For the last 14 years, Erin McLeod has been a member of the Canadian Women’s National Soccer team. She continues to play even after three ACL surgeries. She was motivated to keep playing by the letters and emails she received from people “sharing stories of what they had been through — what inspired them to keep going and what drove them to be the best version of themselves.”
Not only did Erin go back to playing soccer, but she started a website called the Motive Nation in order to share these amazing stories with the world. If all that wasn’t enough, Erin is also a singer, songwriter, and an artist who sells her art on Etsy.
Get to know Erin better and help us welcome her to the #AfLfamily.
Q&A with Erin McLeod
AfL: What is your biggest fear?
Erin McLeod: My biggest fear is losing the people I love. Soccer means so much to me and it is something I am so passionate about. For so long I was afraid of failure, of not being good enough, but I have failed, over and over, and not being good enough is the inner drive to be better. I have become extremely grateful of these fears, and every step of my journey my family has been there to support me. I have already had a life full of more love than I could have ever dreamed of. When I play I play for my family and my close friends first and a life without any of them wouldn’t be the same. Family comes first to me, so yes, losing them, that’s my biggest fear.
AfL: What is your proudest moment?
Erin McLeod: Winning the bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympics. We defeated the odds and lived and died for one another on that field. We had no right winning that game against the French but I believe that our fight for one another is why we held on to win.
AfL: What is your favourite way to spend time with family?
Erin McLeod: We love games, just chatting, watching Christmas movies like Elf together — whatever it is doesn’t matter as long as we are together.
AfL: What is your favourite season?
Erin McLeod: Fall. I love sweaters and scarves, and the changing colours.
AfL: What is your favourite physical activity?
Erin McLeod: I love going for hikes with my wife and my dog Maxwell. We live in North Vancouver and have some of the best hikes in our backyard. It’s so rewarding to hike a mountain in a day, to be in nature and be at peace.
AfL: Why are you excited to be an AfL Role Model?
Erin McLeod: I’m excited to be an AFL role model because I’ve been active my whole life. I understand the importance of healthy living, eating, sleeping, mental training, all because of my sport. And when my sporting career is over it’s something I will apply to my daily life. Sports teach you to work well with others, work towards a common goal, build confidence and respect; so many important things for people of all ages. It is an honour to represent Canada and to have the opportunity to push myself everyday. I know as an athlete there are always eyes watching and it’s so important to have healthy, strong, confident, female role models, and I am pleased to be one.
Soccer image by photographer Ville Vuorinen, courtesy of Canada Soccer