In contrast to older sister Christen, who recalled recently that she spent her first soccer season picking flowers instead of kicking the ball, Channing Press couldnt wait to get on the field.Really, she couldnt wait.Her parents tell her that she was so excited to finally play in her first real soccer game at about 4 years old that she took off at full sprint well before any whistle ever blew. In her mind, perhaps, she had bided her time as a spectator long enough. By three years the youngest of sisters, Tyler oldest and Christen in the middle, Channing sought to follow in their footsteps.It is hardly new, as these stories go, to learn she eventually needed to find her own path separate from their accomplishments.Who followed her when she took that fork is something of a plot twist.In confronting her own depression, finding peace of mind through the practice and study of Vedic meditation, Channing discovered a world awaiting her that offered pleasures and passions beyond soccer.And while meditation helped Channing reach a place where she was at peace with walking away from soccer, it might well have kept Christen from doing the same.I feel like in the most important part of my life, which is my soccer, football, my career, she has really protected me, said Christen, the United States forward who has chased a soccer ball across the globe, including a World Cup title a year ago and now in her first Olympics. And she has really taught me how to build an army to protect myself. And I feel like I could withstand anything.Channing withstood a lot in her own right. She loved the game as much as any of the sisters, the three of them daughters of a dad who imbued in them the competitiveness he carried as a former college football player. While they chased achievement in everything -- the three ended up going to Harvard (Tyler), Stanford (Christen) and Villanova (Channing) -- soccer stood apart. Yet as Channing neared her teenage years and soccer grew ever more serious, the game started to take a toll. She threw up before almost any competition, anxiety swelling inside her. She couldnt control it. By the time she played for Villanova in college, anxiety morphed into full-on panic attacks.She spiraled into a year-long depression. She felt trapped, unable to live up to expectations -- her own and those of all the people who told her how good she was from an early age -- when it came to this central pillar of her life that the sport had become. Yet its place as a central pillar made it that much more difficult to deconstruct, lest everything come tumbling down around it.She couldnt talk about it, not with her friends and not with her siblings.A lot of people, they dont know how to respond, Channing, now 24, said. The culture is that you should be strong. You need to be tough. You need to be able to thrive under pressure. Pressure is what makes us. You need to have that. And so people just want you to be able to push through it all, and it doesnt create an environment where you can openly discuss the things you are feeling.It was amid that nadir while home in California she came across a Vedic meditation class. There is a spiritual component, if not necessarily a religious one, to what she now understands about the practice as an instructor. But that wasnt what she sought initially. What appealed to her was, in essence, a chance to be proactive. Channing found convincing the research supporting the physiological benefits of meditation, that it could harness the fight-or-flight instinct that never switched off inside her. Even in the small amount of time involved, 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening to bring the body and mind to what is described as the least excited state, she felt a world that had closed in on her open up again.Channing ultimately didnt use her final two seasons of eligibility at Villanova. She felt better by then, but the love for the game had gone.Channing remained focused on meditation and began to pursue the means to teach it, including three months of intensive study in India. But it wasnt until a year with meditation had passed that she finally opened up to Christen about her struggles by then over.Ive always felt like my job is to protect my sister, Christen said. Even growing up, on the playground, when my sister was too shy I would speak for her. ... I even had dreams where I had to save her, growing up, all the time -- like she was falling and I had to save her.So it was sad and shocking that I hadnt seen this huge thing happening because I was probably so wrapped up in what I was doing with soccer and the stress that I was feeling.It was at about this time that Christen faced a crossroads of her own with soccer. The Hermann Trophy winner as the nations best college player as a senior at Stanford, she finished school just in time to see Womens Professional Soccer (WPS) fold later that year. She hadnt yet made inroads with the national team, although she certainly felt the pressure to do so. It was not the happiest of times.I think that during college I would say I did not enjoy playing soccer, Christen said. Its funny because people on this team are like, Oh college, the good old days. And Im like, Im so glad Im not in that. Those were the awful days.Stanfords an amazing, amazing school. It was an extraordinary soccer program. Its no one to blame. I was just living in my own mental hell because of the pressure that I felt to score goals and perform and win games for my team. It was never good enough. I remember playing games and having tears roll down my face because it felt like it was never going to be good enough.Part of the solution came from expanding her horizons geographically. She moved to Sweden that fall to play in its professional league, immersed in a new way of playing the game on the field and a new culture off it that emphasized quality of life over relentless achievement.But part of her own turnaround came from a change of perspective less rooted in an atlas. As Tyler and mother Stacy did first with Channing, Christen soon took the same course and sought her younger sisters advice. Meditation helped in small ways -- Christen felt as if her regimen completely alleviated any jet lag when she first arrived in Sweden -- but also in more profound ways.I think that there is a chance I wouldnt be here, Christen said of the influence of meditation. Im a pretty determined person, even when I was totally neurotic, so there is part of me that is like, I would be here, and I would just be grinding this out until the death of me. But I think its a totally different experience coming here and being confident in who I am, being a person that isnt disrupted by small setbacks.By owning and having ownership over my own happiness, I think that makes this experience so much better.Tyler talked Channing out of retirement not so long ago, the two playing together on a recreational team in Southern California, the games played purely for fun. And while Channings recent move to Las Vegas will split up the duo, she intends to find a new league.But for evidence of a little sisters peace of mind, just look to the soccer stadiums of Brazil this month.I think its also a way for us to better understand each other, Channing said. For me, being able to share meditation is a way to really express my encouragement of what shes doing and just share with her that Im proud that she does what she does. Wholesale NBA Jerseys Outlet . Louis Cardinals. 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