Saturday, October 8, 2011
One Week Until PAN AMS
I know it has been a while since I last blogged. The last month we have been training hard in our final preparation phase before the Pan Am Games, which happens to be our Olympic Qualifier. It has been a stressful and exciting time, with a series against New Zealand, the naming of the team and everything coming together from all the hard work we have put in this past year.
Just a week after we all returned back to San Diego, the New Zealand hockey team, also known as the Black Sticks, came to town. I was very excited about this because two of my fellow teammates in the Netherlands at HGC were amongst the Kiwi squad (Emily Naylor and Krystal Forgesson). I also knew a few of the other Kiwis from my time in the Netherlands since quite a few of them were playing on different teams. Anyways, the series did not turn out exactly how we had envisioned. New Zealand is a very good side and came to challenge us in top form. Most impressive was their speed. The Kiwis are by far the fastest team we have ever played, and by that I mean their entire team had some "wheels"! haha... We learned a lot from this series, which definitely helped point out the areas we needed to tweak before heading into the Pan Am Games.
After another week of training under our belts, we headed to the training center in Colorado Springs for some altitude training. Guadalajara is at approximately 5200ft and the OTC in Colorado Springs is around 6200ft, so it was a good opportunity for us to get acclimated to the Pam Am Games conditions. We were all excited to experience the life at a different training center, but I must say the food was definitely a highlight of the trip. Shout out to the cooks! The field was sport turf instead of water based, so that on the other hand took some getting used to. We definitely had to be alert and ready for any kind of bounce! We also got to spend a weekend in Breckenridge. Another big highlight of the trip!! Lots of team bonding time with no cell phones or computer! We even had a little "Top Chef" cook off... little did we know, we have some amazing cooks on our team!! My favorite part of this trip was the smores by the bonfire! Nothing better than a little fire and a delicious snack. Overall, the trip was a success! We got to get away from San Diego for a bit, do some hard training, get acclimated to altitude, and really bond as a team.
We missed our training center though. We missed the routine of our normal schedule, our homes, and the warm weather of San Diego. As much as we enjoyed Colorado and all that it had to offer, everyone was ecstatic to be coming home!
With less than a week until we depart of Mexico, the team will have a few more hard training sessions to put the final touches on our preparations. I know I am so ready to get down there and show everyone just what the RED WHITE AND BLUE can do!! We are in a really good position and have a great opportunity to take home the GOLD!! I hope you follow us in our journey to the 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES in LONDON.