My name is Maddy Williams and I am a healthy lifestyle blogger from Perrysburg, OH – although my second home is really West Lafayette, IN. I grew up playing a multitude of sports ranging from soccer to basketball to volleyball and softball, even track. It was much more common back then to be a multi-sport athlete. Not to mention, I come from an athletic family with an all-star volleyball mom and a professional hockey dad. Some would say I was pretty lucky 🙂 I was athletic enough to keep up with almost any sport, but soccer was the one where I excelled the most, allowing me to play Division I college soccer at Purdue University.
Freshman year was an awesome one. I was taking prerequisites, so the class load wasn’t terrible yet, I had a new friend group of 20+ girls on the team and I was able to set some freshman records along the way. Unfortunately, the next few years were not as easy and fun as I thought they were going to be. Having an engineering course load while competing in college athletics was near impossible. A sudden coaching change led me to lose the one person who believed in me and convinced me Purdue was the right choice. The next two years were so miserable that I was inches away from quitting the game I’ve loved since I was a little girl. Oh, and the icing on the cake? I tore my ACL in our last practice headed into my final senior season. What I thought was the worst day of my life and the end of my athletic career turned into the biggest blessing in disguise and truly the beginning of my athletic career, all with a simple change in mindset.
A few days after the incident it was like a lightbulb went off in my head. Right at that moment I decided I was not only going to stay an extra year to finish my collegiate career, but I was going to come back stronger than before. I’m not going to sit here and lie and say it was all smiles and happy times. A lot of days were miserable to be quite honest, ask my close friends and athletic trainer (haha). Regardless of how tough times were, I set a goal for myself and was not going to quit until I reached it. One year later I broke the Purdue all-time records for goals, points, and assists. I became the 2017 Big Ten Forward of The Year. I was awarded First Team All-Big Ten and All-Region honors. Lastly, I was named an All-American: truly something I could never have dreamed of.
Tearing my ACL not only turned my life around athletically, but socially and mentally as well. I learned to overcome adversity. I learned to get up when I fell down. I learned to set goals for myself, even when no-one else thought I could achieve them. I started to make those around me better. I started putting these traits to use in my everyday life as well and the benefits were unbelievable. I turned into this happy, positive, outgoing woman to fulfill the role of a mentor, teammate, leader, and friend. I went from being close-minded and quiet to one of the most honest and genuine people you will ever meet.
So where am I now? With my amazing senior season, I was able to not only get my engineering degree but also continue my athletic career and play professionally. I am currently residing in The Netherlands to play for PSV Eindhoven. Of course, my blog will talk about the highs and lows of playing professionally as well as my journey and how I got to this point. One step further I will talk about what I work on and strive for each day to continue my success. I will talk about what it takes to live an all-around balanced “healthy life”. This will include the physical aspect with healthy foods/workouts as well as the mental aspect with tips on switching your mindset and enjoying each day to the fullest.
I have always been passionate about fitness and nutrition, but becoming a professional has allowed me more time to work on my craft and do the important things outside of training. Not to mention, moving across the country by myself to continue playing the game I love has opened my eyes and allowed me to focus on what’s really important – me. I hope to share some of the tricks I have learned and inspire others like you to see the positive each day. What’s the point of living if you’re not making everyone around you better? This is what I strive to do! If you’re lucky enough like me, it could change your life.