2011: final thoughts

I hope you are all enjoying the Christmas season, it’s definitely the best time of the year!

Like last year I’ll be spending it in the Bahamas, but before I leave town, I wanted to once again thank you all for the support and encouragement you’ve given me since April. At home I have two special photos hanging on my wall. One is of the “11” tribute during the Toronto game, and the other is one that was taken moments before my last goal against Chicago. It is surrounded by several get well messages written by fans.

This time last year, I had just played for the Congo national team, and then trained in England with Everton for 10 days. Both were great experiences. It’s those kinds of memories that drive me during my recovery, they push me to work hard because I want to regain that level I had and then surpass it. It’s going to be very hard to do it, but life is full of challenges and examples of those who overcame them. I want to be an example.

This year I learned that no matter what happens, life goes on. It doesn’t stop for any of us. That’s why I decided to keep a positive outlook on everything while staying prepared for any possible outcome. It’s the beauty of life.

This time of year is always a sad one for the players because we know we will lose some teammates and friends. I’ll miss all the guys who left us but in particular I’ll miss John Legend (James Riley). When we all got to Seattle back in 2009, he and I used to live in nearby apartments downtown. I didn’t have a car in those early days and so James would pick me up from home and we’d make the 20-30 minute drive to training while having really good conversation and getting to know each other. He made me realize the importance of being active in the community and we used to hang out a lot on the Friday/Saturday nights that we could as well. And of course, I’m a left midfielder and he’s a right back, which means there were times that we went directly against each other in training games. Those were tough, he’d win some and I’d win more lol… but my point is, he’s my friend and I’ll miss him. Bumped into him in Bellevue the other day so at least I got a chance to speak to him in person rather than just the texts we’d been sending.

I always like to go away at this time of year and recharge physically, mentally, and spiritually. The Bahamas is a great place to do that because of the weather, the beach, and also because my phone doesn’t work there which means I don’t get too distracted. It’s also a chance for me to spend some time with Dr. Myles Munroe. He’s an important figure in my life and has influenced me a lot over the last few years.

The most popular question people ask me is this: when will you play again? My response is the same now as it was the day after the injury… I am not setting any specific dates, I’ll just work myself back into shape, and when my body allows me to compete again, I will. Let me add this though, I’m getting close to that very final hurdle which we always knew would be the hardest one. It’s an exciting time and I’m ready for that final push.

Hope you enjoyed that update! See you all soon!

P.S Would be interested in hearing some of your holiday plans.. any family traditions, how much turkey/ham you plan to eat, some resolutions or goals for the next year?

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8 Responses to 2011: final thoughts

  1. Happy holidays Steve!

    We love having a personality like you and someone with great your moral fiber on the team.

    And someone who’s wildly talented! Best wishes to you, #speedkills!


  2. Anthony says:

    Steve, you are an inspiration! The statement that life goes on regardless of your situation is absolutely correct. Maintaining your drive will be important on the last hurdle and beyond. There is a saying in Chinese martial arts: “the hand never returns empty”. This can be interpreted many ways and one of those interpretations means that if you have made the effort to reach a goal or pinnacle, you should never reduce that effort once there.

    Your community efforts and the establishment of the kingdom of hope have not gone unnoticed. I hope you will continue to push with the same fervor once back in the game. Putting in place the right people to promote the charity will be essential.

    As for the holidays, I will be spending them recovering from ACL surgery with one of your fellow footballers who is doing the same: Jamie Smith of the Rapids. The merging of cultures, food and camaraderie is only surpassed by friendship. This friendship was introduced by the game. We would never have crossed paths otherwise. Keep fostering that spirit Steve and your footprints will be everlasting.

  3. Adam Waltering says:

    This isn’t a sob story…I got laid off back in August so this Christmas will be close to home (which unfortunately is 10hrs. from my family in Seattle). Getting laid off sucked, not finding another job sucks even worse. All this made me re-evaluate my options in life.

    I’m 29 years old so it feels sometimes as if I’m getting to the point where I’m looked at having less upside to an employer. Anyway point is, I’ve decided to go back to school in January. And I’m more positive about my options than I have been in a long time. Life sometimes puts us in a position where things seem pretty dim but if you stay positive and look for a silver lining you can usually find one even if you have to change your angle a bit. Sounds like we both have exciting and trying months and years ahead of us Steve and I wish you luck. You’ve been an inspiration.

    Adam W.

    • Anthony says:

      Way to make lemonade, Adam! One door closes and you must open another. Don’t give up!!

    • Brian says:

      Keep your chin up, mate! At 46 years of age I’ve been where you are on a number of occasions — including my years in the Navy when in one day I was permanently grounded from flying because of migranes. The job hunt is never easy but you must persevere. Approach your job hunt like a full-time job and never give in. Know that you’ll likely be out for many more months unless you happen to have some in-demand (specialized) skills that some employer wants immediately. In tough economic times, there are still employers who are looking for quality, qualified people because as the tired saying relates good help is indeed hard to find.

      If you a Believer, ask for the strength you need to persevere during the tough times. The hunt may not be any easier (it usually isn’t), but you’ll find the staying power to keep the proper perspective during the set backs and disappointments along the way.


  4. Hey Steve, I’m a HUGE fan of yours and we just bought a house down in the Bahamas (in Hope Town). Where are you in the Bahamas? If you’re in the area I would love to juggle the ball together and talk about professional soccer or something (or at least get an autograph). I also saw your YouTube channel stevezak11 I loved your videos but you removed them. Do you mind checking out my videos (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cV0jcQoU5W0) I post soccer videos and have over 8,000 subscribers!

  5. Eli says:

    Inspiring and uplifting blog, Steve! Thanks for sharing, can’t wait to see you back on the pitch in a few months. Also, thought I should let you know I got my sister a Zakuani 11 jersey! Keep on pushin.

  6. buy cialis says:

    Hey, you used to write wonderful, but the last several posts have been kinda boring… I miss your tremendous writings. Past few posts are just a little bit out of track! come on!

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