Friday, July 1, 2016

Chapters

I’m not going to the Olympics.

This is the reality of our sport and the story you don’t see on TV—we have 25 players on our Women’s National Team and we can only send 12. We’ve all trained, all made sacrifices, all worked for years together knowing the whole time that there’s a chance we won’t see our names on that final roster. But knowing what we’re getting into doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. I think it probably always will.

In the week or so after I learned I wouldn’t be in Rio I was sad and I cried but more than anything else I felt lost. Adrift. Like I had been on a four-year long voyage and we were finally nearing our destination when someone told me—actually, you don’t need to go the rest of the way. After four years of focusing solely on navigating this path, it was just over. I had put my heart into this and I just didn’t know how to take it back out.

But at some point, as the days have gone by, I realized that I’m still me. Being an Olympian would’ve changed my life but it never had the power to change that. Who I am has already been defined, not by the rosters I’ve made or the medals hanging in my room, but by the way I tried to approach every day—ready to work, to learn, and to serve my team in any way I could.

I gave everything—everything—I had, in the pursuit of this dream.  And I say that not with bitterness but with conviction and with pride. I don’t regret one moment of it and I will not hang my head. Because dreaming big dreams, going all in and then falling just short doesn’t make you a failure. The failure lies in holding back and staying small.

So half of my teammates and I will watch from afar as our Olympic team goes after a medal in Rio. And I absolutely hope that they get it. This is my family. They represent everything that we’ve built and struggled for over the last four years. I love them, I wish them all the success and I will forever be grateful to be a part of Team USA.

And as for me—this isn’t where my story ends. This was just one chapter. One surreal, challenging, fantastic chapter. Now it’s time to write the next one.


21 comments:

  1. Very powerful Cassidy, very proud of your efforts and resilience.

    Can't wait to read next chapter!

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  2. WOW, Cass, I'm keeping your post to show others who get disappointed what a class act does with loss. You really HAVE given it your all and had a blast I'm sure doing so (for the most part). And now I read about the Stanford job! You're home again. I guess Thomas Wolfe was wrong! Best wishes and love, O

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  3. AND your contributions will still be part of what makes the National Team what it is -- and will be a factor in what it does in Rio. All of you are a part of that team whether you are on the roster or not. Small consolation, maybe, but true.

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  4. Amazing content perfectly captured by great writing. I will share this with my volleyball team for the message and my English class for the writing. Thanks for being brave enough to share.

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    1. Thank you, I appreciate that. If you look through the rest of this blog you might find some other volleyball-related notes for your team

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  5. Good players elevate themselves..Great people elevate everyone around them. The second are more rare--this piece makes me think you are among them.

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  6. Cassidy, a lot of people know for sure, that you have the Olympic spirit. I belong to them because I've followed your work here at VFM and later with the US team.
    The biggest victory is not always visible. Thank you Cassidy and keep going with this fantastic spirit, Benoit/VFM

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  7. Cass, I love your posting. You have such a gift of writing and expressing yourself so eloquently. I cried with you when I read
    your blog. My heart is broken for you and your 4 years of such dedication and 100% into doing your very best with your team! But, I love how you are closing the door on that chapter in your life while still loving and supporting your team. The next chapter opening up with you going to your Alma Mater as an Assistant Coach is super exciting! You will be an amazing coach!!!! Love you, Aunt Mare Mare

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  8. Cassidy, You're going to be great at Stanford. I can't wait to watch your next chapter.
    Dave

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  9. A friend of mine shared this with me. Very inspiring. Thank you for writing it.

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  10. The countless hours of practice, exhibitions and games that you put in for four years is what made your teammates better. You came in Every Day and gave it Everything you had. You are and will always be a part of the US Women's National Team. There are millions of girls who will never even come close to that experience...God just has a different plan. Good Luck in your next Adventure.

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  11. Wow, you truly honor the sport by simply being you. You're going to be a fabulous coach. Best of luck to you Cassidy!

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  12. Wow, you truly honor the sport by simply being you. You're going to be a fabulous coach. Best of luck to you Cassidy!

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  13. Cassidy, thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings so eloquently and for being such an exemplary role model for our young people. Your lessons learned and your positive attitude about this experience is so invaluable for them to read. No one "makes the cut" or wins in Life 100% of the time. Understanding this, and knowing they will survive the difficult times and still go on to achieve other amazing things and have other amazing experiences is so important for our youth to understand. They will survive. Not only survive, but they have the potential to face their future with heads held high and go on to succeed and THRIVE! Bless your heart for being willing to share your insights with others. You not only have a gift with words, but also a beautiful caring heart and a gift for understanding deeply what is to be most cherished in our lives. Thank you and best wishes for an amazing future coaching at Stanford!

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  14. Cassidy, I have always loved your all around skills and attitude. I am very proud that you will represent my alma mater once again and you have always done a great job representing team USA!

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  15. Cassidy, thank you for sharing such a personal and important experience. I played vb at Stanford (class of '90) and now spend a lot of time coaching youth sports. Your message touches on so many lessons that I try to teach young athletes. Thanks and good luck back at Stanford!
    Craig Forsyth

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