“Every woman has a secret action heroine in her”- Sigourney Weaver
Team sports changed my life. I was always a tomboy. I had two brothers to compete with for my dad’s attention. He admired a game well-played and taught us a lot about practicing and playing with good sportsmanship. Before we could play with our friends at the pool, he made us swim laps to become better swimmers. At the time, it didn’t seem fair and frankly…a pain in the ass, but today, I’m glad. It started something that followed me to boarding school where I played field hockey, speedball, soccer, softball, volleyball and ran track on a club team in college.
I used team sports as a way to have automatic friends. My teammates were the people I hung out with, traveled to tournaments with and sat with in the lunch room. They were my roommates and in college, the friends who wrote me condolence letters when my dad passed away from liver cancer.
After college, I coached little league baseball and afterwards, when I moved to Ruidoso, New Mexico, took the training to become the first female Golden Gloves judge in the State of New Mexico.
I loved watching my brothers play football when they were in college and I think athletics was our therapy while we grieved for our dad. One of my brothers is still very close friends with several of his teammates from SMU. I have just recently reconnected with some of the girls I played sports with. Our bodies are broken and we feel old injuries from the past but in our minds, we can run as fast as we ever did. Hiking is my new sport and the travel to new locations, the distance or altitude of a hike is my new challenge. It’s still a team sport in a way. I always have a friend to share it with and there is something about walking with someone who opens the mind and heart and soon inhibitions slip away to encourage meaningful and therapeutic conversation.
My new business of Equine Assisted Coaching is a bit like a good walk. My horses keep the riders so “in the moment” that the distractions of the stresses of the day slip away to reveal the clarity they were looking for when trying to find an answer to a question in their lives. Whether it’s with sports, riding or just a good walk with a friend, when we quit trying so hard to figure life out and just enjoy the sun in our face or the sweat running down our back…the answer comes and life isn’t nearly as complicated as we thought.