Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Seniors Night

I'm sorry I haven’t posted much lately. Honestly, I just haven’t been sure what to say. My feelings are so jumbled these days. It is a struggle to know how I am feeling, much less write it down for someone else. We’re into the final push of the regular season and every one of my feelings has two sides to it. One second I’m grumpy and frustrated and the next I’m dancing around the team room singing out how excited I am that my mom is coming to visit this weekend. There is so much happening right now and it’s hard to sort out.

I turn 25 on Friday. That’s a little freaky. Some days I feel like a total misfit on a team where the average player is six years younger than me. On other days, I’m pretty sure I’m the most immature person in the gym (and every roadtrip when I’m toting my favourite Batman pillow). Still, it’s my birthday, and birthdays mean phone calls from friends and guilt-free cake eating so I guess I’ll take it.

I had a moment last Friday in UPEI when, during a timeout of the men’s game, the announcers took a moment to congratulate Mel and me for finishing our fifth year. It just sort of hit me. I’ll never play there again (and thanks for the shoutout – you stay classy UPEI).

Sunday is our Seniors Night (the game is at 1:00 – does that make it Seniors Day?). For those of you who don’t know, Seniors Night takes place on the last home game of the season. Coaches and teams pause before the game to recognize players who are finishing their careers. We also get to thank our families for helping us get to where we are. This year Mel, Laura, Sam, and I are graduating from the program.

Seniors Night, like everything else in the last few weeks, feels like whole bunch of emotions flying around and making no sense. Perhaps I’m not a talented enough writer or maybe for some things there are no words; I’m not sure. There is a lot to be excited about. Coach Speedy is going to stand at centrecourt and say nice things about Laura, Sam, Mel, and me. We’ll get to hand flowers to our mothers. There will be a lot of crying.

Over the last five years when things have been tough I’ve looked ahead to my Seniors Night as the light at the end of the tunnel. Surrounded by friends and family and standing shoulder to shoulder with some of the strongest and most amazing women I know, I would look around and take a moment to just be proud of myself. Not worried about playing time or missed shots and forgetting every mistake I’ve made in my career. Just a few minutes to be proud, but now that it is so close I’m not sure how to feel about it.

The adult in me is tired. My body aches all the time. I used to relish the contact in the post and now I wince when I see a box out or Sam’s elbow coming. The adult in me drags myself to practice, groans when I get out of bed, and is so relieved when each workout is finished. But the kid in me? The kid in me hates me for it. The kid in me is still running around bouncing off the walls excited that I get to play the game I love every day. The kid in me still hasn’t really accepted that there might be kids who look up to me the way I used to idolize the players at UBC and SFU. The kid in me tells me every day to stop my whining and remember I’m living my dream.

I think the CIS people knew what they were doing when they made the five-year eligibility rule. I don’t know if I would be strong enough to decide for myself when it’s time for me to call it quits. I know that after this year, it’s time for me to be done but somehow, despite all of my exhaustion and frustration, I have a totally irrational desire to keep playing. I guess I am lucky, then, that we still have 4 games left in the regular season, and then playoffs. I recognize my nostalgia, but now is the time to give everything that my body, mind, and soul has left. We need to compete, play, and come together to succeed in the few games that we have left. I suppose if it were easy everyone would do it. The end of my career is near, but it is not over yet. And, while I’ll have to deal with these emotions in a month, now is the time to give everything I have.


Come check us out this weekend as we play MUN, Saturday at 6:00 and Sunday at 1:00.


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