Wednesday, August 17, 2011


As the team returned to the US early this week from Europe, I also returned home from the beach. Although I had a great time with my family, it definitely was not the easiest task to follow my team while they were away. No, not because we didn't have internet or because I was too busy (although I was pretty busy!), but because I'm not used to being at home while the team if off playing.

With that being said, I am not bitter or upset about not going on tour. It was in my best interest to be at home, staying fit and resting in preparation for the our upcoming schedule, including the Pan Am Games. I just wasn't used to it, so it was a weird feeling for me supporting my team from afar. BUT, I cannot wait to get back out to California next week and hear all about their travels as well as how the games were in more depth. I know some it was a good opportunity for some other players to get some experience internationally and it will only strengthen our team and training's to come.

With as much as we train and travel throughout the year, we often don't get to see our friends and family back at home very often. I definitely took full advantage of that opportunity this past week! My aunt drove up from Florida, my cousin, his wife, and their daughter (Makaela, shes 7), as well as my parents and my brother all made the trip to Arapahoe, North Carolina to spend the week at the "beach". (The house is actually on a creek off of the Neuse River, so it's not really the beach- but it's on the coast of NC so I still call it the beach!)

Anyways, it was a fun-filled week of jet-skiing, boat riding, tubing, water skiing, wakeboarding, rowing, kayaking, hot tubbing, pick up soccer, darts, swimming, and crabbing. Not to mention all the amazing food my dad cooked up! We had shish kabobs, pork ribs, rotisserie chicken, chicken wings, and of course crab! Thanks dad for all the delicious food! Good thing I worked it all off on my early morning runs and all-day water sports!

Although I don't get to go to the creek house very often, I love it there. Most days consist of a little sleep in (which I didn't get this trip because I had to wake up early to do my workouts, but that's ok), a morning on the water (kayaking, jetskiing, or boating), a break for lunch, an afternoon nap, some more water time (always boating!), then dinner and a movie. If that doesn't sound like a great day to you, then I think you're crazy! :)

I would say the absolute best part of the trip, besides spending so much time with my family, occurred on the last morning. Everyone was a little slow getting ready to go Sunday morning because all the activities of the week had finally caught up. But it was my last day there for the summer and probably the rest of the year, so I wanted to make the most of it. I jumped on the jetski (my favorite toy there by far!) and took it out for a ride. The water was so calm and there were no boats in sight (well, besides my mom out on the row boat!). I soon found out that my mom had been following a dolphin around, so I went to check it out. I came in close and I almost ran over it! Don't worry, he was fine and just kept on swimming. At this point, I had to go get my little cousin Makaela because she loves dolphins and had been wanting to see them all week. She hoped on the jetski and we set off to find them! At first, I didn't think we would see them since they could have gone any direction, but she spotted them out of no where and there was a pod of around 10 dolphins all swimming together. We followed them along the river for about a mile, just watching them come up out of the water and swim along. It was a pretty amazing sight. One dolphin even took a liking to us. He kept swimming towards us, swimming under us, and circling us. Now I know dolphins are friendly and I think he just wanted to play, but after Shark Week just airing, there being a whole pod, and I almost ran over one minutes earlier, I wasn't too sure what his intentions were! So we just kept moving a little away, but so where we could still watch them swim. Every time though, the one dolphin seemed to keep finding us! It was the funniest thing. I really think he just wanted to play! Silly little dolphin! Although I have seen the dolphins before at the creek and I have swam with them in captivity, this was a completely different experience. They are amazing creatures and I have a new interest in them! Let's have a DOLPHIN WEEK instead (or maybe as well as) Shark Week! Come on Discovery Channel!

Well, this is my last week at home for a while and I am definitely going to enjoy it! Especially since training is going to really pick up when we get back- Pan Ams are right around the corner! :) Check back in a few days for another update on what I am up to!

Team Behind the Team

This video is so true. I just wanted to give a quick thanks to all those that have supported me and team USA on our journey. Without the support you have given us and will continue to give us, we would not be where we are today. So thank you for all you sacrifice, and understanding how much we sacrifice in return!


Friday, August 5, 2011


I was recently asked the definition of self-discipline. My explanation went something like this: Self-discipline is being accountable for yourself before anything else. You must take care of your own responsibilities and tasks before you can be concerned with others. In regards to sport, it means you do your workouts on your own, work on skills that you are weak at, and ask questions when you don't understand (just to name a few).

According to the dictionary, self-discipline is: the act of disciplining or power to discipline one's own feelings, desires, etc., esp with the intention of improving oneself.

It is no secret that all successful elite athletes have very high self-discipline. They would not have gotten as far without this ability.

Self-discipline comes into play in all factors of your life, but can be more prevalent in certain areas than others. Although you have to be self-disciplined in training, for those that play team sports, this may be an easier task when you have a coach and teammates helping to direct what you do and push you day in and day out. It becomes much more difficult for individual athletes and when workouts must be completed on the athletes own.

Our coach made a very interesting statement the other day. He said, "How successful would you be if you were an athlete in an individual sport?" His point was that when every part of training, success and defeat all depended on ourselves, and when our own performances day in and day out are highlighted, would we make it at the top level?

My answer to that question was an unwavering yes. But I saw his point and right now, I especially see how important his point was. Since I have been back and forth between the US Team and my club in Holland, I have not had much of a break the whole year. Therefore, I am taking some time away from hockey to relax, while still staying fit. This basically entails working out/running every day, but getting away from my hockey stick and the field. A sort of a refresher.

So for the next couple weeks I will be at home in North Carolina with family and friends. My self-discipline will be tested with the temptation of going to the pool and the beach and missing my workouts. BUT with the Olympics around the corner, I know this is the MOST important time for my self-discipline to be rock solid. Maintaining and improving my fitness level now is the most important thing I can be doing. So bearing the scorching temperatures of the East Coast heat wave, I will be out running around nonetheless!

Keep following my blog for all the adventures I get into while I am back home! Including a little family reunion that is sure to bring out some funny stories!

and of course... GO USA!!!! even though I can't be in Germany and Belgium with the team... I'm cheering them on and following them every step of the way!