Big Changes

182.621 days. 264,974 minutes. 15,778,000 seconds. 6 months is a long time. Enough time to make some serious changes in life. Enough time to fall in love and elope (a la Sydney Leroux). Enough time to consume 85 pounds of refined sugar (a la the average American). Enough time to begin the process of a gender transformation (a la Bruce Jenner). I can’t say I’ve found my one and only, I like to think I am a healthy eater, and I’m pretty confident in my decision to remain a woman, but I have had a busy and life-changing 6 months. During this time, I took the approach of upgrading numerous areas of my game. As a result, my half-year long offseason training consisted of a smorgasbord of training environments- playing overseas in Australia, working on my speed and agility, increasing my strength, and practicing with boys teams. And in the midst of this hodge podge of events, I found out some life changing news: I was traded to the Portland Thorns.

Being traded from one team to another is an unusual concept for me to grasp.

At age 10, I joined my first club soccer team. From that moment on I remained loyal to my chosen team, until I was graduating or it was necessary to move on. For me, my team is family. We have each other’s back no matter what. We mess up together, learn together, grow together. Creating these meaningful relationships is one of my favorite things about playing a team sport. The stories away from the ball make playing on the field together substantially more rewarding. It’s moments like when Elizabeth Eddy gave our team a surfing lesson at Point Pleasant beach on our day off.

Shortly after Nikki Stanton got destroyed by the board

When Maddie Thompson and I gave our Japanese assistant coach Taka english lessons.

When Christie Rampone’s daughter got revenge after Brittany Cameron smashed a cupcake in her face.

All of these memories collectively created a strong bond, which makes me feel as though I’m leaving part of my family behind. I’m grateful to have played with such special people, and to Sky Blue for fulfilling my childhood dream of becoming a professional soccer player.

With that said, I’m beyond excited for the opportunity to represent my hometown and play for such a highly regarded club in the Portland Thorns.

We’re now two weeks deep into preseason and are coming in hotter than Sriracha sauce with double days, practice games, strength training and the works. Settling into preseason, always takes at least a few days, but the transition into this new team has been smooth sailing so far. For the most part, everyone has been super welcoming and generous. In fact, I can only think of one time in these past few weeks in which I’ve been verbally assaulted by a teammate. And this incident did not take place on the soccer field, but rather in determining who gets which room in our apartment.

This season I’m living with Kat Williamson and Sarah Robbins. Having lived in the same apartment complex before, Kat informed me that there are two regular sized bedrooms and one master bedroom. We decided that the fairest way to solve who gets the big room was to flip a coin. We eliminated Sarah from the toss for the obvious reasons that a) a coin only has two sides and b) she wasn’t arriving for a couple days, so you snooze, you lose. Sorry Sarah, it’s an unfair world out there. Kat and I had come to terms with this agreement via text, and were both eager to get the flippage over with as soon as possible. Sinead Farrelly graciously agreed to be our official virtual coin flipper. She took a video and sent it to us

Before I could even watch the footage, I saw Kat’s response “Nooooooo”

Victory is always sweet, but honestly, this room is unnecessarily massive. My walk-in closet could be a room in itself. Out of respect to Kat, I feel obligated to put my closet to good use. I’ve contemplated my options throughout this past week and have settled upon a few front runners:

  1. buy a miniature pig, turn it into a little barn
  2. make my own zen meditation center filled with fresh, live greenery and a water feature
  3. get a strobe light, blast the tunes, make a miniature club out of the joint.

As of now, I’m leaning towards the zen meditation center, but any other ideas are greatly appreciated.

A few hours after the coin flip, Kat informed me that she had gotten us wifi and had created our wifi name/password in honor of me. I was tickled, until I saw her wifi username choice. Take a guess at which one is ours….

Someone is still a little bitter. Kat if you are reading this, I want you to know that you are always welcome to come down and use my meditation center anytime you like to let off some steam. All I ask is that you remove your shoes and negativity before entering.

It’s stories as simple as deciding who gets what room in an apartment that make playing for a team, regardless of the team, so rewarding. My past teammates all played a special part in making me who I am today, and I’m excited for the memorable times ahead with my new Portland teammates.

March 9th marked the start of preparation for our 6 month season. 6 months is a lot of time. Enough time to complete 128 practices. Enough time to play 20 regular season games. Enough time to get my mind fully right in in my zen meditation closet. Enough time to form a new family. And if all that goes well, enough time to win a championship.

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