This post originally appeared on Medium.
I chose to say #GirlsAre “Athletes” because in my mind, girls are athletes. In fact, a lot of girls are better athletes than the guys are.
When I started, I was underestimated a lot because I was a girl out there with a bunch of guys. They didn’t actually think I would be good. Knowing they were wrong about me feels pretty good.
"For me, the best part of being an athlete is the big games."
In those games, you release some kind of animal inside you and you let everything go. You play your heart out. And win or lose, you can always tell how hard you played by the end of the game. The feeling of giving everything you have is the best feeling ever. Then you come home, take a shower, and go right to bed. That’s the best part!
My other favorite part of being an athlete is being part of a team. Being on a team teaches me leadership that I know will help me later in life. And it means I get to spend time with my friends, joking and supporting each other. We speak our own language. We coach each other. We’re so close.
Sometimes being an athlete is hard. But girls can do it. And they should do it because you never know what doors sports will open for you.
"In my case, sports have helped me become a leader."
My biggest piece of advice for girls getting involved in sports is to start now. Later in life it will only get harder. The same goes for healthy eating. Right now, a lot of kids don’t care how they eat. But I tell all my friends to start now because if they start now, they’ll be healthy later.
Currently guys’ sports get a lot more television time than women’s sports do. Hopefully, if we give more television time to women we’ll see a lot more girls going into sports.