For all the years that I’ve devoted to my sports, I have lost and won many matches but there was not a single time I didn’t learn anything. I am not a young and fresh sportsperson today but even at this point of my age, learning doesn’t stop. Maybe this is the best part of my life that my sports never let me settle down. I am always going up & up. I have been through so many ups and downs, it’s all over the media and internet but something that isn’t there is what I am going to share today.
It is often said, ‘you’re born for a special purpose, so you must live to complete it’. When I look back to the first time, I went to the sports complex with my daddy holding my tiny palms and asking me to be confident about making my country proud someday. It just bags everything that I have and I am today. During the initial days of my sports, I used to play sports that were solo. Because my mindset said ‘solo games will never make me lose or win a match as I will be the one responsible for my results. I thought this could help me in making my identity better. But the day I met Joe, things changed. He is the one whose picture is in the background of my laptop, phone, and heart today.
Joe saw my enthusiasm and competitive qualities before anyone else could. One day, he met me after my practice session and said “Daisy, you’re made for Hockey. The sport needs you and you’re the perfect fit!” I did not pay heed to his words as he was a coach whose CV said, ‘someone who’s a good player but never won a match’.
There was the very first lesson of my life – not seeing the skill of a fellow person and judging on the medals they have. For me, everything was about medals but things were going to change soon. Joe agreed for teaching me hockey as an extra and my life took a new turn on my 19th birthday.
I started playing with a team and learned that more discipline, focus, and dedication were required than I had in me. Eventually, all my prejudices vanished when I saw my teammates made me feel at home. I learned what is teamwork. They were always with me and never got upset or envious of my improving performances.
Joe in between all of this saw his dreams through my eyes. He never said it to me but I always saw it in his eyes. Joe taught me about selfless love. I changed clubs and teams and now Joe was not my coach any longer. My girls were no longer on my team. Some quit sports, some did well and some were still there. But even today, they’re supportive towards me just like my parents are.
All the matches that I’ve won to date are not my wins alone. Every single person who came into my life worked as a staircase. They taught me- “never to lose a match before it really ends as at times, some matches are lost outside the ground”. These learnings and teachings took me to the World Cup which had become the aim of my life. I already became a figure on the media and internet, which I thought would be impossible if I played in a team sport. It was so childish of me.
Sometimes the media praised my wins, while at other times they hated me on TV, especially if I lost a match or made any mistake. But in every ups and downs, Joe stood by me and held my hand.
The day I lifted the World Cup, I could see the whole country showering love at me, sending me best wishes but Joe was still calm, sitting in the audience and looking at me. I knew his dreams were fulfilled. I went to him after the match and told him, “You’re not just the coach who helped me identify the purpose of my life but also the person who devoted his passion for sports to me and I respect that a lot”.
I am Daisy Gold, a sportsperson and a wife, writing a thank you note for my husband Joe, ON OUR SILVER JUBILEE WEDDING ANNIVERSARY.
Also read: I Have Changed My Mind
Shruti is a student of social sciences, doing her majors in geography. Her interest areas are urban, social and cultural geography and planning. She tries to see the world through a societal perspective where emotions and behaviours play major roles. She also has keen interest in dancing and photography.