Monday, March 14, 2011

the summer that changed everything

Fast forward to summer of grade 11.  I made the Sask provincial team.  It was great.  This was my last year eligible and the expectations were high.  I made the team but for the first time I wasnt near the top.

The coach was intense.  He demanded perfection and was very demeaning to the girls.  He was abrasive.  People loved him or hated him.  He yelled at girls in the middle of games.  Tossed up towels in "surrender."  Was abusive to refs.  His absolute determination to achiever perfection was suffocating.  The training was excruciating.  Good, better, best - none of it was perfect enough.  

I'll never forget one game being pulled aside (while still on the court playing) and being yelled at in front of everyone.  I dont know how i kept my composure.  I wasnt as good as some of the other girls on the team.  I was in a bit of an ackward place - i had always played post, but now as we got more competitive i was the high and stature of a shooting guard, but i wasnt quick enough.  There were now girls that could out wrestle me.  And my "team" mentality left me to look for opportunities for my teammates before myself.  I struggled being on the bench.  The high achiever, all star player had been benched.  It felt terrible.  My chest still gets tight when i think about it.  I wasnt as good any more.  

It was at a tournament, in Vancouver actually, my current home,(I think, or was it Calgary?) that everything came falling down.  It was a very intense tournament, with 7 games in 5 days.  It was extremely physically taxing.  Except for when you were playing only a few minutes a game.  

Training hard meant that we needed to eat - a lot.  I have no idea how many calories we would burn in 7-8 hours of pracitce per day.  I was used to having to eat a lot to be able to meet my energy needs while i was a starter at tournaments.  Food was fuel afterall.  But what happens when you only play a few minutes a game and you're still eating that much?

It was then that i was struck with fear.  If i kept eating as much when I wasnt playing, what would happen?  I would gain weight.  


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