Editor's note: Spider Stories is a sports series that is designed as a platform to give student-athletes a voice through the sharing of first-person stories.
My love for soccer and the music scene began at a very young age.
From elementary school to my first year of high school, my father ran The Fire, a bar that also functioned as a music venue in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia. The Fire booked Maroon 5, John Legend and Jason Mraz to perform during their early years in the music industry, and the bar was able to make a name for itself in the local music scene.
I was surrounded by some of the best artists of our generation. At that age, kids are super impressionable, and I naturally found myself standing at the front of the stage in awe of what I was witnessing. The art of singing or mastering an instrument fascinated me.
For a couple of years, my father and I lived on the third floor of The Fire, and I remember sneaking down the back steps to peek at the shows that were playing at night. Even if it meant showing up to my third grade classes yawning, I was so entranced by the musicians and their creations that it didn’t matter.
Today, I am a member of The Sirens, a University of Richmond a capella group, and it has been incredible. I’ve been able to create music with extremely talented girls. I knew I wanted to stay involved in music through my entire academic career, and The Sirens was the perfect answer.
My love for music has never wavered, regardless of where I was in my soccer career. Although soccer is very time consuming, I have always found a way to make time for singing or messing around on the piano here and there. After attending the Girard Academic Music Program in middle school, my piano and music theory skills only improved. At GAMP, I had a normal class schedule with music theory, piano, choir and music technology filtered into it.
My soccer team, just like the Sirens, has provided me with an awesome group of people who are working towards something bigger than themselves. It has been an honor to work with teammates who are so dedicated, selfless and willing to improve at any cost.
UR has provided me with two works of life: one being a competitive, nonstop grind, and the other a way to express myself. They go hand in hand and have allowed me to get the most out of my time at UR.
My schedule as an athlete is quite busy and can be grueling at times, but that’s why I enjoy it. Soccer challenges me everyday, and as someone who is highly competitive and always looking for what’s next, it is so worth it.
However, when soccer does become overwhelming mentally or physically, I have my musical outlet. I’m able to step away from the sports world when I go to a capella practice or get to sing the national anthem at a sporting event, rather than playing in it.
I am so grateful that I grew up in both worlds, and I can thank my parents for encouraging me to explore both sides of myself. It has made me a better person and allowed me to meet so many amazing people throughout my life.
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Contact contributor JoJo McShane at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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