April 2, 2009
Aaron Zendejas, a junior soccer athlete, took time out of his busy schedule to talk to NIUHuskies.com about being from Japan, art and trying to fly.
What was it like growing up in Japan?
It was everything you could imagine and more.
Why did you decide to come to NIU?
There aren't too many recruiting opportunities when you live over seas, but it turned out pretty good for me.
What is your biggest accomplishment as an athlete?
Just making it to this level, and also getting MVP honors for the Far-East soccer tournament over in Japan.
What is the hardest part about being a student athlete?
It's taxing all the time, mentally, physically, emotionally, psychologically. It's definitely a journey and I try to just embrace all these challenges because it's an opportunity I know most people don't get, so I'm definitely thankful for that.
Do you have any pregame rituals?
Not too much, I usually keep it low key. I try to reflect on how I got to this stage and try to keep my energy levels down until right before the game then I get all hyped up.
What is the best advice you have received from one of your coaches?
My head coach Steve Simmons, when he was recruiting me, said, "Aaron, playing for me is going to be the toughest thing you'll ever love."
Who is your all-time favorite soccer player?
Pavel Nedved, he is like a visionary. Plus he's a workhorse.
What's your favorite food?
Anything homemade. I also love Chinese food.
What actor would play you in a movie about your life?
Probably the Collin Farrell type, maybe even Benicio Del Toro.
When you were a kid what did you want to be?
What is your favorite class?
Anything that has to do with Communications.
What is your favorite activity outside of sports?
I'm a pretty good artist, I have a sketchbook that I like to do.
What is the talent you'd most like to have?
I want to learn to play the guitar.
What is your favorite TV show?
I usually stick to the either the Discovery Channel or Cartoon Network.
What is your all-time favorite movie?
What is the funniest thing that ever happened to you?
When I was young enough to do this I was standing outside on my roof, second story, because I actually thought I could fly. So I was about to jump off the roof, and these teenage girls came walking by screaming and told my parents, I got in big trouble.
What are the words you try to live by?
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
What is something that few people know about you?
I write poetry from time to time.