On being #2…
Yeah, of course it sucks. No one likes watching from the bench. Training hard and putting in the hours but as if for nothing. I want to earn my post-game shower. I want to have those bruises that show I attacked that ball without fear. I want to feel like I belong in that post game hand shake line. I want to hate my opponents and have a reason to love my sweeper and left back. I want to feel that bond with my teammates that only comes from “protecting this house” as a unit, on the field, together.
For now, I’m thankful that I am number two because I’ve got so much to fight for. Every time I feel like doing one less set, rep, sprint, lap, or round, I think about what it would feel like to matter, to reallyyy matter to my team… And I keep pushing.
Latest lifting achievements…
-135 lb deadlift, 3x8
-175 lb back squat (no smith machine!), 4 reps
-3 sets of 6 rep chin-up squat thrusts
As a side note, I went crazy yesterday watching a woman do RDLs with a 20 lb barbell 10 feet from me while she watched me do the same with 135 lbs. She even spotted her boyfriend benching well over 200 lbs and then went back to her miniature weights… Does she really think he’s that much stronger? Arghh, an embarrassment for women!
Olympics, Round 1
USA vs. France
Tomorrow, 7/25 @ 1200 EST
Let’s go Hope!!!
30 days to preseason.
On Thursday I had another boxing lesson. I was getting very frustrated by how difficult and technical everything was (turning of your wrist, angle of your feet, size of your step, position of your arms, etc.) when Coach Dent pulled me aside. He put his hand on my shoulder and pointed at a girl training on a bag a few feet from mine, she was in there most days of the week and is the best female boxer I’ve seen there (admittedly, there aren’t very many but she still seemed to be talented). He said to me, “See her? She’s good. No doubt about it. But I don’t train ‘good’. I train ‘great’ and ‘super great’. ‘Good’ sits on the bench, ‘super great’ does not. Only difference between someone who sits on the bench and a spectator is that the bench warmer didn’t pay to get it. That’s not who you’re going to be, you’re better than that. So take a breath, focus, and stick with it. You can do it.” And that’s just what I did and will continue to do.
Here’s to being Hope, and not that keeper in the back. Can’t wait to hit the gym.
Christmas (aka preseason) came early this year… Can’t wait to try them tomorrow!!
1700: Boxing with Coach Dent
1800: Full body circuit lift & jump rope workout
1300: Pick up Kenny (Haverford lax player)
1330: Gym for boxing, push-up challenge week 4 day 1, agility workout
1600: Indoor soccer game at De Burns Arena
1730: back to the house for a BBQ & pool
1000: outdoor game at RPCS with Carrie, Miranda, Kenny, and Matty
1230: rock climbing in Columbia
1600: bring Kenny home
My desk at work… Complete with this week’s Newsweek- Hope Solo on the cover!
Last night was my second boxing class with my new trainer. I’m no longer allowed to take the Boxing 101 classes and can only train with Coach Dent (“can’t pick up bad technique”).
One of the members of my new boxing team is the first guy I sparred (before I joined the team)- an 18 year old boy with tan skin, kind eyes, and a big smile. Don’t worry, he wasn’t allowed to hit me back…!
Anyways, after class last night, we got to talking. Anthony, or “Flaco” as he’s called by his friends, is from a bad part of town. His brother was stabbed to death 3 years ago, his cousin is serving life in prison for a triple murder, and he used to be a major drug dealer in his high school. He told me he used to smoke as many as 14 joints a day, got into daily street fights, and was barely passing school. We spoke for nearly an hour and he told me how he’s turned his life around. How, after being brought to Club One by his moms boyfriend and watching two time world champion Paul Williams train before his eyes, he was motivated to do better. Anthony no longer deals or smokes weed and he is in the gym after work (he works at the wax museum in DC) 5xs a week. Though he’s a better fighter now than a few years ago, he consistently walks away from fights… Telling me he promised Coach Dent he would only fight for him in the ring. Anthony spoke to me about Paul Williams’ recent paralyzation (motorcycle accident) with sadness in his eyes, saying “He was my hero. I started this because of him. But now? I fight for my family. I’m going to go pro and I’m going to get my mom and my sister out of the ghetto. That’s what motivates me.”
I told Anthony I couldn’t wait to see the HBO special on his life. He told me he believed in me too and that we’d be seeing each other again tomorrow in the ring. Another day, another motivation. Back to work…
The vision of a champion is someone who is bent over, drenched in sweat, and the point of exhaustion, when no one else is watching.
A video I took of Baltimore from the top of Fort McHenry during an evening run. Makes HBO’s “The Wire” look like a lie!