Friday, September 30, 2011

Let History Stand.

 
  In 2003, Paula Radcliffe set a new world record by running 26.2 miles in 2 hours, 15 minutes, and 25 seconds. She bested the previous women's marathon record by almost 3 minutes (2:17:42, a mark also held by Radcliffe).

  But as of January 1, 2012 Radcliffe's amazing performance will no longer count as the world record. Why, you ask? You see, Radcliffe ran with male pacesetters that day in 2003. WHAT?!?!

  On Thursday, the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) handed down a rule change that dis-allows Radcliffe's run ONLY because she ran with men. The women's world record can only occur when there are ONLY women competing in the race. Now, a majority of the road races worldwide are ineligible to have the world record because they're co-ed races (Boston, London and New York Marathons, etc).

  When I heard they were taking away the world record label from Radcliffe's run, I immediately took offense. The rule is ASSUMING (you know what happens when we assume!) that women cannot run as fast when running only with other women. That they have to have men present to push the pace, and thus quicken their times.

  Whether that is true or not, Paula Radcliffe ran those 26.2 miles on her own. No one else made her legs turn over that fast. No one else mentally fought through the pain of running sub-5 minute miles for 26 consecutive miles.  No one else pushed through the exhausting training sessions that are necessary to accomplish what she did.

  Sure, Radcliffe still owns the women's world record time. No harm done, right? But track & field and marathon running are sports of mere seconds. Taking away that time is taking away a huge accomplishment from Radcliffe. She had the perfect conditions to run in, she was in tip-top shape, who's to say she wouldn't have run the same pace (or close) that day even without men present?

  Though it's unlikely (because she is now 8 years older), I for one, hope Radcliffe somehow could prove the IAAF wrong and record that mark again. Or, let the IAAF see that a record is a record. She ran that race, let her incredible mark stand.

  Just wanted to share this story with you all today. I know marathon running doesn't exactly get the same pub as other sports, but this one deserves a little bit more attention in my opinion!! Hope your Friday is a good one!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

First Impressions



 
  Game number two for DMBC Dunkerque, proved to be just as successful as the first. Unfortunately that means tallying up another in the 'L' column for my team. For me, the only good to come from this game was that I finally got the opportunity to get out on the court. I practiced all week, and had no problems with my ankle, so I was comfortable and confident that I'd be able to play, and be effective.

  The first home game of the season is really the only game I ever get nervous for anymore. It's the first opportunity to prove yourself, and the first chance to show your home fans what kind of player you are. You know what they say about first impressions. You want to play well, and show the fans what they hopefully have to look forward for the rest of the season. So I was excited, and ready to play.

  There are always high expectations for Americans in European basketball. You're supposed to come in and be 'Super American' (for lack of a better term): lead the team in scoring, rebounding, etc..I have gotten used to those expectations, and do my best not to let them affect me. I try to play my game, and do it the best I can. The thing is, you're never going to meet everyone's expectations, so you really can't worry about what others think. That's where you get into trouble, usually by putting too much pressure on yourself.



  Our opponent from Saturday, Voiron (a city in the south, near Lyon), had a familiar face on their team. I had played against Amanda Lassiter many times when I was at Colorado. She played at Missouri, so our teams played each other twice a year since we were in the same conference. She somehow drew the ire from the refs early on (as many Americans do out here, for whatever reason), and spent most of the game on the bench in foul trouble. But even with her on the bench, we couldn't get the win. It's always fun to see a familiar face all the way out here. But hopefully the next time I see her on the court, my team will come out on top.

   One thing about these game recaps: if you think I'm going to give you any stats, you are mistaken. You'll have to go elsewhere for that. :) The only statistics I have ever cared about was the final score, and whether or not we were on the winning side of things.

  But I will sum up our game this way: we had too many turnovers, weren't aggressive enough, and played some pretty bad defense at times. But it's all fixable, which is a good thing. By communicating and working harder, both in practice and in the games, there's no reason why we can't turn things around and start winning. So now it's just a matter of putting in the work, and changing our habits! But like I said yesterday ("We are what we repeatedly do..."), it all starts in practice!!

  Next game is at home again on Saturday. I'll let you know how that one goes next week! Have a good one!

  ~ Sabrina

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"We are what we repeatedly do...."



 "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore,
is not an act but a habit.
"
- Aristotle

  I can't understand not practicing hard. Period. And I never will. Practice is a place to get better. And it's where you form your habits. If you practice at 50% and then try play at 100% only for games, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you won't be prepared for the games. The adjustment will be too great, and the pace will be too quick.

Poland - All Star game. 2006.
  You know the old saying, "Practice makes perfect." We've all heard it a thousand times. But really, that's not an accurate statement. Because if you repeatedly practice a bad habit over and over, then you're just reinforcing that bad habit. So the saying should be, "Perfect practices makes perfect." Yeah I know, there's no such thing as perfect. But don't you want to practice doing something as well as you can possibly do it?

Playing in Germany 2009-2010.
  To me, that means going full speed in practice. Whether it's a drill or scrimmage, go as hard as you would go in a game. That's the only way you're going to get better, and that's the only way you'll be prepared to perform during games.

  Excuse the running comparison, but it's like training for a half-marathon, and then deciding at the last minute to run a full marathon. Or maybe a better comparison would be, training to WALK a marathon, and then at the last minute deciding to RUN a marathon. Either way, it's not the smartest move, is it? Sure, some people might be able to pull it off occasionally. But week after week, game after game, it's going to catch up to you. You surely won't be at your best.

Poland - All Star game. 2006.
  And that's all we really want, isn't it? To be at our best on game day, when the lights come on.

  So in my book, if you're not going to go hard, don't waste your time ("Go hard, or go home," right?). Put in your work, and play hard.

  Make your habits excellent, and I'm willing to bet you'll be on the winning team more often than not.

  Be great! ~ Sabrina

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Effects of GMOs

Genetically Modified salmon vs. 'organic' salmon.

  Now, I'm not a doctor or a scientist (obviously!). But I've become curious enough, and diligent enough to seek out information as to why so many friends, and friends of friends, were facing so many bouts with cancer.

  And as it turns out, after doing some reading and a lot of listening, cancer isn't the only result of the 'chemicalization' of our world.

  I'm sure it's not as simple as I'm making it out to be, but the obvious can no longer be ignored.

  I described what GMOs were in an entry last week (Do You Know What GMOs Are?). And as I said then, GMOs are found EVERYWHERE. It's estimated that 80% of processed foods contain genetically engineered ingredients.

  Here are some of the potential effects:

  In 1996, GMOs were widely introduced in the US. Nine years later, chronic diseases nearly doubled, and food allergies, Autism, Diabetes, asthma, obesity, Parkinson's, cancer and infertility rates exploded.

  They exploded in the US, while staying at relatively the same levels in countries where GMOs are banned or labeled. 40 countries around the world have either banned, or have plans to ban GMOs. In the US, they aren't even regulated.

  Before you ask, where's the proof, let me provide you an alarming piece of information. Read it. Seriously. According to the Center for Food Safety:
“a number of studies over the past decade have revealed that genetically engineered foods can pose serious risks to humans, domesticated animals, wildlife and the environment. Human health effects can include higher risks of toxicity, allergenicity, antibiotic resistance, immune-suppression and cancer."
An example of the effect of GMOs on Diabetes rates.

  Those are the effects on OUR health. What about the environment's?

Pollution: From Farm to Stream to River to Ocean
  The manufacturing, transportation, and use of chemicals for agriculture are poisonous to all things that come into contact with them. And many chemicals don't biodegrade, they last forever.

  By using 'Round-Up Ready' corn or soy seeds from Monsanto, and then spraying toxic chemicals and pesticides onto the crops, we are starting the pollution at the farm level. The run off from the farm, to the stream, to the river, and finally into the ocean suffocates sea life, and causes dead zones to grow, and water wells to be contaminated.

Illustration of the Dead Zone areas in the Gulf.
  If that weren't enough, another environmental effect of using GMO crops is that we are killing the earth's soil. That in turn, accelerates our global warming problem.

Soil Degradation
  'Healthy' soil is alive. It is made up of millions of micro-organisms that are responsible for trapping green-house gasses (carbon), that helps clean our air. When we spray pesticides onto the crop/soil, we are killing those micro-organisms which allows more green-house gasses to remain in our air.

  Yet another effect is that nutrients found in living soil are decreasing. Plants obviously get nutrients from the soil, so the plants are not getting the same nutrients as they once did. As a result, our fruits and vegetables are nutrient deficient, so WE are getting fewer nutrients from our food.

  But wait, there's more. Since the soil is dying, it is necessary for farmers to spray EVEN MORE chemicals (synthetic fertilizer that has ammonia in it) onto the crops to aid its growth. Again, creating the run off contamination into our rivers and oceans (while also poisoning our food even further).

A Harmful Cycle
  You see, it's a dirty cycle. And the only ones that are seeing the benefits are the seed/chemical companies (which are usually one and the same, i.e. Monsanto). They continue to become more and more powerful, and see record profits year after year.

  The domino effect of GMOs and chemical farming was a shocking one to me. Until this past year, I had never thought that our food was doing us harm.

  We should be able to trust the foods that are in our grocery stores, not be suspicious and skeptical of it. And I had never realized that so much harm was being done to not only human health, but to the health of our environment too.

  The next time I tackle the world of GMOs, I'll get into ways we can be on the lookout for them. How can we identify them, and avoid them? I hope you come back for more!

 

LINKS:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Taking the Easy Way Down

Me & Tera at the top of Mt. St. Helens.
 
  I left you on Friday with the account of the difficult (and kind of scary) 5 hour hike up Mt. St. Helens. After re-fueling at the top and discussing our strategy for the upcoming descent, we geared back up and started our trek down.

  We knew footing would be difficult on the way down the mountain, with the ash, pumice, and then boulders. And even though it was mid-July, there was still a fair amount of snow on the mountain. This actually ended up working to our advantage. While discussing our strategy, we briefly tossed around the idea of glasading down where we could. Glasading is essentially sliding down on the snow. It would obviously be much easier on our legs, and much more fun than walking (or falling) down the mountain. But we were a little unsure. We weren't sure how much control we would have, and how safe it would be (since it was so far into the summer, and the melt was was progressing in the warm sun).

Sliding down the ash. Not too fun.
  So we played it safe to start off. We stumbled and slid down the ash for about 30 minutes. Sure it was kinda fun, but the idea of falling face first into ash and pumice wasn't my idea of a good time (not to mention that my quads and calves were going to give out on me at any moment). Finally when we got to an area where the snow was sufficient, we tried out glasading. Everyone in the group quickly realized this would be a much more efficient way to descend the mountain. We weren't prepared to do any glasading that afternoon, but none of us had any problems just sitting on the snow and sliding. It made for a cold and numb ride down, but I think they pay off was well worth it!! :)

  Once we all made the decision to slide down the mountain on our rear-ends, the trip down became much more fun. It was *kinda* like sledding, but not quite. You know how tiring getting up and down off of the snow is, right? Now imagine doing that after already hiking for five-plus hours! But my biggest concern, falling down into ash or rocks, was taken care of. Face-planting into snow (albeit crunchy/a tad-hard snow) was much more pleasant than falling into rocks, in my opinion. :)  So I was much happier with our game-plan.

Giving glasading a shot!
  Even by taking the 'easy way', our climb down took almost four hours. By the time we got back to the tree line, I was done. Both mentally and physically. I got my iPod out, stuck my headphones in, and was in my own world for the last hour or so.

  It was a pretty amazing hike. Yeah, it was tough. But I am certainly glad I made the commitment to do it. Climbing Mt. St. Helens might not be something I'd jump at the chance to do AGAIN, but it is something I'd suggest to the adventurous type (who wants a major challenge)!


You can kind of see the ridge you have to follow on the hike
  If you DO decide to climb Mt. St. Helens, I also suggest that you do it with as great a group as I did it with.  There were about 12 of us (including 10 bad ass chicks), ranging in ages from early-20s to 58! We stuck together (for the most part). And although we all had our fair share of complaints, there was usually a joke not too far behind. We knew what we had set out to do, and we were going to finish it. No matter how long it took. No questions asked.





  I know every single person in our group can say very proudly, 'I climbed Mt. St. Helens.' It was a great thing to accomplish together. Just don't ever ask me to do it again. ;) ;)

  Til tomorrow

  ~ Sabrina


We made it! Tracie, and my mom.
Hallelujah - it's over! ;)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hiking St. Helens



Our Mt. St. Helens crew!
 
  You would have thought growing up in the Northwest and going to college in Colorado, I would have hiked my fair share of mountains. But until a few years ago, that wasn't the case. I was never a skier (except for the water variety), so I never had reason to venture up into the mountains. It was normal for me to spend the weekend in a gym playing basketball as a kid. And in college, if there was any free moment to catch up your rest, you took full advantage by doing absolutely nothing.

On my way up Mt. St. Helens.

   So that meant I never saw Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, Longs Peak, Pikes Peak, or any of the other beautiful mountains in the NW and Colorado, up close and personal.

  Over the past few summers though, my former Colorado teammates have managed to drag me up a mountain or two. It was always fun, but nothing too serious. Hiking is a nice way to change things up. Do something different. You get a decent workout in, and you get to see some pretty incredible sights while doing it.

Royal Arch hike in Boulder.
  The hiking got serious last summer however, when my friend Tera (shout out T-money!) told me that her mom and a group of her friends from Minnesota wanted to hike Mt. St. Helens. And since it was in my neck of the woods, if I would be interested in hiking along with them. I said, 'sure!' without giving it a second thought. Figured if I was a true Oregonian, hiking Mt. St. Helens was something I HAD to do.


   Let me just tell you right now, hiking Mt. St. Helens was the most difficult thing I have ever done. I had previously hiked a 14'er in Colorado (a mountain that exceeds 14,000 feet), and while it was hard, it wasn't scary and it was something I knew I could do again. The hike was just tiring and time consuming (and made your hands and ankles swell, but that's beside the point). So I think hiking Mt. Quandry gave me a false sense of security or false confidence. St. Helens only tops out around 8,400 feet. So I thought surely THAT wouldn't be more difficult than a 14'er!!!

At the top of Mt. Quandry.

Hiking Mt. Quandry with some of my Buff teammates.











  Wow, was I wrong. The hike took nine hours total. About five to climb, and another four to descend (side note: I would love hikes even more if there were helicopters waiting at the top, so there WAS no descent!!). The first hour and a half was your normal switch backs through the trees. Nothing too exciting or out of the ordinary there. But once through the tree-line, that's where things really got interesting.

Me and my mom. Just out of the tree-line.

  For the next two and a half hours we were subjected to the 'Boulder Field'. Essentially it was climbing up and over giant boulders. Not only was it tiring, but it was a little scary. One wrong move, and you could fall backwards. Not a good ending if you're climbing a mountain. This was physically, as well as, mentally draining (add on the fact that I was worried about my mom. She was hiking with us, and I didn't want her falling off the mountain either!).

Our very own motivational speaker, Rene. :)
My mom & Tera maneuvering their way up the boulders.


Once we were nearing the end of the Boulder Field, Tera and I talked that surely 'this had to be the worst part.' A guy who wasn't in our group, but climbing along with us said, 'nope, we still have the ash and pumice to go through.'

  For those that don't know, Mt. St. Helens is a volcano. It famously erupted about 30 years ago, literally blowing the top off of the mountain. That eruption, along with some other more-recent volcanic activity, left a thick layer of ash and pumice rock. We hit the ash and pumice field about four hours into our hike. You can imagine our legs were on fire. I know my quads and calves were screaming at me. 

The lovely ash & pumice. There's my mom & Tera's mom making their way to the top!

  The ash and pumice made things all the more difficult. Imagine taking a giant step forward, and then sliding backwards a foot and a half. Pretty counter-productive, isn't it? So to keep from sliding, you were forced to take tiny steps. This turned out to be exhausting, and even harder on your legs. But an hour later, we could finally see the end in sight (not exactly the end, but the summit none the less).

Chillin at the top (some more than others)!
A look into the crater. Mt. Rainier behind.

  Once at the top, it was pretty exhilarating. You could see into the crater, and you could see countless other mountain tops along the Cascade Range. We sat at the top for some time, refueled with some PB&Js and trail mix, and tried to catch our breath. After about 30 minutes, the excitement had worn off. Now we had to figure out how to get down the mountain!!! :)

  The descent is a story for another day. Because it was just as difficult, and just as out of the ordinary, it deserves an entry of its own!! 

  Til then, have a great weekend! Game day tomorrow for me as well! Talk soon...

~ Sabrina
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Role Models of Their Own

Abby Wambach signing autographs after a training session.

  A friend a mine posted this picture to her twitter account yesterday (shout out to @heidiburgett!),
and it put the biggest smile on my face.

  Great, a picture of US Women's Soccer National team forward Abby Wambach signing autographs. What is so fabulous about that?

  What made me smile were the eager little girls surrounding her, and the countless others in the background. What an awesome role model they have to look up to!

  What I think is great, is the number of tremendous role models little girls have to look up to these days. And that they're easily accessible (call it high-profile, if you will). Not that I didn't have great role models to look to up to when I was growing up, but it's on a larger scale now. Instead of admiring the local high school star, girls today can admire the best athletes in the world because the platform is now there.

  They don't have to try too hard to find their role models. At a young age, a little girl can see someone like Alex Morgan or Maya Moore on TV or in the newspaper, and say 'I want to be just like her.' Thanks to Nike, Gatorade and the like, they see them in commercials too, just like their male counterparts.
1996 U.S. Women's Olympic Team.
  The picture of Abby made me think back to when I was those girls' age. What, are they 12? I was trying to remember who my role models and heroes were when I was 12. Outside of the girls playing on the local high school basketball teams in the Portland area (and my dad and brother, who taught me how to play basketball), I looked up to the guys who were playing in the NBA and college.

  I also remember looking up to Jennifer Capriati and Steffi Graf as well -- even though I never played competitive tennis. I admired them because they were the only professional female athletes I regularly saw on TV and in magazines.

  A couple years down the road, there was the 1996 Women's Olympic basketball team, and eventually the WNBA. But by that point, my role models had already been established, and I was well on my way.

Jennifer Capriati - cover of SI.
  I think it's important to have role models at a young age. No matter what field they might be in. It's important for a young girl to look up to successful women. Just like it's important for boys to have men they aspire to be like. Whether they are athletes, singers, actresses, or family members, role models help you see what is achievable.

  If you see the best on a regular basis, it makes it that much more realistic and inspiring. A little girl sees Serena Williams today, and says 'I want to be the best tennis player in the world some day'. Whereas before, she might have only aspired to be the best tennis player in her town, if her only role model was the local high school star at the time.

  Seeing it on a regular basis, on a national level, makes achieving it yourself seem all the more possible.

2011 U.S. Women's World Cup teammates Abby Wambach & Hope Solo.
  Maybe some of the girls in the picture want to be great soccer players just like Abby. Maybe they saw how hard Abby and her teammates played in the 2011 World Cup, and they want to work just as hard. Maybe they don't play soccer at all, but they look up to Abby for being an awesome athlete.

  Their reason for looking up to Abby doesn't matter. What matters that is they have her to look up to at all.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dunkerque Beach (video)


  Coach gave us the evening off from practice tonight. And since I tend to get a little antsy when we have too much time off, I took a short walk down on the beach. Thought some people might like to see video of what we have going on in Dunkerque in late September!! :)

video 

  My cameraman/commentator skills need work, I know. I'll do better next time. :) ~ Sabrina

Runner


  I came across this little vignette in a blog I check out on occasion (source: Pre-Lives Tumbler). Wanted to share. Runners will appreciate it:


                                   runner.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Do You Know What GMOs Are?

 
  You may or may not have heard about them. But GMOs have become quite the hot topic over the past couple of years in regard to the food supply in the US.

  In short, GMOs are Genetically Modified Organisms. Great, so what does that mean?

  It's an organism (seed, plant, animal, you get the idea) whose genetic material has been altered from its natural state.

  It's combining DNA molecules from different sources to create a new set of genes, and essentially a new organism. It's playing God with the genetics of plants and animals. Does that sound like something that should be going on with our food?

Round-Up Ready Seeds
  The most commonly seen GMOs come in the form of agricultural crops. In the mid-1990s, a company called Monsanto first patented corn seeds and soy beans to withstand the affects of herbicides and pesticides. Essentially, they put herbicide and pesticide into the seeds. They call them 'Round-Up Ready' seeds.

  In theory, it sounds like a great idea. Why not make farmers' lives easier by helping them create a farm that doesn't need to be weeded? But here's the reality: not only is our food covered in chemicals, but now chemicals are inside our food.

  Today, 15-20 years after they were first introduced, it is becoming more and more clear that GMOs have become a very harmful monster in our world. Bringing these chemicals into our food supply has had repercussions that we never expected. The effects have harmed our health, our environment, our land, and ocean life.

  I'll dive deeper into these effects a later post.

Avoiding GMOs is a Difficult Task
  You might think: okay, so just avoid corn and soy, and there's no problem. Wrong. Unfortunately GMO corn and soy are in EVERYTHING.

  Everything that is processed, that is. Look on the ingredients on any box you pick up in the store, and I can almost guarantee that either corn or soy is listed.

Altering Animals

  A genetically modified animal is just as problematic. Everyone wants a bigger, fatter cow, right?!? So lets make that cow (or chicken, pig, etc) grow that much bigger/faster by giving them hormones.

  When it grows too quickly, or becomes too heavy for its bones (that weren't meant to support the modified, larger-version), the cow gets sick. So to prevent it from becoming sick, farm animals are given anti-biotics. Those anti-biotics (don't forget about the hormones too) are then ingested by the human that eats that farm animal.

  Now can't you see how dangerous GMOs might be?  I'm going to write more and more about GMOs, their ramifications, what we can do, and how we can avoid them in the near future.

What Foods Have GMOs in Them?
  Here are the most prevalent offenders:

       -milk (dairy products)
       -cooking oils (corn, soybean, cottonseed, and canola oils produced in North America)
       -animal products
       -sugar & artificial sweeteners
       -cereals
       -fruits & vegetables
       -crackers & chips

  Like I said, GMOs are EVERYWHERE! The only way to ensure that you're not consuming a GMO food, is to find organic alternatives.

  I'm not writing this to scare anyone, I just want to share the information I've come across in the last six months. It's made a great impact on me, and it has changed the way I eat and live my life (for the better, I believe).

  I find the whole process to be very interesting (and disturbing), and I think it is affecting us more than we know.

  Hope you'll stay tuned!









LINKS:
Rodale
Jillian Michaels Podcast - 3/25/2011 & 4/29/2011
Organic Manifesto
6 GMO Foods to Avoid

Monday, September 19, 2011

Season Opener


When I first arrived in DMBC.
  This past Saturday my team, DMBC Dunkerque, opened up the 2011-2012 basketball season. As you know (if you have been reading, of course!), I have been battling a bum ankle for the past three weeks (The Dreaded Injury Bug).

  Going into the game, I was pretty confident that I would be able to play. While I wasn't 100% comfortable with how WELL I might play, I was feeling better and thought I could make a positive contribution to the team. I had practiced hard on Thursday and Friday and felt good, so I thought the injured ankle was behind me.

  Guess my ankle had other ideas.

  We left Saturday morning for Paris. From Dunkerque it's about a three hour drive. Throw in a stop for a pre-game meal, navigation through Paris traffic, and we were looking at a 4.5 hour trip to the gym.

  Road trips can get a little tedious and boring sometimes, but you're always excited for the first one. And thankfully, our first one wasn't of the marathon variety (apparently we have a few road games that will take 14-15 hours to get to). You can imagine those are going to be awesome!

  If you are wondering, a charter bus will be the mode of transportation for all away games this season. It's not the most-preferable, but you do what you gotta do. Depending on your team's budget, location of the city, and I'm sure a few other factors, a team can either fly, take a train or a bus to away games. You can imagine my preference would be flying (much faster and more-convenient), but it doesn't always work out how you want it.

  Last season in Sweden, we flew everywhere (with the exception of one or two games), and travel was a breeze! Not to mention, I racked up quite a few frequent flier miles too.

My view for most of the bus ride.
  But back to Saturday...We arrived at the gym with a few hours to spare. You're usually on the court ready to warm up an hour before tip-off. I've developed a pre-game routine that's worked pretty well for me over the years, so I like to get a really good warm up in before the game. I've found that's the only way I'm ready to play right from the start.

  I got taped, put my ankle braces on (need a little extra support for my gimpy ankle), and headed out to the court. I could tell from the second I started running, my ankle wasn't in the mood to be playing basketball that day.

  I was hoping adrenaline would kick in, or it would loosen up, but no such luck. I felt like I couldn't move. As you can imagine, no mobility is a bad thing! I just wanted to be able to contribute to the team. And by playing, I felt like I would have hurt us.

  I finished the warm up period, and my coach asked me how I felt. It killed me to say it, but I told him, 'terrible'. He just said, 'okay', and that was it.

  As the game started, I still wasn't sure if our coach would ask me to play. Unfortunately, our team didn't get off to a very good start. And immediately, I wanted to get in there and help. But as I realized the pace and the speed of the game, I knew I shouldn't be out there playing.

  I couldn't put myself out there and become a liability to my teammates. If you lack the confidence in your body, there is no way you should be playing at a high level. You have to be able to react, not think. So I threw myself into cheering for my teammates, and tried to be as supportive as I could. But it's a difficult feeling not being able to physically help them out on the floor.

  As we got further and further into the game with my team still losing, you can imagine the thoughts going through my head on the bench: What if I could have played, and helped? Did I do the right thing?

  At this point, it doesn't really matter. My team ended up losing by a couple points to a very good group of young players. I regret that I couldn't play, but know I made the right decision. It's a long season, and what if I re-injured the ankle? There are always two sides to the 'what-if' game.

The old gym at INSEP, where we played on Saturday.

  So we're 0-1, and we have a lot of work to do. But we have another game this coming Saturday, and another 20+ after that. I'm just looking forward to getting on the court and being healthy! Hopefully that comes sooner, rather than later!

  On a side note, you might think, oh cool, they got to go to Paris! Yes, our game was IN Paris. But I'm sad to say that we didn't even catch a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower (not even off in the distance). Now you see why I make post-season trips, that's when I do my sight-seeing!

  I hope everyone had a great weekend! Shout out to the Buffs for beating CSU, and getting their
first win of the season (thank goodness, cause that made my Saturday manageable)!