Now is the time to think about something else. To relax. Because thinking about playing tomorrow will only wind me up. Which does not help in the sleep department. I started a book two days ago, The Last Lecture, and I will surely finish it tonight. It was given to me by a great friend, our athletic trainer from the Athens Games in 2004, Elicia Leal. She likes to share good reads with me and she has never let me down. This book is phenomenal. If you haven't read it-ask around, borrow it, go to the library or your local Barnes and Noble- just f ind it. I hear the actual lecture that he gave can be found on YouTube. Once I am done reading the book I would like to watch him give the speech. I think he would be a fascinating lecturer. One of the themes that he keeps stressing is realizing childhood dreams and in doing that, really enjoying life in the moment. I have found his words popping in my head in those idle moments riding on the bus or laying on my bed resting. I have enjoyed having water polo in my life. I think it definitely keeps me enjoying the things happening to me right NOW.
Before we left for China, we had a few games against Australia in San Diego. My roommate on our little road trip was Betsey Armstrong (our goalie). We got back to the room after our first game and I noticed that the maids had been there while we were gone, to tidy up. First thing I saw was this adorable red, white and blue, squishy fluffy bear wearing a little patriotic swim suit sitting on Betsey bed. My first thought was: "Who brought that in here?!" My eyes scanned my bed. Nope. Nothing there. Only one bear. What enthusiastic Olympic fairy came in here to pump up Betsey while we were gone???? At which point I voiced my confusion. Pointing at the bear, out came: "Where did you get that, Bets?" She smiled and laughed at me. (That is why I love Betsey) She explained that her friend had made it for her, for good luck, at the Build A Bear Workshop. And it's name was Betsey. Cute. Right then I knew I wanted one too.
Now instead of waiting patiently for someone to make one for me. I wrangled up my teammate Natalie and we went on over to Build A Bear to make ourselves cuddly reminders of our patriotic mission in the coming weeks. Nat built mine for me and I built hers. Then we picked out outfits....which actually took a while because we wanted them to be perfect. Finally we named them. My bear is named Chyna. (Pronounced China) Natalie's bear is named Olive. (After the olive branches we received in Athens when we won our medals- it is one of the original symbols of the Olympics)
Now you could say we are silly for such shenanigans, but I believe that things like this reinforce the pure joy you can get out of doing the most simple of things. Making a teddy bear..... playing a water polo game. What are you going to do today that will make you smile????