Showing posts from June, 2010

Old Town photos

Photos : 1/2 - We went to Skansen which is an outdoor museum of all of Sweden. We only had about 30 minutes, but photo 1 is an example of the cottages they gave to workers in the early years in Sweden... there are a bunch people still live in here around the hotel. This one was about 100 square feet. No. 2 is a photo of some bread they were selling at a stand in Skansen. They also made pottery and other items. 3/ Funny advertising. We felt bad for this kid. And then we took pictures.
4/ Statue outside the church next to the Royal Palace. Not sure exactly who this was, but my guess is one of the kings. 5/ Beautiful scenery... I love the history 6/ Fascinated with the manhole covers in Europe... 7/ Our tour guide around the palace 8/ Me at the Royal Palace 9/ Overlooking the Baltic Sea.

Four days... for life

The perspective I have to have for the next four days is that this is for life.... we had a practice today, we have Finland tomorrow night at 6 Sweden time, practice Friday and then medal games on Saturday.

From practice today I am sore .... my lower back is spasming, my arms/hands are a battlefield and my neck/traps are going NUTS. My feet hurt a little but it's definitely on the backburner which is sort of nice.
I think most of us are getting by using the cathartic Swedish ice cream ... The one above is a Magnum (with almonds). The regular is chocolate with caramel /vanilla ice cream and the best is the strawberry ice cream with white chocolate on the outside. The dinner food we're eating is not really what we need to sustain energy and strength over this stretch, so I'm spending some money at the hotel restaurant, but Swedish people eat lots of veggies and not a ton of meat so it's different. Yesterday I had a salad that was yummy with balsamic/lemon dressing, two sma…

I need to catch up...

Buttonightit'sabutmidnightalready and thoughwe get tosleep in a bit tomorrowbeforepractice and meetings all night, I'mhoping I can still get uptowalkaround.We'llsee.I'mTIRED.

I needto post moreaboutour bus tour and Monday, buttodaywespentmostofthedaywatchingotherteamsplay - ourcompetitioncomingup.Thefirstgamewas Finland vs.Austria, and thescoretherewas 50-16 I think.... Finland has a goodoffensivegame and Austriawasabletodomore in thisgamethanours.We'llhavetodosomeworkonespeciallydefensetokeepthemscoreless as theiroffensewascertainlyclickingtoday.

ThesecondgamewasSwedenvs.Germany and itwas a shockto all ofus.SwedenheldGermanyto 14 points - and itwas a defensivebattle: Final, Germany 14, Sweden 6. I'mprettysureSwedenhad 12 sacks, and I'dhatetoknowwhatthecountwas for Germany.Theyhavetwobookendtackles (whoplayinside) and areHUGE.We'llcut

Photos by Gary

See all the cool photos from during the game here...

From the podium

I didn't post after our win but I'm sure most of you have heard that the US beat Austria 63-0. The gravity of this game didn't hit me until we were eating in the cafeteria across the street from the stadium ... a scoring record! Since this is the first, we are the first, everything is a first.

It's an incredible feeling. I was very nervous before the game but Coach Mac's words on the word BELIEVE the night before did help settle me down.

The game was tough on me physically, and to Austria's credit, they kept fighting. We had a chance to talk to some of them after the game.... the girls I spoke to asked me asked if we got paid to play football in America as we all looked like we lifted for a living. Hahahahah!!!!

Both teams stayed to watch Canada play Sweden. We were SO impressed with how they played. Sweden's team is full of very young (read: ages 16-18) players, but they played a great game. Sweden blocked a punt... and had some good plays. The game was almos…

More posts

TOP: At a park in downtown Stockholm. Sweet fountain. Next: Sweet hotel we went into - owned by someone famous... nice bathrooms too. Next2: Walking down one of the main streets. Next3: Sweet church. Next4: The best lunch ever - pesto, cheese and crusty bread. Next5: Dinner at the hotel where Canada and Austria are staying. Next6: OG and a sweet pic with her glasses. Next7: Team by the Baltic Sea. Next8: Sailboat and awesome view. Next9: Our hotel and the police who wanted to meet our team.
Next10: Vaz and me after our adventure in the city on Day1. Next11: Brief photo of the stadium. Next12: Our bus... Next13: Me Next14: The birdseye view from the plane of Sweden. The ground looks like this too. Next15: The coaches... from front: Coach K, Coach Mac, Coach Stone Last: Me, OG and Knegi (Ningeee)

Last day of training camp

Top: A few players bought the coaches big flags that we all signed and gave them as a gift. Second: The O-LINE on Team USA. Bottom: TEAM USA before success period.

A word about Tarsha

About Tarsha my roommate in Sweden
So Tarsha is my roommate in Sweden and we spent today exploring Sweden in our free time. She's been awesome to get to know because she's very easygoing, she never complains and she's funny.... see below. Also, an invaluable asset to a roommate: she gets up to shut off the alarm clock and wakes me up too. (Note the TP in the window of this cafe. These two guys came in, ordered and had just been to the market (?) as they had two rolls of LAMBI in hand. She rocked the new Swedish word/brand all afternoon).

Middle: Janae

Dinner: Seafood, pasta & alfredo sauce

Occupation: TSA - baggage screener - "You know how people say they've seen everything but the kitchen sink? Well, I've actually seen a kitchen sink." (and she means literally). Other top items include dead ducks in a cooler and a goat head in a trash bag in luggage.

Travel advice from Tarsha:
1. Never put fragile stickers on your bag - it means throw it around some more t…

This morning

We started the day around 6:30 and it really doesn't get dark here - a bit dark-er, but never dark like at home. We woke up at 3 a.m. to some people having a good time outside the window.... and so we had to be a bit warmer, and close the window to get some additional rest.

We had practice on the game field at 9 a.m. - which was very cool. The turf is the old style that is hard and has the very supershort material. It was hard on my feet, but nice to get there and see things before our first game tomorrow at 1 p.m. We're going to start our pregame at 9 a.m. We have the afternoon off so Tarsha and I are going to head out and find something to eat and shop and check things out.

A few photos to come....

Last words

I did fall asleep on the bus during success period - my first time to do it on the trip --- we are all mentally and physically exhausted from the trip, but what I heard of it needs to be expanded upon before I hit the hay.

Coach Mac is one of the most inspirational people I've ever met, and he opened with the parable of the boy with the cross and expanded into words on the concept of "believe".

We have to believe in ourselves to reach our goal on this trip.
We have to believe in our teammates and the preparation we've had so far on this TEAM USA.
We have to believe in our training - which connected for me to my last bad practice before we left.
We have to believe in our sport - we had a chance to meet the head of the IFAF who told us that he was tired of hearing his male colleagues say the women's world championships couldn't/shouldn't/wouldn't be done, and he had to do it.

We have to believe..... and it's hard at some times to do in spite of everything…

Today in Sweden

Today was the experience I love about travel - feeling a bit out of your comfort zone - not knowing what to do or where to go and just having the opportunity to leave yourself open to new things.

When we arrived, Heinrich our bus driver picked us up at ARD airport in Stockholm and gave us a partial tour - pointing out the royal palace and several monuments. Tiger Woods apparently has a flat on the most exclusive street here in Stockholm. We were dropped off at Zinkensdamm Stadium - which is about two blocks from our hotel - which is a boutique-style. It reminded my roommate Tarsha - O-LINE from Baltimore - of a college dorm room, but is pretty well appointed. I was surprised to have a towel warmer and a hair dryer... and there's free wi-fi in the lobby - though I won't be using as it cut me off this morning. The bed is pretty comfy so far and we have a tv which has been on for about five minutes (world cup now while I type).

We dropped off our stuff in the room and learned on th…

I wrote for 40 minutes after practice...

and the internet experienced a technical difficulty and erased our entire trip (48 hours and counting on today it seems with the time change)... so I'm going to do my best to duplicate in several posts to not do the same.

The day started at 5 a.m. with a wakeup call - not sure I would've heard it if not for my roommates. We boarded a bus in Round Rock for the Austin airport and met many nice people at the airport. I overheard one woman working security wishing she'd had the chance to play as she could run the 40 in under 5 seconds and might've been good. Those stories make me sad, but this experience is partly why we are here. It's so good that we've been focused on the fact that we aren't just doing this for ourselves and our iconic players that are hitting retirement soon, but we're doing it for every girl and every woman who wants this chance to compete on the world stage.

The airport was pretty easy - we had lots of time - and I had the pleasure of sh…

A few photos

Some photos from my TEAM USA journey.... Left: my new unis.... underneath, someone decided to put all the OLINE in the same bus.

Next row: Vaz, Mia and Kelly; Me and Sunshine (from Chattanooga).

Here: Pickett, Kelly, Menzyk, Tarsha, Jen and me before practice one day.... Just a few for you today!

Follow us here!

really quick

Lunch passed by like crazy today... had to squeeze in a PB&J just now because I had a quick visit from Austin's mobile chiropractor to get my rib put back in place (it was a bit out) and my neck softened up from my crazy trap muscles spasming... ICE is in my future tonight. I can't take muscle relaxers because of how awful I felt last week training with Coach Montgomery but it'll be ok.

Things are going well overall... I have a giant bruise on my right hand above the wrist and I will have some ICE for my arms tonight as well as shoulders/neck. Not bad though for six practices. Updating photos later tonight... and trying to get some sleep as well.

THANKS to Doug who came to the hotel this morning to pick up some of my stuff... I hope I'll be able to hang out with him before I go back to Atlanta and work on the 6th.

For now, Pickett1 is sleeping, Smith2 is icing and this Smith needs to get ready for practice.

Today's list

Because Adrian is getting cranky and we haven't been able to even be in our rooms yet so far at this time yet this trip....

Things I love about training camp so far:

- When someone screws up a play, Coach K starts blowing his whistle 400 times and saying "your family is embarrased for you!"
- 200 breaks because the heat index is over 200 degrees... I don't like the heat but I do love the: random watermelon, pedialyte, shade from the "cooling tents", our trainer B-Rad who deals with my fussy self (taping hands, my plantar fasciia and such nonsense), and actually having water breaks. NOVEL!
- My roommates Melissa Pickett and Okiima Pickett (P squared) and Adrienne Smith (so we are S squared) .... 2 skills, 2 centers - woot!
- Our quarterback Sami from Chicago who sings in the huddle.
- Dawn (mostly my left tackle) who knows absolutely everything about the offense....
- Coach Mac who makes me kind of teary every day telling stories.
- The people here who make us food.…


So I'm a crier, but I almost started tonight in our first meeting when the special teams coach told a story about how he read an article in 1990 that about 120 women played high school football. He spoke at a high school after that with one girl on the team. He said, "Boys, you are on a special team.... because of the 1.5 million boys playing high school football today.... you have this teammate who is one of 120 in the country." She wrote him a letter about the USA football team and what it means to her that we are playing REAL football. He even he had her senior picture from 1990 .... incredible.

I love that we are representing the future of women's tackle football.... girls who love this game.... and girls who someday can aspire to get to this USA women's football team because they want to be the best in the world and play the best in the world......

I love that I met Jen Blum who's been playing since 1999. My roommates are from DC and NY and the O-LINE is r…

Waiting on a jet plane...

After the shoulderpads.... and before. I think Ziploc should be a partner of TEAM USA and my suitcase... which I'm proud to report was nine pounds underweight and it all fit in there.... amazing. Probably don't need it all, but I took out half the stuff I wanted to take. This gate is booming with business and I'm pretty sure I saw a famous person this morning (because, honestly who else wears red plastic sunglasses at 6 a.m.?) ... Haven't seen Lee but I feel as though I've been here since the crack of dawn. A baby is wailing next to me... and so the journey begins.

Flickr photostream

I'm not sure why this won't work to post on the side, but if you want to see 2010 photos go here:

67 is not your friend....

Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of myself not smiling. Even in high school, I was the goofball cheesing while everyone else looked like Coach Montgomery (right).

Still, during workouts we've been doing since January, I probably make some faces I'm sure are quite unpleasant.

Today, he allowed me to come in for some work before Lee & I leave tomorrow for training camp... and it wasn't too bad... really my feet are the reason I get into trouble. Plantar fasciitis is no joke. Either the feet are asleep, shooting pain through my foot or leg or both... and it slows me down a lot. I ran a mile to warm up, did footwork, worked on kickstep and punch for pass sets, and then did some weight work with that in mind.

Coach Montgomery has been killing me in the gym the last few weeks (especially the highlight nights last week when he made me throw up - my fault for eating late - and then we had the marathon two hour workout where it was all I could do to not cry) but I know …

My gratitude...

I'm going to have to go back through photos later and find some good ones of teammates past and present... but know that each and every person that I've played football with since the fall of 1999 (including my male high school teammates and coaches who gave me the love of this game) have been special and a part of my selection to TEAM USA.

Every year, every trip, every person has taught me something. Along the way, I've met some lifetime friends and had some amazing experiences. The work for us on TEAM USA has just, but I'll NEVER forget all the people - teammates, my O-LINEs, coaches, trainers and friends who've supported this journey.

For the big things and small things - for the love and support - for the opportunity to play football and love this game every day - for the sacrifices and for the tears ..... this is for ALL of you!

A world of potential....power

Rachel, a tournament director at my office from England, was kind enough to lend me her very fancy power coverter. The green monster is about the size of a baseball and has three different outlet options. Hopefully all my crazy plug-in needs overseas will be tackled by this little guy.

I started packing a bit last night, but am not too sure what exactly I need. Today my car's in the shop getting fixed up - I won't need it for about a month, but good to check things off the list. Next up: traveler's checks.

Lee's going!

So excited - just found out on FB that Lee Lee (Onetha!!!!) is coming to Texas / Sweden too! I'm excited because she's worked so hard and I couldn't imagine making the trip without her.

Since I met her in 2007, Lee Lee has been a key on our team. I imagine her fun personality and talent will only make our USA team stronger. Plus, she's the only person I've ever met who could get away with not wearing colors on game day by saying she was "going to war." Great reason. Plus, she accessorized. What's not to like?

I can't wait!

Being a part of the first-ever women's TEAM USA is amazing and exciting... and I can't wait to meet all my teammates and see what's in store for us. I cannot believe we are leaving on Saturday and there's about 100 things I need to do before then.

In the mean time, I've been working out with Coach Montgomery at Georgia Training Alliance to make sure I'm ready and he's been killing me. Last week, I threw up and cried in my two workouts... this week I've managed to feel dizzy in my one last night.

Coach Montgomery is intense and I love that... always a surprise and always a workout full of jumping, which I should not do because it's so bad - which is probably exactly why we do it. He's not much of a talker, either, and I always leave feeling like I couldn't possibly do anything else. Last night after dinner, I was asleep about 10 minutes into Iron Man 2.