Game Day: Semi Final

I am sitting here on the deck of the Mahogany Lounge with my best friend Keelin and her pug, Jeep and we are each doing our own thing, not speaking, just drinking water and letting our minds wander to wherever. This evening at 8 PM it is the semi final match. We play Washington Spirit. They have traveled all the way across the country and I must say, I am just beyond ecstatic to be playing here and not away. Poor Portland had to go back to Kansas City for their semi final match, just the same as last year and the conditions were grueling to say the least. I heard that it was something like 150  degrees on the turf. And based upon my experience there last year, I dont doubt that stat one bit. Kansas won, so they have sealed their spot in the final match next week.

 

This week was a long one. Our national team players were away this week because they had a game against Switzerland. You never realize when you have the full squad here, but when they are away it is so apparent how much we miss them. They are such a huge part of not only numbers on the field but a part of the atmosphere and level of training as well, so it was nice to get them back to say the least. But all that aside it was a great week of training and we are all so excited for the match tonight! Big games bring out the best in players and teams and I am excited to see this team in our element.

 

I know you are all dying for more inside stories so I have been trying to compile the best from the last week for you all! So here some random stories of the week…

 

First since Jeep is right here and he reminded me of this… a few weeks ago Kee took Jeep for one of his 50 daily walks and on it she came across a lady who lives down the street from us and her new 10 week old black lab puppy. His name is Stewie and he is justttttttt precious! So Jeep and him have been having play dates over the last few weeks and just become good little friends, even though Stewie is a little rambunctious from time to time. Anyways, Kee and I went over to her house just yesterday to let the doggies play when Leslie (the neighbor) said “Oh, wait, we have a present for Jeep dont we, Stewie.” She went inside the house and came back out with a little bag of tiny Jeep-size tennis balls for Jeep. Jeep has been trying his very best to fit a regular size tennis ball in his mouth for two years now, aka all his life, and he has only just even been able to hold it for a brief second before his jaw dislocates and he is forced to give up. When Leslie took the ball out and gave it to Jeep he took it and ran in a circle, then set the ball down and ran back to Leslie and gave a baby little jump onto her leg and made solid eye contact for aout 5 seconds and then ran back to his ball. It was literally as though he ran up to her and said “THANK YOU SOOOOOOO MUCH!” It seriously filled my heart with love. It was so adorable and made me laugh all at once.

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On a completely unrelated topic, Laura brought in some new tunes for the locker room. For those of you who dont know Laura is a master at everything she does, but particularly music and dancing. she is our DJ because she has the best tunes… no one else can agree on what is good music, but no one disagrees with Laura (ever) so her music choice is always good. And on this team, new music always brings about new dance moves… mostly from Laura herself, but also from Carm and sometimes Amanda Frisbie (which no one really cares to see, but we encourage it nonetheless). This time though, the dancing was taken out onto the field into a game of rondo (which is just soccer jargin for keep-away or monkey-in-the-middle) we played before one of our sessions. We are only allowed one touch and so you can imagine it gets pretty funny because you can really put people in some difficult situations. The story basically goes that a ball was played to Syd, pretty slow and she had to do a few moves to try to juke the defender and get her pass off… I wish I had a video of it… this is pretty much as close to it as I close to it as I could get… but she ended up doing some sort of “dance” around the ball before attempting her pass which got picked off by the defender anyways and she got put in the middle. Click on the link below and then imagine Syd is the white boy doing a dance around a ball.

 

Lastly, just to make fun of myself here… For any of you who follow my other social media accounts, you probably know that I have fallen completely in love with fishing this summer. I needed some sort of meditative practice to center myself. I have tried traditional meditation, yoga, breathing exercises all those things, and they work great but I wanted something that would put my in nature. I love being outdoors and I want to just be surrounded by nature. So I took up fishing and have found this amazing little cove by my house where I can just wade into the water and fish from there. It is beautiful and quiet  and absolutely horrible for fishing because its shallow. But what ever… the purpose is not actually for me to catch fish there, I say that I go there to “work on my casting” when really I just want to be in the water with nature doing something meditative. Anyways, this morning happened to be particularly beautiful. And as usual I was up at the crack of dawn at about 6 and decided I wanted to go out there.

 

So I jumped in the car and drove down there. Today I decided I would try one of my new lures. With my other lures, going with the wind I can usually cast about 40-50 feet. So when I wade into the water I can throw a short amount before getting into any shrubs or things. Well my first cast with this new lure, I chucked it and it just FLEWWWW. Like 100 feet right into this underwater forest of seaweed trees. I pulled and pulled and it was just absolutely stuck. I said… “welp, sh*t.” So I took off my shirt and waded into the water in my shorts and sports bra and walked out up about to my neck to untangle my lure. I saved the lure though and was proud to have a new PR in casting distance! Soooo, I got that going for me. The rest of the morning I spent shivering in the water but it was absolutely beautiful and as per the usual… I didnt catch anything! haha. What a way to start off a game day!

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Thats all I got for you! Wish us luck tonight! We will do our best if you guys promise to cheer your best! Thanks for all of your support!

 

Much love!

 

Dani

Last Regular Season Game

I cant believe it. The 2014 NWSL season is a a few days away from being officially over. The top 4 teams that will be continuing their post season are not set yet but we have won the league and thus we will for sure be hosting a semi final game on the 24th. The championship will then be held August 31. It is just mind blowing that this time is already upon us, it seems like just yesterday that we were just starting this crazy season. 

 

The end of every season is by far the most stressful time of the year. Unfortunately that usually comes twice a year, once every six months. September 1st not only marks the day that our season is officially done, but it also is the day that everyone has to be out of the houses/apartment/apodment/host family house or what ever else temporary housing situation we have been living in for the last 6 months. We would all like to hope that the morning of September 1st we will wake up with a medal around our neck and some funny celebration stories from the night before, but the truth is, that with or without a medal… we have to wake up and MOVE! UGHHHH! What a celebration that is!

 

Then comes September 2nd which is pretty much when everyone heads out across the world to  their new leagues and new teams or new jobs and we all have to say “sianara” until that next February. Its pretty crazy what a quick turn around we must make. I mean, heaven forbid you find a house that you like, or want to have a pet, or even a healthy relationship for that matter. Our lives change every six months and not just in a small way… they change drastically. But thats ok, we have all become pretty used to it by now, but it still doesnt make it any less stressful come this time of year. And still, we move into a place acting like it is our home for the next ten years, like really setting up shop… only to pick up and move out again in 6 months. Its pretty stupid of us actually, but can you blame us for trying to have a semi normal life? 

 

Anyways…. So, here we are with that annoying day approaching us rather rapidly and we are all trying to sort out our lives whilst still focusing on the most important games of the season. We have our last regular season game this Sunday at Portland. I think it will be in front of a sell out crowd, and one I have may fond memories playing in front of! And dont forget that the northwest rivalry between Seattle and Portland runs very, very deep… so it will be an exciting game to say the least! That’s Sunday at 2 o’clock. Better get your tickets now. 

 

And then, in a completely unrelated matter, last night a lot of girls from the Reign went to the Ray LaMontagne concert. He was performing out at Marymoor Park and we went with a good group and took up a lot of room on the lawn to watch! We had a pretty spectacular time jamming to his music. But I must say the highlight of the night for me was that Kim Little and Mariah Noguiera were standing in a food line and one of the guys who worked the concert looked over and said “OMG is that Kim Little??” Kim’s face just turned bright red (so obviously she didnt say anything) but Mariah responded on her behalf, “Yes, yes it is.” The man then said “I am THE BIGGEST Kim Little fan… here give her the VIP tickets.” So Kim and Mariah got comped into the VIP section, with the best seats in the house for the rest of the evening. Normally I would be too jealous of their fortunes to tell you this story, however, Kim is absolutely one of the best people and hands down the best player I have ever met in my entire life and she deserves EVERY single bit of recognition she receives. I literally think the world of her… and so to see that someone else sees that same brilliance in her and gave her what he could made me really happy. And you know what… Mariah was the best person I could think of who also deserves that… so that made me really happy for them! 

 

Other than that we are in full practice mode again, we are preparing for our game this weekend and we are enjoying the grey weather that Seattle has brought back about. I know its kind of pathetic but I love the grey skies so much that I am actually looking forward to September even though the sun only shines here for three months… I am about ready for the grey again. August is too hot… and thats why I will never be able to live anywhere out side of the Pacific Northwest. Its just too hot… and I cant handle it. haha. Thats all I got for you. 

 

Laura is still crazy awesome, Sam still makes his games unnecessarily complicated and I am not looking forward to the season being over :-( I love this team too much! 

 

Thats all for now!

Much love!

 

Dani

 

 

The End of the Season is Near

I have once again let my blog posting slip away and I will again apologize for that. I was nicely reminded via twitter yesterday that I have not posted anything in a hot minute (someone straight up told me I suck at keeping a blog)… Nevertheless, I will do my very best to catch you up with all that is happening in the sweet life of the Seattle Reign players and staff.

 

Thats a lie… the last post I did was when we were only 7 games into the season and we are now 20 games in… so I dont want to, nor do I think you want me to go back and talk about the 13 games that happened somewhere in between now and then. Basically what happened was that we traveled a lot and played a lot of games… we had a lot of wins, some ties and one loss. You know, the typical journey of a season… its been up and down. But having said that, we have been on a consistent incline towards peaking at the end of the season, which is our ultimate goal. And to bring you right up to the present we played Portland this passed Sunday at home and won with out best overall performance this season, 5-0! It has been a lot of hard work, a lot of travel and a lot of laughs… but thats mostly because Laura is our coach and thats how our team functions.

 

For those of you who dont know, Laura Harvey is our head coach and the best coach I have ever played for. She is absolutely hysterical, a great coach and an even better person… to put it simply,  we are her team and we are proud of that! To epitomize her… the other day she came in after the post Thorns match press conference and said “Well that press conference was shit.” I said, “Why?” and she said “They didnt have any banta for me. I only got a few laughs…” I said “Is that how you judge how well a press conference goes?” And she said “D.F.” (which is her nick name for me) “That’s how I judge every day of my life… ‘Laura, how was your day?’ Did I make anyone laugh? no…? Then, it was a shit day.” Then she walked away and I was left laughing at her knowing that she was actually serious about that. I think thats how everyone should judge how good their day was… how many people did you make laugh today? The more laughs you got the better day you just lived.

 

That leads me to the next thing I need to discuss… our team is just incredible. On the field this team is just made of the best in the world. From the back to the front…  I can go down the line and give you proofs about every one of them to defend my beliefs here, but I wont. Instead I will just say that Laura and our owners have put together a team that is full of great players… and with that comes some strong personality. So many wildly different personalities… but somehow deep down we are a like minded team. We all love what we do. This team genuinely loves to work our asses off knowing full well that every other girl on this team is doing the same thing to fight with you. And that gives us genuine enjoyment… we are a team with no inhibitions and no fear and I have loved every second of this season.

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This blog has actually taken me a few days to write haha, sorry about my ADD… regardless, our last game against Houston sealed the league championship for us and that was quite exciting for everyone! We celebrated in style after the game by going to a very casual restaurant where, by happen chance, a lovely lady named Paige did acoustic renditions of all of the greatest 90’s tunes… Nsync, Aqua, Snoop Dog, Blink 182… we sang and danced our hearts out! The joy of that was short lived however as we had to get on a plane the next morning to go to our last big road game against Kansas City.

So thats where we are right now! And tonight we enjoyed a night out as a team to watch Sporting KC play the Philly MLS team and are in bed early to get some rest before our game tomorrow night.

I will do my best to keep my blog up to date from here on out… but if I forget (which I absolutely will) feel free to send me a tweet (preferably nicer than the last reminder I received).

Thanks to all the fans who have supported the Reign throughout the season, you guys are just the best! Keep following as we get into playoffs… it is after all, THE BEST TIME OF THE YEAR!!!!

much love!

Dani

 

 

Coming into Summer

We are now 7 games into the 2014 NWSL season. As a proud member of the Seattle Reign I am happy to report that we currently sit at the top of the table as the only undefeated team in the league. Thats exciting. But it is not a championship yet. We have a long season and playoffs ahead of us still. In the last couple of games we have not had our best performances, we have pulled out some wins that could have gone the other way. But that is both the most beautiful and ugliest thing about this game. And we are proud of every point we get! Needless to say, same every team in this league, we are a work in progress and we are working towards peaking at the end of the season. And we know we have a lot more growth to make before that crucial time arrives.

Life outside the stadium has been particularly nice! We were on a long road stretch which is always a bit tough on our social lives. We spend a lot of time in some spectacularly average hotel rooms, and a lot of money on strange food combinations put together from grocery shopping for meals that we dont need to refrigerate or cook but somehow can still put together to make a decent meal of. Lauren Barnes is the queen of this and somehow made a dinner of an uncooked sweet potato, avocado, some sliced turkey meat and a coco cafe. I looked at my bowl of luke warm oatmeal and somehow felt jealous of her creative meal. Oh, the sweet life of a professional athlete. Oh, the irony? 

Summer time is approaching rather rapidly! My east coast friends (Emma Nelson) have told me that it was 90 degrees the other day, with humidity! And they have still not officially said its summer yet, which basically means that I will never spend a summer on the east coast because I will melt by the end of spring. On a more pleasant note, here in Seattle we had a day of 80 degrees which was just enough to give me a red hue and force Kim Little to lather up 72 SPF no less than 5 times in a 4 hour boat outing. It has since cooled back down to a solid 60-65 and I am perfectly happy with this temperature. 

Our schedule over the last couple weeks has been pretty crazy with having a game most Wednesdays and Saturdays. That really didnt leave much time to do anything fun because we needed to save our legs and prepare for the next game. So I spent a lot of my time reading. I read Chelsea Handler’s book Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang in a solid three and a half days. It was hilarious and I think Keelin and Elli were annoyed with the amount of (trying to be quiet) laughing I did whilst reading it. You know how difficult that is? When you read and its absolutely hilarious and you want to laugh out loud but no one else knows what you’re laughing at? And its not even like you can explain it to them with out reading them the exert… and thats equally as annoying. So I spent a lot of time reading outside where I could both soak up the sun and laugh without worrying about being “that girl.” 

So, thats been life over the last couple weeks here! A lot of team time in hotel rooms (which I must say I thoroughly enjoy), time spent on soccer fields in other states and the most enjoyable part… winning! Our next game will be in Kansas CIty on Wednesday of next week. Its nice to have a solid week before our next game to get our legs back under us.  

As always, thanks for reading!

 

Much love,

D

Reign in First Place!

We are now two games into the season and I can already tell that this season is just going to fly by. We played our first game against Boston, which as expected was a bit of a mess and kind of all over the place. The first week of preseason, the first game and the first 15 minutes of every game are usually just wild times, balls to the wall… and then it all settles down and whats natural starts to shine through. Essentially its just the honey moon period of soccer. So getting that first win against Boston was a great way to start the season!!  Not to mention my parents made the trip up here which is always an adventure! They are the best explorers I know and when ever they are in town our days are packed full of the funnest things! 

We went to the tallest building in Seattle 

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Went to the Seattle Center and Space Needle. 

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We went to Pikes Place 

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Anddddd they came to my game! 

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Basically what I am saying is that my parents are the best in the world! 

After they left we had a 10 day break before our next game. Usually when you have a 10 day break during season that means that you will have a week of really hard training… and that makes the 10 days seem like 20 days, but that 10 days seriously flew by. We all lost track of days and suddenly… here we were at another game day! 

We played Washington Spirit last night and they were fresh off of a 3-1 victory over Kansas CIty, so they were feeling and looking really good! Not to mention two of my favorite people Jordan Angeli and Tiffany Weimer play on Washington, so I was super excited for this game. 

It was perfect Seattle weather, rainy and a bit chilly, but Memorial Stadium was amazing as usual. The atmosphere is just so unique and fun. I love it!

The team performed, to say the least. Naho and Elli on the right side of the field tore it UP!!!! Keelin with a sick goal, Kendall with a back flip after her goal… like what happened last night??!!! haha it was a real treat! 

Now we are the only team in the NWSL with two wins and we are blowing up all sorts of Reign records. Last night was the first win the Reign has had without Megan Rapinoe, we have almost reached half of the amount of wins as the Reign had all of last season, and the big one… this is the first time the Reign have been at the top of the table! So, overall the season is starting out well! 

We have another game on Sunday against Houston Dash, so be sure to tune into our Youtube channel to watch! 

I hope all is well and much love from the great North West!

Dani

 

What it means to Listen

I apologize for the length of this post straight away, but I felt this post needed some real explaining…

 

Growing up my mom used to read to my younger brother and I every night before we went to bed. We would read great stories like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Hatchet, Holes and countless other books that held great adventure stories. I remember being so excited to be transposed into another world, a world that wasn’t mine, and become immersed in the story of someone else’s life. As my mom was reading, even though it appeared I was just blankly staring at my ceiling my eyes were actually the projectors to the movie I was watching in my mind.

 

I am sure that those nights shaped a lot of who I am now. Not only was my imagination developed every night, it was stretched… made to wander to far off lands with other great adventurers, my ears were trained to actively listen and my brain coached to attentively participate. And I still carry that mindset to most conversations that I have today.

 

Here in the Mahogany Lounge, we have a running joke about how often I get myself into intense conversations with people. To say it bluntly I ask a lot of questions. I thoroughly enjoy sitting and listening to people, mostly listening to their answers to questions I ask. Whether it is with perfect strangers, acquaintances or my best friends, I love it. I make friends with people I have no business getting to know personally and I ask questions I probably have no business asking. But I will be the blunt of their jokes pride-fully because I see a great value in listening to people’s stories. Getting people to talk about things that no one genuinely asks about. Somewhere in our language history we developed the question “How are you?” and just as quickly we threw the meaning of it away… and since then it has become something robotic, with a robotic response. Essentially it is just another way of saying hello… like heaven forbid you tell me anything other than “good” or “fine”. But when I ask that question, I genuinely want to know the answer. Tell me the truth. We are not “good” every day. And I want to know why today is any different than yesterday.

 

I want to know the good, the bad, the insignificant, the normal, the beautiful and the ugly about people and I care to hear their stories. Because the truth is that we all have our story and it all happened one day… and maybe that day was yesterday, or today. I want to know the albatrosses we wear upon our chest, the rocks that sit in the rivers of our minds… the ones we usually keep guarded and don’t tell many people. Sometimes we don’t even tell those who are closest to us for fear of judgment or signs of weakness or something…. I am not entirely sure, I mean, you tell me… why do you keep your secrets hidden from people you are close to? Usually those details are shared with only one or two people. And this is where and why my imposing questions come as quite a shock to most people… and yet I find most people actually want and are willing to answer them…

 

Let me explain…Besides the fact that my legs swell up like sausages in airplanes, traveling is my favorite thing to do. I obviously love seeing the world and exploring new cultures, but in this particular instance, when I say “traveling” I literally mean the time I spend on an airplane, in a seat that is uncomfortable, breathing in recycled air and drinking canned mineral water. OK, obviously I don’t love all those things buttttt, what I love is that strangers are forced to invade each other’s personal space. We have all of these personal bubbles, spatial boundaries that we walk around in and we only let certain people into those bubbles. But, when we are traveling and on a plane (in particular) those boundaries become null. We are all uncomfortably shoved into a machine that is defying gravity and for some ironic reason that perfect alignment of uncomfortable factors creates an atmosphere to converse deeply with a complete stranger.

 

What I have found is that if you start a conversation with someone, ask simple questions like how he or she is, ask about their family, their friends, about their job they almost always tell you something personal that they want you to delve into deeper so that they may elaborate. To the inattentive or unobtrusive listener, that comment will be left there for wonder and remain untouched because almost always it is some subject that is touchy and will be hard to talk about. But I ask. I pry. I don’t know why… I just do. And by the end of the plane ride, without intending, I know personal, deep and heavy things about strangers that probably the majority of the people in their lives don’t know.

 

I have found that most people actually want to talk about their albatrosses, that they want someone to ask those questions and they want to be able to answer completely unbiased and unemotional. When I ask questions to people they don’t have to filter what comes out of their mouth because I know absolutely nothing about how they lead their lives daily and they will probably never see or talk to me ever again. We can both go our separate ways when the plane lands and what was said was said and that is that. And I leave with the lessons I learned from hearing their stories and they leave feeling free from some demon that has been festering in their minds for some time.

 

The inspiration to this writing is coming from a few different places, all of which have lead me to a life lesson that I will get to by the end of this post….

 

The previous blog post, I am well aware, was annoyingly positive but I had to share because moments of that kind of happiness are not always found and when they are they are not often shared. The past few days I felt like I was living in a state of elation, like I had no cares in the world and I couldn’t keep my smile from emerging! You know…. Like days that I will actually remember as significant days in my life, and for no particular reason. And to confirm that feeling, yesterday I was standing in the kitchen with Keelin and we were not saying much, you know just hanging out and she said, “I feel so content right now. Like, I just had a moment where I am completely content.” I looked at her, the way she was just simply standing in the kitchen, our house was quiet, the sun was shining and I knew exactly what she was feeling…Like the truest, purest form of innocent and simple happiness. I was happy I shared it with her.

 

That moment was then compounded by a conversation I had a few mornings ago when I went to a coffee shop by myself and purposefully sat down at the biggest table so that people were forced to sit around me. A group of, I would say, 60+ year old’s sat down beside me and obviously we started talking. They helped me with the cross word, we talked about the weather, they told me about their weekend plans and their grand kids and I told them about the Seattle Reign and professional women’s soccer…and then we went our separate ways. But, at the end of the conversation when I got up to leave I put out my hand to shake theirs and say my goodbyes, and one of the women held my hand a little longer, looked me in the eyes and said, “thank you for talking with us, it was really lovely chatting with you.” And I smiled and felt the same feeling I get when I say good bye to someone I just listened to for an entire plane ride and know I will never meet again.

 

And the last place I drew this inspiration from was from a piece of writing that I read just this morning when I was watching the sun rise over Lake Washington. I stumbled across a post about why the author of that particular post smiles so often. It delved into her story, the secrets she so desperately wants to tell people but holds back because of her fear of the way people would react upon hearing her story. I was so moved by the piece that by the end I had both tears rolling down my cheeks and a smile stretched across my lips. It was beautiful and heart wrenching and happy all in one. And as I sat there taking in what I had just read, I felt a surge of all of the emotions of the last few days hit me.

 

And I promised myself that I would keep asking these questions of people to seek sharing an innocent human moment with people and I would keep listening to people’s stories and more importantly I would keep telling my own. Because even if you have a hard time hearing something about someone because it might make you feel uncomfortable doesn’t mean that everyone feels that way. Maybe they want to share a piece of themselves, maybe someone else needs to hear that there are other people who have lived through the tough time they are going through. Or maybe, it simply brings the meaning back to the question “How are you?”

 

And so my the lesson that I wish to share with you all in this long winded post is simple…

 

Ask genuinely.

Listen actively.

Respond attentively.

 

That is all for now!

 

Love!

D

April 1st

Its the first of April and it is only appropriate that the weather up here in the Emerald City is perfect! The sun is out, the air is warm and fresh, the birds are singing and to top it off… we got the last two days off! After a hard three weeks of two-a-days during this preseason my legs needed a good few days of rest. So I took the days to explore with my friends (my new teammates and my bike)!

 

It would be appropriate for me to pull some sort of April fools joke on you… but the truth is that I cant stand this day. April 1 should be a day of celebrating the beauty of spring time and lovely things and people made it into this really mean day where they make you feel really stupid for falling for things… and usually they are really intense things that arent prank worthy. Thats not funny. Excpet after the fact they make me laugh because every time I have been April Fools’d I have taken it so seriously and been genuinely concerned and then made to feel so dumb! And I hate that… but it makes me laugh at myself for being so serious! Even though the prankster was really kind of mean for doing such a thing! Its like when you are in a dodge ball game… and someone throws one ball straight up in the air getting your eyes to look up and then another pegs you right in the face… I literally fall for that stupid trick EVERY TIME and I cant stop myself… thats what April Fools is to me… people know I fall for it and so they peg me in the face! So I will not subject you all to any sort of nonsense and I hope none of you got April Fools’d, but if you did I hope it was a good one!

 

Anyways…Yesterday morning Keelin and I went for a lovely trail run/walk. We drove to St Ed’s Park on Lake Washington to a system of trails and just got lost! We ran for a bit, stretched, then walked and jogged here and there until we found our way down to the lake edge and took in the beautiful peaceful view. Then we hiked this giant hill back up until we found our car! It was so fun to be in the woods, with the trees and the trails just running. It was perfect. And the way I know Kee and Elli and I are best friends is that we can go for a run and not say a word the entire time and leave feeling fulfilled by each other’s company. Best friends are just…. the BEST!

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Later in the day I went and had coffee with one of my new favorite people and teammates, Beverly. Let me just interrupt myself here and say that anyone who is a Seattle Reign fan needs to buy her jersey NOW! She is one of the best players I have ever played with and will be a huge part of this team! Not to mention she is just a great person! She has a lot of experience playing in the previous league in the WPS and spent the last two years playing for a top team in Japan. I watch the way she plays with the eyes of a student watching and emulating an expert. I am so excited to have the opportunity to play with her this season, so go buy her jersey… NOW! Anyways, we had coffee and just talked and laughed about nothing really! Thats what meeting new people and making new friends is all about! Old best friends and new great friends… this is what I love about being a professional athlete! Always meeting new people and always keeping in touch with the old ones!

 

Then to top such a wonderful day off… Carm invited me to join her in a meditation class with her. I willingly went thinking that it was going to be an hour long class. As I was driving up I was following my google maps and as I was driving by the place where I thought the little pin was pointing… I looked up to see a big church. I did a circle just to see if the mediation place was somewhere behind the church… but sure enough, the pin was pointing right to the church. So I thought… hmmm, thats peculiar… but what ever! I parked and went in. I walked through the chapel and the pews and met Carm in the back of the church in a little room with a dome ceiling. We grabbed our mats and laughed and shrugged our shoulders at each other… dont know what we are getting ourselves into but here we go!!!

 

The meditation yogi looked like a hippie santa claus. He had a scraggly gray beard, shimmering blue eyes, a button nose and a little jelly belly that shook when he laughed. It made me smile and feel comfortable with what ever the heck was going to happen in the next hour. Turns out… it was a two long hour class, SURPRISE! And we did all sorts of crazy things. He had us standing, sitting, standing, sitting, stretching, standing, laying on our stomachs, our backs, standing… then he turned on music and we did hippie dancing, flailing our arms around, moving all of our body parts, jumping, dancing… and then he had us make sounds… saying LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA at the top of our lungs, really high pitched as fast as we could. I was literally in tears laughing. It was such a joyful laugh, like I was a little kid having so much fun and not giving a care in the world. To be honest I dont even know what Carm was doing the whole time! She was probably laughing at me… but I was in my own world and I was having an absolute BALL!!!

 

I have never experienced a mediation class like that… but I LOVED IT! Made me laugh and I truly believe that laughter is the greatest remedy for clarity and happiness in life.  Then today, we again woke up to beautiful weather and I decided I wanted to take my other best friend out for some exploration, my bike! I packed my bag and went down to the path around Lake Washington and rode down to the U District. I was having so much fun riding my bike and being in the sun. I challenged myself to ride the whole way without using my hands… I didnt make it though. I hit a few hairy spots with huge root bumps (you know how those huge tree roots make the pavement bump up with a big crack down it… and on a rode bike, those mini bumps are the worst!) I almost got bucked off my seat a few times… had to catch myself before I flew off the path! But I was laughing and smiling the whole time… Passerby’s probably though I was crazy or on something. But I was just having fun in the sun! I explored the area, had some lunch and rode my bike home with the same cheesy smile on my face.

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There is no point to this blog post except to try to make you laugh at the silly things that I subject myself to…  and to tell you that as our home opener approaches, my hope is that you all are getting ready to come support us at Memorial Stadium. I cant say enough wonderful things about this team and the people on it and it would just break my heart if you missed out on the journey we are about to begin… SOOOO, get your tickets ASAP so that you wont be a band-wagoner at the end of the season when everyone else is talking about it!

 

Stay tuned for more insightful posts but for now… I hope I provided you with a smile!

 

Love,

Dani