We recently opened our SOAS Racing team application, which inspired 2013 team member Holly Bennett to write about her experience on sports teams.
I played soccer since my first day in first grade. I attended an all girls private school in Dallas, Texas and I couldn’t wait to swap my pressed green jumper, white button-front blouse and freshly polished saddle oxfords for the far cooler green and white team uniform and cleats at the end of each school day. Running around kicking that ball felt fantastic and pretty much every girl at school was on the soccer team–it was simply what we did in Dallas.
Later my family moved to a small town in New Mexico, where I played co-ed soccer at a much smaller school. Usually I was one of only one or two other girls on the team. There, it was all about keeping pace with the boys–or trying our best to run and shoot past them. We girls earned our stripes, for sure.
When I reached seventh grade (at yet another school) I was no longer one of the star players, but I loved the competitive fire of being on the field all the same. I created my own games within the game–for example, betting my coach a quarter I could score a goal if he subbed me for a tiring teammate, then swiftly scoring two. Ka-ching!
With high school came a move to boarding school and a new type of team: track and field. Sadly I abhorred running at the time. But no matter–I took up shot put and discus. Not that I was any good at hurling heavy objects, but everyone was welcome on the track team, so my best friend and I jumped aboard. We were in it for the camaraderie, the feeling of belonging to something fun, the ticket to travel to other New England schools and the chance to meet boys beyond our own student body.
Several years ago, before I discovered triathlon, I considered joining an adult soccer league to regain that team dynamic. But with practices and games conflicting with my erratic work schedule, I knew I would have to stick to the individual sport route. I started running 10k’s, then a marathon, and eventually made my way to multisport.
When I first got wind of SOAS, it was through my pal Australian pro Amanda Balding–she was building a career beyond the racecourse and that included distribution of a killer new women’s clothing line. Amanda introduced me to Steph, founder of SOAS, and I drooled over her designs at the Ironman Melbourne expo.
But the SOAS team isn’t only about my enhanced athletic wardrobe. Much more importantly, it’s a gang of girls across the country and around the world, committed to playing fun and fair sport while looking and feeling great–and to growing the community around this totally cool company. Some of my teammates are some of my best pals–we meet up at races whenever possible. Sometimes we meet for happy hour (a love of wine is not a prerequisite for team selection, but it certainly helps). Or better yet, we do both. Other team members I’ve never met–and honestly I probably wouldn’t be able to pick out in a crowd–yet we’ve connected via social media and team communications and we cheer relentlessly for one another from afar. All in all, it’s an amazing gig–one I highly recommend to anyone looking for a fun, fitness-oriented and ever-so-slightly edgy place to call home.
If you’re inspired to apply for the 2014 SOAS Racing team, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org