Thursday, May 31, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend

I hope everyone had a lovely Memorial Day Weekend, celebrating all the great men and women who have served this country and continue to do so every day. I also hope you had some fun!!

This past weekend was just what I needed! I got to spend the entire weekend with my family at the beach. It was my birthday on Saturday, too!! I never know where I'm going to be for my birthday anymore, so it was really nice to actually be home for it this year! Highlights of the weekend included: jetskiing, boating, wakeboarding, playing darts and bocce ball, live music by the water, watching lots of US Soccer :) and playing with my friend Sterling's new puppy Lona! Although there was lots to do, I got to spend a lot of down time just relaxing and catching up with my family. There really is nothing like a good couple days with them to put everything back into perspective. It's nice to be reminded that no matter what happens on the hockey field, they are always supporting me and just want me to be happy.

But of course I could only take a few days away from hockey since we have National Championships this coming week! I came back from the beach refreshed and ready to go. I had practice in Chapel Hill with my High Performance team (the South!) on Monday and Tuesday and the squad is looking pretty good this year for a run at the title! We fell short in the final last year, so we are looking to redeem ourselves this year with a Championship!!

It was nice being back in Chapel Hill for a few days as well. I always love coming back to my hometown. Although my parents are in the process of selling their house and I won't officially be a Chapel Hill resident anymore... I will always be a Chapel Hillian! :)

Anyways.... we're off to Maryland today. National Championships start tomorrow! The South takes on Midwest in our first match and it should be a good one! Stay tuned for updates!

Friday, May 25, 2012


We arrived back in the States yesterday after finishing a quick 4 game series with Canada. Overall, it was a very successful tour. Besides sweeping the series (3-1, 4-1, 5-2, and 6-1 scorelines), we effectively improved in some detailed areas we had identified. There is still a little ways to go before we are fully prepared for London this summer, but we were happy with the steps we are taking forward.

Although we were only in Canada for six days, it was a fun little trip which even included a spa day on one of our off days! This was a first for us as a team, so BIG shout out to our team manager for setting that one up!! We all thoroughly enjoyed it! We all got a good laugh when the masseuses didn't quite understand what a deep tissue sports massage was. We are used to deep, painful massages to really flush out our muscles and the spa masseuses aren't used to give those type of massages. But to be honest, I quite enjoyed a massage where I wasn't cringing and on the verge of tears! Who would have thought massages could be so enjoyable! ;) haha...

Anyways, we flew back to the States yesterday and although it was a short tour everyone was ready to get home! This is the first time for many of us to be headed back to the East Coast all year. We are all dispersed to our High Performance sites for practice in prep for the National Championships next week, but for many of us, it means we are close to home! I personally haven't seen my family since New Years and for me, it couldn't come at better timing. As selection nears, these are the people who support us and keep us grounded, so it is important to have their reassurance and positive reinforcement at such a stressful time.

Not to mention, it is Memorial Day weekend. A weekend to celebrate all Americans who have lost their lives fighting for this great country which we get to so proudly wear the colors of every game. Without these brave men and women, we wouldn't have the freedom and opportunities to pursue our dreams. I am so thankful for those who have served and those who continue to do so. I am also thankful for all the families of these brave warriors. They truly understand what sacrifice is and I admire them for that. So I urge you to enjoy the weekend of festivities, but always remember the true meaning of the holiday, and be thankful for those who have allowed you to celebrate it.

So no matter what happens in the coming weeks, at the end of the day, we are all proud to be a part of the Red, White and Blue. That is something I will never forget.

I'll leave you with this poem I found. It's called, "You Musn't Quit".

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest! If you must-but never quit.
Life is queer, with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might of won if he'd stuck it out;
Stick to your task, though the pace seems slows-
You may succeed with one more blow.

Success is failure turned inside out-
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt-
And you may never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit-
It's when things seem worse that YOU MUSN'T QUIT.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Oh Canada...

Greetings from Canada!! Although I have been away from my blog for a little while (and around the world for that matter - a trip to Australia and New Zealand), I have found my way back to the world of words. This Olympic year has been tough, as any Olympic year will always be, but having gone through it before, I still could never anticipated the ups and downs that inevitably come along with it.

With that being said, I have some absolutely wonderful times along the way and have enjoyed the journey. Learning not only tons on the hockey pitch, but about my teammates and myself along the way. In the end, this is what it's truly about.

Despite all of this, the true time is now. Every moment of this journey counts. As the days quickly jump faster and faster towards the game, it seems like a high-speed train speeding towards the final destination: London 2012. But with just 70 days left, every day becomes more and more important to focus in on the details of the tasks that still need to be completed. And right now, our focus is on Canada. Although, they did not make the Games this year, they are a strong side that has put in a lot of training over the past year in hopes to qualify. So here we are, in Victoria, with beautiful scenery all around us, ready to put some final touches on our individual and team preparations.

It is a quick trip with 4 games in 6 days, but at least for once we didn't have to change timezones! :)

And I have to say I'm excited to face a fellow Demon Deacon on the pitch as well. Shout out to Anna... bring it on!!

Follow us this week and the rest of our Olympic prep on US field hockey, my blog, and of course (my favorite) twitter! @mkasold18

As always.... GO USA!

PS- Rachel Dawson was all packed and ready to go this morning as we arrived at 4:30am at the airport.... check it out!