Welcome back to my readers and followers. I hope you have missed me as much as I have missed you. It’s crazy to think that we have yet to play a home game 4 weeks into the WPS season but alas, we haven’t. No tears will be shed, however, since our first game in Philly is just around the corner: Sunday @ 6pm to be exact.
I have been trying to think of an adjective to best describe the season so far. The best I can come up with is…strange. This adjective in no way reflects the sentiments of the entire Cheesesteak Organization and I am sure if you went around the team they would all have their own words to describe the WPS 2011 season. Regardless, this is my personal blog and therefore, strange is the word I will be using.
Why strange? It seems to be the year of the unconventional. Canceled home games, National Team players in and out of the squad, a once familiar Washington Freedom team moved to the unfamiliar Palm Beach, mystery team owners, a new Cheesesteak home field, two-week World Cup breaks, and the expansion Western New York Flash (which are eerily similar to the now defunct Bay Area).
An apt response to this scenario, “get comfortable being uncomfortable”. The one exception: our uncomfortable place in the league standings with one loss and one tie will NOT be something we get comfortable with. Sunday is another chance to vault our way back to the top and I have no doubts that the Cheesesteaks are a force to be reckoned with.
Amid all the distractions, it is business as usual here in Philly. We will not accept any of these things as excuses to take our eye off the ultimate prize. Our double days are still intact and we are as competitive as ever in practice. We are positive, pumped, and preparing for the next opponent, the Boston Breakers.
As a true professional, the 6 days of training and games require constant analysis of the game and my personal play, almost to the point where I drive myself crazy. A day off, therefore, really needs to be an entire day away from the game. Is this hard? For sure, especially when my day off falls on the same day as the Barcelona/Real Madrid Champions League semi-final. While it is difficult not to cheat and watch one of the best rivalries in the world, this voluntary boycott can be quite therapeutic.
It is very important that we find reprieve and value in the finer things this world has to offer. Everyone has their creative outlets, their escapes that enable them to rest their weary minds and bodies. As a professional athlete, what you do on your day off can be just as important as what you do in a game.
When your life revolves so heavily around a certain activity you can often feel lost when that activity is temporarily suspended, even for a day. Luckily, Lianne Sanderson and I are full of imagination and 24 soccer-less hours is no doubt filled with various engaging projects. For example, we enjoy spending hours at the park, reading, writing, laughing, and basically lying around the grass. We spend precious time with family and hunt for easter eggs. We walk the lovely streets of our home town, West Chester, often ending up perusing the aisles of the library. We attend Women In Business events to promote the team and build a professional network.
Believe it or not, we even do arts and crafts. Maybe our works of art won’t be sold for millions (I don’t want to sell ourselves short), they do make for wonderful refrigerator decorations. Most recently, I painted Lianne’s white Nike shoes to give them a bit more flair and flavor. I also painted my personal take on a moon landing. While I am bit biased, I do think it is a realistic rendition of the first ever steps that transformed our country. It does get messy, especially when you paint with your fingers, but it is amazing how things you did as a kid can still bring so much joy. Art therapy at its best.
Meanwhile, this is a formal invitation to come to our game on Sunday. 6pm, Widener University. We extend a special welcome to all the Mothers out there who have helped to make this world a better place. I love you, Mom.