To community college and beyond

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Kia is nearing the end of her high school sports career. We are in the middle of the basketball season which means track season is right around the corner.

Graduating high school signifies not only the end of Kia playing sports but the end of being a spectator at her games.

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Like many seniors Kia has no idea what she wants to do next year. We are encouraging her to go to school, somewhere. The thought of college sports was far from our minds until about two weeks ago.

Leah (the head coach for the MHS volleyball team) arranged a meeting between some of the seniors and the head coach from the Community College of Rhode Island volleyball team. The meeting resulted in Kia and one of the other girls going up for a try out. Coach liked what she saw and she is ready to recruit some Islanders.

This means not only will Kia get a chance to continue playing sports in college, but Jim and I will get a chance to keep on cheering for our girl!

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Those who can’t play….coach

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The latest word on the ankle injury (and keep this in mind it is very official) “boy you did a number on this.”  On a happy note I start physical therapy next week. Hopefully I can start to get some range of motion. After the assessment visit to the therapist I found out the range of motion on my ankle is in the negative range, it doesn’t quite reach neutral.

 

I have a long road of work and healing ahead of me. It sounds like I may still be pretty much sidelined in about six weeks.

 

So in the mean time what can a girl do? I can’t play, but I can coach.

 

Some folks at my work have decided to join the base volleyball league. We are the SEA Avengers, my jersey says coach 3.5. (3.5 because it was the first number I thought of but it seems right since I am not a whole player yet.)

 

Of course there is some level of frustration watching instead of playing, but it is more fun than frustration.

 

We’ve played 2 matches so far, won one and lost one. Our objective isn’t to win (but we have no objection to winning) we just want to have fun. And I think I need a little fun right now.

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Roll with it baby

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In 1992 I was at Queens College, we were practicing volleyball. I went up for a hit or a block, I can’t remember that part. What I do remember is rolling my ankle and hobbling off the court. After, I lay down on the floor and propped my feet against the wall and thought it wasn’t so bad. After practice I walked across campus went to my dorm room and started to get ready for my weekend. Somewhere in the hours after rolling my ankle it got really bad. The end result a trip to the ER, X-Rays, no broken bones, but a pretty bad sprain.

 

(Looking back know I can’t believe I walked home on an injury but in the mind of an 18 year old……well we don’t always make good choices when we are 18.)

 

Fast forward to 2014.

 

My knee is stronger. I still have pain but nothing to stop me from working out. I’ve been doing yoga, strength training, cardio, and some light running.

The weather in New England has been rather temperamental this winter, so finding nice days to run has been challenging. Earlier this week we had a nice winter day, the temperature was in the 30s, there was almost no wind, and most of the snow had melted. What a great day for a run.

 

About two miles into the run, disaster. Out of nowhere I rolled my ankle. No ice, no snow, no rocks. I was on steady ground. Somehow I took a step and the next thing I knew I was on the ground.

 

Usually I run with my phone, but for some reason this time I left it in the office. I couldn’t call for help but I knew lying in the parking lot was probably not a very good idea, so I hobbled to the middle of the street to flag down a car. Thankfully someone pulled up and drove me back to work, where my co-workers quickly got me to the ER.

 

This sprain feels much worse then the one I got 20 years ago. It might be that I am older and can’t recover as quickly. It might be because I am smarter about the healing process.

 

Looking back on how 20 years ago I was walking and playing ball a few weeks after my injury really strains the spirit. But healing takes time. So I am trying to stay positive, at least moving around on crutches is a great workout.

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4-6 Weeks

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After some poking, prodding, and twisting, Doc says all the symptoms are consistent with a torn meniscus. Fun! That means 4-6 weeks of physical therapy along with 4-6 weeks of no running, jumping, or twisting my knee. Which translates to no running, no surfing, no SUPing, no volleyball……

DCIM101GOPRO    Amica

This injury strips me of my usual repertoire of healthy activities. Not only are these the things I do to stay physically fit but they also help me stay sane.

 

This means I need a new workout. So this week I tried something new.

 

For weeks I have been hearing tales of this amazing work out called crossfit. Rob and Chris from work share stories of bruises, bangs, and big lifts. For the past few weeks I’ve been considering checking it out. I just needed a catalyst to really motivate me. Who knew a knee injury would do the trick?

 

I know what your probably thinking, how can you do crossfit if you can’t do any impact or twisting? Easy, just modify exercises so it is low impact and you don’t twist.

 

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Force Newport Crossfit (http://www.forcenewportcrossfit.com/CrossFit/) let’s you try a workout before you commit. The night I went we did box jumps (modified of course), kettle bell swings, squats, and slam balls. It was a solid workout called “three minutes of fun”.

 

In addition to conditioning the body, the workout forced me to be present. And that is what I need for my mental conditioning.

 

I have yet to commit and become an official crossfitter. But it got me thinking about other workouts I can try, like getting the dust of my yoga mat.

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Why am I Competing?

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When was 5, I started playing team sports. My mom signed me up for soccer. I don’t think I was any good, but it was the start of my love affair with team sports and competition. I added basketball, volleyball, to my team sports repertoire and even tried softball once but never really took to it. I loved the camaraderie of being on a team. I also really liked competing and winning as part of a team.

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Most of the teams I played on were competitive, but weren’t necessarily very good. It didn’t change the fact that as a team we wanted to win. The times we won we would celebrate and the times we lost we would commiserate and assess what we did wrong. The best way I can explain this is winning is fun and losing just sucks.

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While I have a great appreciation for competition. There is a downside; it can spill over into other areas of your life. Competition does not work well in relationships, surfing, parenting, and some aspects of work. Of course I don’t think I was overly competitive in areas outside of sport, but I will leave that up for my family and friends to decide.

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Setting how competitive I was aside, I would rather focus on how I learned to curb my competitiveness (which has had a few drawbacks like not being as competitive as I would like in my volleyball league). I shifted my focus away from competition when I started running.

 

This might sound ironic because running a race is a competition. There is a clear winner. The first person to cross the line wins, and everyone else is put on a list so you can see just how you stacked up against the other racers.

 

I admit when I first started running I would size up my competition at the start line. There were a few things I learned. I am not very good at determining who is a fast or slow runner. Size, shape, and age don’t give many good clues to speed. The other thing I learned (and this was really reinforced when I moved to New England) is most other runners are much faster then me. It was rather humbling finding out I was just okay at running. I loved the running community and wanted to continue to participate in it so I had to reassess and shift my focus.

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To be a runner it couldn’t be about being fast. Instead my focus was enjoying the sport. It wasn’t about competition it was about relieving stress and being in the moment. And one of my favorite things about running is sharing it with other people. There are few things I enjoy more than running with someone on their first race. I get so much enjoyment out of seeing someone achieve a goal of crossing the start and finish line of a run.

 

While I would really love to win a race (or at least my age group), if winning a race were my goal, I would have quit running a long time ago.