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This Inspirational Young Female Athlete Is A Total Baller!

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“What would you do with your life?” Many of us who are asked this question in our formative years have had many dreams. While some careers may have been silly enough to never see the light of day, others may not have obliged society at large.

“That’s not meant for you” or “What will people say?” are the usual deterrents young women face from family and peers when it comes to making their dreams a reality. Frankly, there are just a handful of young women — the brave ones — who live life on their own terms. They’re the kinds who don’t live their lives according to a set of staid rules laid down by society. They’re the ones who chase their passion and make it their calling. The ones who give hope and strength to other young girls to look society right in the eye and say, “I’ll do this because I want to, and because I can.”

Jyoti Ann Burrett is one such 20-something pro footballer to watch out for. Starting with football juggling, Jyoti’s passion for the sport made her strive hard to become a star striker for the Indian Women’s Football Team. Choosing a full-time career in sports over a corporate one, this St Stephen’s alumni decided to chase her dreams rather than let society tell her what to do.

But was that easy? Definitely not! This young athlete is giving us every reason to believe that persistence, hard work, and zero fear of failure is all that it takes to be successful in a fiercely male-dominated sport.

Here are 6 inspirational life lessons Jyoti has learnt from playing football:

1. The only voices that matter are the ones in your head.
“Sit down… Sit down. That is all I was expected to do. And sit down I did, listening to the voices that told me to do something ‘useful’ instead of playing sports. There’s always time for everything else, they said. But when it came to sports, you might as well turn the clock around and pretend it didn’t exist. Soon they were ok with me playing a sport, but football just didn’t cut it in their eyes. Tennis or golf seemed more stable from their seemingly all-knowing vantage point. Yet there were voices that told me to keep going, voices that were important to me; my family that saw my dreams and embraced them as their own. My voice grew stronger thanks to the important few that stood by my side.”

2. You can only be successful if you pick yourself up after falling down.
“What began as a tough choice turned into a way of life. I went on to play for Delhi, now I play for India. It wasn’t easy, though. It took me eight years of falling down to find myself standing strong.”

3. It is not just about winning, but about striving to win.
“Playing a sport gave me the chance to push forward time, and turn every defeat into another finish line. A goal that I tried to race past the very next day, and the day after, and soon enough, I did win.”

4. Sit down. Relax. Introspect. It only helps you get better.
“Even if I win the first time, I start every single day by sitting down. Sit down I must, to know that I can do just that, but I won’t. I will keep training, I will get better, I will fail and I will fall, but I will stand up again.”

5. People will pull you down. To prove them wrong, you first need to pull yourself up.
“It doesn’t stop for me at the end of the football pitch. I have a day job as a fitness trainer and I am the first one there and the last one to leave. I wake up in the morning and look at the clock and give myself five more minutes in bed, but then I am reminded by every limb in my body of that feeling when I crash into the water, when I slide into the mud, when I pick up those weights that people said will pull me down.”

6. Know who you want to be. And be exactly that.
“There will always be voices that tell me to sit down, but my sport reminds me that every single day is a new day. The slate is wiped clean, and all that remains is who you want to be. I knew who I wanted to be when I woke up this morning. Now it is up to me to stand up and push that way.”

Inspired? What’s stopping you from getting out there and doing your thing? Start moving with Nike+ Run Club or the Nike+ Training Club here.

To keep up with Jyoti’s inspiring journey, follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

* This is a dedicated post in collaboration with Nike.

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