Wednesday, August 20, 2008

We have just about 24hours left until we play our final match. We had practice to cover our game plan. We had dinner and massage/treatment time. We are ready.

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????

22 comments:

Tori said...

That's great! I'm glad you could take a few minutes and think about other things by writing this post. It is very interesting to hear directly from an Olympic athlete! Thanks for taking the time to make the games more personal.
God bless and good luck!!

Stan said...

Heather:

We saw you on the Today Show, just sitting in the athlete's lounge. You looked great!

Best of luck against the Netherlands.

Sue & Stan

simplysimi said...

thats so cool keep on posting!

Ciambellina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ciambellina said...

Your blog is great! It really takes us behind the scenes at the Olympics.

You have a great approach to life, too. I'm going to try to do things today that make me smile; I already blogged so there's one.

You're making us all proud back here in the States!

Oberon said...

.....speak out against the desecration of female genital mutilation.

chefian said...

Bring home the gold

Karen said...

Loving your blog! Know that I'm following every game here and have been sending every positive, winning vibe I can muster toward the teams' way!

Karen
(AKA nutrition guru!)

Fly Girl said...

My family will be rooting for your win! Thanks for blogging. I've enjoyed reading your posts.

Roban

brent said...

Best of luck to you and the team. We here back home are SO proud of you. You've done a tremendous job of representing the US...THANK YOU!

Now, bring home the gold!

StringPlay said...

Just found your blog because it was shown as a Blog of Note on Blogger. Just wanted to wish you lots of LUCK! Will be rooting for you and team.
Powder Springs, GA

Tio SAM said...

Sorry. I d'ontapeak english.
Please, speak in portugueese

Tio SAM said...

Sorry. I d'ontapeak english.
Please, speak in portugueese

Hipppy said...

Hey Guys....
Could you please tell me how I can post 65 pictures in a blog, without all the HTML crud?

I have a pond project I took picture of, from start to finish.

Every time I add a picture, it puts it at the top, then I have to move the HTML down. I even tried bottom to top....Way to much crud..

Any advice?

Mr. Nissan said...

hope you do well

K-Dub said...

I saw you mention The Last Lecture. Its definitely one of my favorite books now. Very inspiring. But good luck with everything.

Lucy said...

Nice to hear your story! This is my first time to blog and new to this field but I love writing. See you again. Thanks for the inspiration.
Keep it up! Go..go..go..girl!

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