Four women in NYC

I'm coming live from NYC - on the upper west side near Subway stop 103. It's an experience that, like so many others I've written about in the last year or so, I never imagined I would have. My teammate Adrienne Smith (see former blog with Q&A from Sweden) is an amazing, inspiring entrepreneur who makes her living by tourism - a concept uniquely her own - and who has taken it upon her shoulders to build the TEAM USA brand from the ground.

She organized for a group of us including Sharon (Strong Arm) Vasquez and Olivia (OG) Griswold - who both play for Pittsburgh's team to come here this week and coach as a part of the NFL Draft week Play 60 youth football camps. The three of them are exceptional athletes who I loved hanging out last summer and am loving even more this week.

The four of us are coaching groups of kids who come in for a 60-minute flag football clinic, and we coached today alongside legends from the NFL including Donovin Darius, Chris Doleman and Natrone Means. It's really cool to get to work with this group - to come up with everything and anything to help them fall in love with this game we love so much.

Today I broke out some follow-the-leader with our last group, which was all first graders, and called our cone drill the "lava river" down which they had to carry the "magic football" - but mostly it was cool to meet the kids. Most didn't know how to properly carry the football or had ever even put on a flag belt. Some of them were athletes in other sports (like soccer, baseball, etc.) but many were just kids who loved being out there. I loved the few times I got to talk to them - and the funny kids we met. There was one boy who was so serious that when Coach Means was trying to joke with him, his face stayed stone cold and he said "I'm just all about the game." Of the girls who stood out to me, one got into a flawless three-point stance and one could be solid linebacker some day the way she broke down, and pulled that flag every single time - tongue out. I loved telling the girls that they should think about playing football - and one girl told me her mom had taken her to practice before. I love it.

We had an opportunity to see the media day hosted by Deion Sanders, where the commish was decked out in track pants and a UA shirt - and the top NFL Draft prospects were out to answer questions from the kids (including Adrian Clayborn and Cam Newton - notice the order... thank you!). It was cool to hear them talk about all the pushups and situps and red light/green light they played as kids. There really wasn't a thing about today that wasn't phenomenal, including the lesson we all received (Adrienne in particular) about tackling from Darius, who is by the way is the all-time leading tackler in Syracuse history... Even I can learn from that - especially for the boys I coach.

Since I've been here it's truly been a pleasure and from Adrienne being a terrific host to all the neat things I can say I've done (like the Maserati party last night to checking out Central Park to eating Soul food in Harlem and trying to figure out mass transit).... it's been more than I imagined.

One of the best memories, though, will be from tonight as we all sat around trading stories about each other's teams - talking about Vaz's strong arm (which she flexed hard in Sweden), to OG's superhuman ability to be any position to everything and anything in between. I look back to a few months ago and being stressed about some of the things I worried about and I don't feel that with this group. I didn't feel it last summer for one minute and I never do when I'm with anyone from the team - even talking to them. I guess the future is revealed one exceptional experience at a time.

This morning we were stopped in the subway waiting for the train to Chelsea Piers - and this man asked us if we were football players - tomorrow as we take the foursome back for another wild adventure, we'll look even more the part in our coordinated Under Armour and Play 60 uniforms.

Under all the bustle of NYC, we're four - of 45 - women on a new mission.


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