a day in the life

A day in the life… I love being a soccer player. I love being a professional athlete. I love being a member of a team. Basically I love my job. How many people get to do what they love everyday? My job involves every aspect of my life. Soccer lays a claim on what you do off the field to make sure when the lights come on the game goes well. While game day gets its glory, the days before are vitally important for me and my teammates to prepare for what our fans get to see on the field. So enjoy the ride while you follow me through a typical weekday with the Atlanta Beat.

 

 

Beep Beep Beep Beep

That’s the sound most people wake up to in the morning. It gets them throwing things at the alarm clock, throwing it on the ground, or hitting the snooze. While, I do love a few extra minutes in bed, getting up for work is a good part of the day because my job is the best. Few people get to play a game for a living. And I love it.

 

My job has a few demands on my life that aren’t typical in the everyday 9am-5pm.. One is the beep, beep, beep that haunts many a soccer players dreams. Fitness. The beep test is a common fitness testing measure, and while we don’t run it too often we spend a lot of time making sure the team can last 90 minutes on the weekend. Another demand on the professional soccer player is that every moment of the day affects how you perform. Taking care of your body is vitally important. So my days start off with fuel. I need to eat a lot to cover what we burn in the Georgia heat… Usually some good oatmeal with crasins, almonds, and a nice spoonful of brown sugar. Breakfast is essential to performance.

 

My roommates and I carpool to practice in the mornings to save the earth from more pollution and our pocketbooks from spending more money on gas. On the commute depending on the teammates’ taste in music we rock out, chill out, work out, or listen to country (my favorite choice). We practice our on the field communication skills in solving the puzzle of who drove last, who has errands after practice and who has to go early for the training room. While seeming simple enough these daily communication skills occasionally cause an error with a spare body or two that have to squeeze in a back seat. Communication is essential to the game.

 

Practice is practice anywhere, but the environment here in Atlanta is intense and requires a lot of focus. As a kid you learn to love the game of soccer. Most people love scoring, shooting, finishing in any way. As a goalkeeper I love simply catching the ball, snatching a cross from a forwards head, and diving and tipping a ball over the post. Practice is our obvious preparation with a few hours in the morning with the team. We always work on our technical, tactical, mental, physical, and character each practice. That’s the structure, but the fun we all love to do and watch is playing the game. We, the Beat, get competitive when we play our favorite small sided games. While I don’t want to give away any of our secrets, we always keep score. In a 3v3 tournament this week, Cat Whitehill made sure to be on the winning team. She secured coupons for her team to a local restaurant in reward. I was jealous even though the keepers were doing a fun session on our own.

 

Athletes need to keep their bodies running like a finely tuned machine. Post practice involves ice baths (for some of our wiser older players who actually feel the necessity of recovering between practices a little more), stretching, and massage. I appreciate the healing hands that work out those pesky knots and aches every now and again.

 

While I’ve been telling you some of the demands we face, there are many benefits. One is daily naps. We all nap after practice most days. While I am not a day sleeper personally, I greatly value a little alone time with a book, the TV, or a little music. One of my roommates, India Trotter, is quite the napper with the ability to sleep any time of day for extended periods of time. Our other household activity is community TV. Several times a week we watch movies or shows together of varying levels of maturity. This week was a kids movie, Halloweentown… very entertaining to say the least.

 

After nap time, TV time, and snack time this week we had clinics to participate in. We had youth coaches come to our fields to watch us train and observe sessions and drills we do often. These practices were fun to get to practice a little for an audience and put on some moves. While it’s not the same as a game, it changes the energy of a practice. Occasionally appearances or clinics like this pop up on the schedule with the team coaching a hundred and fifty kids from a local club or like this weeks playing for twenty youth coaches, but they are all an opportunity to share the game that we love with the people we play for. The same routine follows our evening sessions as the morning. Fuel, carpool, practice, treatments, carpool, EAT, sleep. We have to take care to get in bed and sleep. Sleep is vastly important to recovery and preparation. And that is where I am headed now. Hope you enjoyed a day in the life of the Atlanta Beat!

 

Advertisements

new year transformations

Time to resolve to do something. Does anyone else love that we create a time of year to decide to do something new/productive/healthy that we have no intention of following through with?

Re-solve – 1. to come to a definite or earnest decision about, determine; 2. to deal with conclusively, settle solve; 3. to convert or transform by any process

Resolve is an awesome word. I especially love that last definition… to convert or transform by any process. I have a lot in my life that needs changing. I believe we need to always grow… have personal growth in many areas of life. The last few weeks have been eye opening to see where I thought I was and where I need to be. It is amazing how easily, subtly pride and selfishness creep into life and put their talons into all the areas I think I am doing ok in. What do I want to transform this year?

My top 3 New Year Transformations

1. Do 5 pull ups – While this may seem like low hanging fruit, I am AWFUL at pull ups. I am fairly strong; I life weights; I’m a goalkeeper and I like climbing. But I was not made for pull ups. Maybe it has something to do with breaking my shoulder in college… that didn’t help I am sure. But I want to work up to being able to do 5 pull ups. It will take me all year, and it will be a transformation.

2. Not run a marathon – I have several friends that enjoy running (being a goalkeeper you KNOW that’s not where I find pleasure). I am not one of them. One good friend finally decided to scratch the marathon off the bucket list. Unfortunately I probably won’t be able to be there to pull her dilapidated body off the group and help recuperate her back to life. I think I will be able to achieve this “transformation.”

3. Pride – No, this transformation is not to become more prideful, but to become less. Now I have tried to “fix” this on my own… totally doesn’t work like that for me. I need some help from God to transform me into the way Jesus was. I mean Jesus defeated this annoying bugger… Smacked it around really. But my goal is to submit my nasty tendency to fight and claw for my own selfish desires that come at the expense of those around me that I love. There may be some progress on this transformation, but its going to be a lifelong battle.

Well, see none of those were completely typical. I didn’t resolved to lose weight, whiten my teeth, or give up smoking. (For the record I do not smoke and think its a nasty, unhealthy, expensive habit that costs our government millions every year in tax money that could be allocated to things such as soccer fields, sports, and education.) There may be more Transformations posted in the next few days. Come back for more! What are you resolving to transform?

faith

“Now we shall possess a right definition of faith if we call it a firm and certain knowledge of God’s benevolence toward us, founded upon the truth of the freely given promise in Christ, both revealed to our minds and sealed upon our hearts through the Holy Spirit…..If then, we would be assured that God is pleased with and kindly disposed toward us, we must fix our eyes…on Christ…We see that our whole salvation and all its parts are comprehended in Christ.  We should therefore take care not to derive the least portion of it from anywhere else.”

John Calvin

I need faith. We all need faith. Anyone that takes a step back to look at life can see the injustice of the world, the improbability of success, the blessings of God that we do not deserve. I take a step back every new year and spend some time alone evaluating the last year and praying/planning for the next. This year when I spent the holiday with friends at a wonderful mountain cabin in the smokies I had several things on my mind. Among them my wonderful family, the upcoming soccer season, and the uncertainty of life.

snowmen from hiking in the smokies

My family is quite wonderful. A few highlights from the Christmas Holiday included one of my stocking stuffers. On my posted Christmas list on the blog (see the post entitled “how the world turns”) I listed needing a crocheting needle since I’d lost 2 needles in one of my eight moves in the last couple years. My mom sneakily got me a needle (in the perfect color – GREEN) and snuck it in my stocking with everything else. Thats love right there. So small and seemingly insignificant, but sweet love.

A second family highlight is how awesome my brothers are. Not to make a short story long, but I enjoy our adult relationships: where we can fight fair and work through real issues in life, have forgiveness for the mistakes we make, learn, converse and discuss things happening in the world. It was hard, sweet, and refreshing all at the same time.  (I could go on and on about my Dad too, but I’ll save that for another post)

On the upcoming season and the uncertainty of life…

Faith is the gift from God to know that God sent love to us. I can be a doubter. I can doubt this season will go well. I can doubt I’ll find a team, or a job, or a life that I love. Or I can trust that God has good intended for me, not because I love him so well or am so great of a person, but because He loved me while I was a sinner. Its crazy love at that. But I have faith that soccer or no soccer, coaching or not coaching, working or not enjoying my work, living or suffering that Jesus loves me. Not in a far off “I won’t punish you too much” kind of way, but in a “if you’d get past yourself for a minute and saw how much I(God) love you you’d never be the same” kind of love.

This New Year time for me was refreshing to get away, relax, rest, play with friends, sleep, pray, read, make lots of fires… Taking a step back to get a focus on life, to reaffirm the path I’m on to pursue soccer as long as makes sense and then move on to giving the game back to others what has meant so much to me. I am hoping that it will be a long while till that happens, but as we all know…

Life is uncertain. Live it on purpose.

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,900 times in 2010. That’s about 7 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 20 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 51 posts. There were 10 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 754kb. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was June 9th with 93 views. The most popular post that day was Coming Home!! Back to the ATL with the BEAT!!.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were twitter.com, womensprosoccer.com, facebook.com, allisonwhitworth.com, and slashingtongue.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for writing on paper, comic about writing, writing a paper, studying humor, and college writing comic.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Coming Home!! Back to the ATL with the BEAT!! October 2009

2

comic – writing a paper September 2009

3

soccer – love my job September 2009

4

dreaming in different time zones September 2009

5

Welcome to Chicago!! June 2010
1 comment

Andew Whitworth Touchdown!

Hey Gang!

Check out my cousin catch his first NFL touchdown pass… Quite a feat for an offensive lineman.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/09000d5d81cd3d20/Bengals-tackle-eligible-TD

http://www.cincyjungle.com/2010/12/12/1871820/andrew-whitworth-scores-the-only-offensive-touchdown-by-both-teams-in

how the world turns…

*que light melodic peaceful holiday theme music in the back ground*

Holiday Season is upon us. Though you may not know holiday season has been here for quite some time. Apparently the new socially acceptable time to decorate is October One.  And not mind you, decorate for Halloween, but for Christmas! The holiday agenda has been pressed on us, and we have responded.

Tragic I say. However, regardless of how your decorating habits have changed or the extent of the zealousness to which to hold these habits, Christmas is here. I decided to share a Christmas Wish List with you all pertaining to some seasonal events and/or fun things to do during the Holidays.

1. White Christmas… now this isn’t that big  a deal to you northerners, but in the deep south we don’t get snow often. Since I have never seen a white Christmas I believe one is due my 25th year. See isn’t that just a nice round number to start off with?

2. Time to sleep in… this may just be the greatest gift ever. For the off-season I have been working an internship at UAB Hospital designing a community outreach and education program. Wake up call 6AM. At my desk by 7:30AM. Work till 4 or 5. Coach or workout. Home. Dinner. Bed…. I think a few mornings rest is in order.

3. Snowboarding… While soccer may be my first love, my second may be rock climbing, probably snowboarding is my 3rd. And hey everyone says a bronze medal is better than silver! I am hoping to get a day on the slopes after Christmas as long has Santa brings me a pass! (hint hint Mom and Dad)

4. That Red Ryder BB gun Ralphie in A Christmas Story asked for… I don’t really want this, but just wanted to ask for it so someone would tell me I’d shoot my eye out. Oh Christmas traditions. My family usually watches this at least four times during the 48 hour marathon Christmas Eve.

5. Crocheting needle… I lost mine for the 3rd time and need a new one to finish a blanket I started in high school. Yes, in answer to your question. I am a woman of many talents. I can crochet a blanket, but thats about it. Maybe a scarf. But the unfinished blanket is sitting on my shelf and its bugging me. Need that needle to finish it.

6. A new Christmas CD… I found one by a group I like. Downhere “How Many Kings: Songs for Christmas” The problem with this is that I’ll be really sick of Christmas Music by the time I get this and it will wait till next year. Sad.

7. I am going to end the list at 7. I wouldn’t want to look to selfish and greedy asking for all these things. But most of all I want this season to be about more than me. More than what I can get or who I can see. Or how great my experience will be. But I want to remember its about celebrating when the God of all things came to the earth to die. To ransom sinners, while we were still in our sins in rebellion. I want to act like a daughter of God this season. And while I know I will fail miserably (there must be the annual Whitworth children fight over video games Christmas Eve), that is my goal. Not so that I can receive anything, but to be like my Father.

In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.  He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—  children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. -Excerpts from John 1 (NIV)

Who to protect for the WPS expansion draft – San Jose Pro soccer | Examiner.com

Who to protect for the WPS expansion draft – San Jose Pro soccer | Examiner.com.

Check out the story… who do you think should be protected?? Lots of drama going on behind the scenes I am sure. Expansion Draft is scheduled for November 4th.