are single and were going to spend this day alone. I also wonder what guys think about this day. Do they get stressed out? Do they find joy in getting their person gifts and spending a large amount of money on someone? I feel like if I was someone buying stuff or planning stuff for my significant other I would be beyond stressed. Maybe Valentines day should be mutual and the girls should be doing the same thing. But hey I really don’t know. This was just a rant about Valentines day and how much I think it’s stupid holiday. Many people have different experiences with February 14, but I have had the same since 1999, alone and almost all the time with my day and my fellow single people.