Live The Game
Fill in the blank. You know you are a soccer freak when…
I am the epitome of whatever can be put at the end of this sentence.
The only time I turn on the TV is to watch soccer. (142 is Fox Soccer Channel just in case you are wondering). My car trunk is filled with cones, balls, and cleats. My family members buy me soccer related items for presents (thanks mom for the Chelsea hoodie). I kick a ball of my sweaty soccer clothes from my room, around the corner, and into my designated “workout clothes laundry basket” in the laundry room. (You can’t mix jeans with dirty soccer socks). My room is decorated in soccer posters, scarves (including my own LA Sol), piles of trophies, and mini soccer balls.
I have embraced the game as a way of life. Every day is a routine filled with ways to incorporate the game. Breakfast includes cereal, orange juice, and Sky Sports News as I relax in my PUMA sweats. Attempting to study for my real estate class usually involves watching my favorite team Chelsea FC on FSC, as I proudly wear my Ashley Cole jersey. My textbook sits lonely and untouched on the coffee table. After a late night indoor game, I unwind to Fox Soccer Report and some stretching.
Watching FSC and constantly thinking about the game have become a part of a daily routine that is a garnish to my own development. I always learn something when watching a higher level. By analyzing and studying different players’ movements on and off the ball, I can add to my soccer knowledge. Hopefully, I can then transfer this information into my own play.
Looking To Sell Your Home?
As a self-proclaimed nerd, I am not embarrassed to admit that I am always looking to learn about new things. With the few months I would have at home, I thought taking a real estate class would be perfect. With my oldest brother, Milton already a part time CT real estate agent, and my mom willing to take the class with me, a future family business would inevitably be in tow.
Sixty hours of learning about real estate seems like a lot. But considering the vastness of real estate (and the fact that the state regulates the requirements), every minute of those 20 classes were spent covering an unfathomable amount of topics. Want to know about buyer and seller agency agreements? I will not only explain to you the different types of agreements, but I can break down the different sections of each contract.
I have fulfilled the state regulations. Sixty hours? Check. Pass the class final? Check. Now I can sign up to take the CT state real estate salesperson exam. Just a few more hours of studying and brushing up on the topics I had trouble with on the class final, and I will be sufficiently prepared. Just don’t ask me to sell your house until I pass the exam.
Surviving The Holidays
With all of the shopping stress, endless family dinners, and petrifying cold and snowy weather, it is a challenge to stay fit and healthy during the holidays in CT. The secret to successfully maintaining your usual workout routine is to stay focused and motivated. Yes, I occasionally enjoyed a snowball cookie or three. But I kept to my regimen and played in a few extra indoor tournaments. I even sucked it up and ran outside in the freezing cold and snow. The passing cars were honking at me for either praising my courageousness or laughing at my get-up of long spandex, gloves, and ear warmers.
Work Hard So You Can Play Hard
I concentrate most of my time and energy on working out and improving my game. However, I do like to relax and have a little fun with my friends. Finding that right balance is hard. But necessary.
Whenever I get the chance, I visit my best friend Steph down in NYC. I’m not a big city girl, but I have come to love being there. I am not a pro at hailing a cab, knowing the subway system, or especially knowing what “midtown east” means. After the third time visiting, I finally started to recognize familiar restaurants and I didn’t get lost on my way to Grand Central.
Hanging out with Steph is always a fun time, and I never feel like a tourist when I am with her. During one trip, we went to a quiet and quaint Italian café to grab a latte and some bruschetta, a favorite of ours. Mid conversation, we look over to Kate Hudson sitting down at the table next to us. Used to seeing Hollywood stars while I’m in L.A., I just did the once look-over, and continued on with our snack and girl talk.
I have been to all of the famous landmarks… Times Square, Rockefeller, Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero, and Grand Central. But my favorite places to go are the nightclubs. These hotspots just emulate NYC culture. Steph and I have had exquisite dinners and intense dance offs while chatting up the just-as-crazy strangers who become your friends.
After all of my trips, I have become a New Yorker at heart. I love what the city has to offer. Just don’t expect me to develop that thick NY accent.
I Am Pretty Tough
My good friend and number one LA Sol fan, Alondra Hernandez, asked me to answer a few questions for a blog she was going to write for PrettyTough.com. I hardly ever turn down an interview. My fans and supporters deserve to know more about me, on and off the field. I really had fun with these 22 questions. Alondra picked 22 because well, my number is 22… how clever!
You can find the interview here: http://www.prettytough.com/get-to-know-manya-makoski/
Kickin’ It For Keith
It was an emotional experience. Keith Segovia, a 31-year-old former pro soccer player and coach from Stamford was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2005. Recently, doctors told him that he only had a few weeks to live. Friend and teammate, Ken Centatiempo, organized an indoor soccer tournament at the SoNo Field House on December 19, to raise money to help Keith with medical bills. It was also a celebration of Keith’s life and how he has touched so many lives.
Despite the blizzard looming, more than 200 youth and adult soccer fans and friends came together for Keith and his family. I was so grateful to be part of such an event. We are all praying for Keith and his family.
Zumba.. Join The Party
When people ask me what I would be doing if I wasn’t playing professional soccer, I always give the same answer. Hip hop dancer. They laugh at me, but I am serious. I am a danceaholic. Any chance I get to show off my moves, I take advantage. Every morning, with iTunes blasting my “Dirty Pop” playlist, I get ready for the day as I bounce around.
When I overheard a conversation about this Latin dance exercise craze, Zumba, I immediately decided I had to try it. A local Zumba studio, Studio Z Fitness in Milford, recently opened its doors. At my first class, I was not sure what to expect, so I was a little nervous. But once the warm-up song came on, Akon and David Guetta’s “Sexy Chic”, I knew I was going to be in heaven. The instructor, Mary Rose Field, is very energetic and helpful with difficult moves (but really, no moves are difficult for this dancer).
Hooked from the beginning, I wake up every morning excited to Zumba. I even practice some of the moves at home to the Zumba songs I have downloaded. I told you. Danceaholic.
Dare To Date
As great as it is, the lifestyle of a female professional soccer has certain limits. Well, at least it does for me. Playing over half the year on the west coast, and then going back home to the east coast for the remaining months is not easy. My search for love has been a challenge. Most dates have gone well, while some have been disappointing. But each one has been a learning experience on my part. My search will continue, even throughout the season, for someone who is daring to date me.
NYE in NYC
You have to experience it at least once. New Years Eve. Times Square. Ryan Seacrest. Rockefeller tree. Snowflake lights. A bajillion strangers roaming the streets breathing down your neck as you try to squirm your way through the sidewalks.
My best friend from ASU, Ada and her cousin and my good friend Derek came to visit me for New Years Eve. We all decided to spend a few days, including New Years in NYC. From the moment I picked them up, we were amped up for what was to come. The train ride down we ate our Dunkin Donuts bagels (a luxury Ada and Derek can’t experience in AZ), and discussed our options.
NYE was a very strategically planned day. We slept in to prepare for basically what was going to be an all-nighter. A unique subway ride brought us to a filling lunch at Shake Shack; double cheeseburger, fries, strawberry custard smoothie, and a root beer. To burn off the million calories we had eaten, we took a stroll through Central Park, posing for pictures among the beautiful snow-covered scenery along the way. After getting back to Steph’s apartment (which we thankfully had as our place to stay), we took a long nap. We finally got dressed and ready for the big night.
It was so awesome to ring in the new year with Ada and Derek. We created memories and inside jokes that are definitely going to last a lifetime. There is no doubt that 2010 is going to be a year filled with laughter among friends, sweat among teammates, and love among family.
Warming Up in AZ
This cold and snowy weather has chilled me to the core. In a few weeks I will be heading back to Arizona to continue my training for preseason. With more cooperative weather, it will be easier to train outside. Getting acclimated to a warmer climate is important. In March L.A. will be a bit warmer than it is here in CT.
Every day I get more and more excited for the season to come. There have been many changes within the team and the league throughout the offseason. It will be great to be reunited with old teammates and staff members, while it will be interesting to see the new faces we bring in. However, I know we will all be 100% committed to winning the WPS championship.
Please follow along as I continue on another journey with my L.A. Sol once again.