2017 has been a whirlwind so far…. The past three months have been some of the busiest of my entire life. I’ve been traveling nonstop, giving lessons when in what little time I’m home, attending some major events, working out with my old Maryland trainer, filming YouTube videos every week, and still somehow managing to sleep and see my friends every once in a while. January and February have been what I like to call “The Grind” and now it’s time to tell you all about it month by month.
The first month of 2017 was an especially busy one for me. I traveled to different parts of Maryland, Georgia, Florida, New Jersey, and New York all within 31 days, some states more than once, to put on clinics for so many awesome girls. I had the opportunity to work with the TLC club team from Maryland, Walton High School (GA), the Buford (GA) youth group, Benjamin High School (FL), a youth group in Syracuse (NY), and another youth group in New Jersey, all within a month. Not to mention giving many lessons to my local Maryland girls during the week… boy I taught a lot!
In between all that travel, I had another training weekend for the national team, USA Spring Premiere. This event was the backdrop to an even bigger event: the final round of cuts for the World Cup team for Team USA and it proved to be tougher than ever. We ran our 300s test, had multiple practices, a clinic in between a tough morning practice and a game, and another game on the last day. At the end of it all, we knew that cuts would be made down the line, so that was especially hard to deal with mentally. That weekend was a mix of emotions for me: grueling, nerve racking, competitive, fun, humbling, and exciting. In the end, though, I was chosen to be one of the 18 members to represent our country in the 2017 FIL Women’s World Cup and, by doing so, accomplished one of my life’s dreams. [Please see my “Dreams” post if you want to hear more about it].
In addition to all that teaching and playing, I also was given the opportunity to speak at Lax Con which was AWESOME. I had never been to Lax Con before, so to see all the sites, hear amazing players and coaches speak, and have a chance to do so myself was a pretty incredible experience. I not only spoke about the draw, but had the chance to participate in the Team USA demo with all of my teammates which is always fun.
Overall, only one word could describe January: BUSY.
February was a little bit easier for me from a travel standpoint. I had multiple clinics that month, but only two of them were out of the state of Maryland: Ramsey, NJ and Charlotte, NC. Both of those clinics had awesome players with great talent and personalities, making them especially fun for Corinne and I. In case you don’t know, Corinne is my red headed best friend of almost 10 years. You’ll see her all over my social medias and YouTube channel.
Anyways, in addition to all the TCL clinics, I actually had the chance to put on a free clinic for Charm City Youth Lacrosse. I recently was added to the CCYL board and was super excited to participate in my first event with the organization. Katie Schwarzmann, fellow Terp and USA teammate, worked with the girls for two hours going over basic fundamentals and had a nice Q&A session to wrap it all up down in Baltimore at the UA House. Working with girls who were SO excited to be there and learn was by far the highlight of the day. Even if they hadn’t ever done anything like the drills we put them through, they gave it their all and had fun doing it. The girls made it such a fun environment to be in and gave Katie and I a great start to our Saturday morning!
The biggest highlight of February for me was being able to get back in the gym with my old UMD strength coach, Mike Szemborowski. He was my trainer at Maryland during my four years there and I knew, once I made the World Cup team, that he was the only person I wanted to work with. The World Cup will be a grind in itself, as we have the potential to play 7 games in 10 days, so our bodies need to be in peak shape come July. Given that I just graduated and usually work out on my own, I knew that I would need some help in the speed and strength departments. I started working out with Mike two days a week to help get me faster and stronger for the World Cup. He kicks my butt every time we meet, but I know it will be worth it in July! Plus, it’s awesome to get to reconnect with him and relive the past four years. I can’t thank him enough for all the time and energy he puts into making me a better player and person.
One word for February: SWEATY.
Now that we’re into March, my January and February schedules will sort of mesh. I have many clinics, many lessons, and many training sessions left with Mike. While it definitely gets tiring in the moment, it is also SO totally worth it. I love what I do and I enjoy being busy all the time, so being right in the middle of a grind is perfectly fine with me…. With that said, let the grind continue….