Wambach’s ‘Forward’ a refreshing, insightful read which smashes stereotypes
For better or for worse, the stereotype of women’s soccer writing is that of pony-tailed girls falling in love with soccer and making sacrifices to pursue their dreams.
Abby Wambach’s memoir, “Forward”, wastes no time smashing that stereotype. She opens by recounting a presentation for kids in which she said aloud all the familiar clichés about succeeding in sports and life but was, in her own mind, chastising herself as a phony.
While typical sports memoirs extol the virtues of self-expression and self-discovery through sports, Wambach’s memoir raises the question of whether the whole endeavor is worthwhile. She loves being good at soccer, collecting the praise and goal-bounty money from her parents (every youth coach’s nightmare). She doesn’t love soccer itself. Early in the book, Wambach makes that much clear:
My future teammate and friend Mia Hamm will one day offer this advice: “Somewhere behind the athlete you’ve become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back . . . play for her.”
I am not, and never will be, that little girl.
(Read More: FourFour Two)