There are a ton of amazing people on Instagram.
A few weeks ago I wrote an article about the biggest athletic freaks on Instagram. During my research for that piece, I somehow missed a 22-year-old woman named Indi Cowie.
Cowie, who boasts 519,000 followers on Instagram, is a "professional soccer freestyler." What exactly does that mean? Just watch:
Pretty amazing, right? Anyone who's ever tried to juggle a soccer ball knows the moves Cowie can pull off are tremendously difficult.
But how did she get so good? Raised in North Carolina by Scottish parents, Cowie excelled at soccer from a young age. By the time she was 10, she could juggle a soccer ball 2,000 times in a row. When she was 14, her family moved back to Glasgow. There, she played for the Scottish Women's Premier League club Celtic and the U17 Scottish Women's National Team.
Shortly thereafter, her family moved back to North Carolina. In high school, Cowie elected not to play for her school's girl's soccer team, opting instead to train with a boy's club team. Though she loved playing soccer, she absolutely adored free-styling and trained in the discipline constantly.
Cowie received a scholarship to play soccer at the University of North Carolina, but early in her career she tore her ACL. The injury, combined with the fact that the NCAA was limiting her burgeoning freestyle career (she could not be an NCAA athlete while also using her name or image to promote herself), led Cowie to retire from collegiate soccer and become a full-time freestyler.
It's safe to say the decision has paid off. Cowie's accolades speak for themselves—she's won an EA Games world freestyle championship (judged by Lionel Messi), appeared on The Ellen Degeneres Show and performed at halftime of a Manchester United game. She's now an official Nike Athlete and has also appeared in advertisements for Playstation, Coca-Cola and AT&T.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock