After an exciting and eventful past month or two it’s time to sit down, take a breath and reflect and reminisce about it all. First thing first…I am a proud new Aunt again, this time to a beautiful little boy, Beckett, who surprised us all by joining our lives two weeks early. He was and is completely healthy, full of smiles, sleeps more than you can imagine and has hulk-like strength for a two and a half month old! He absolutely melts my heart the same way my niece does, and of course melts my bank account even more! One thing that is great about playing professionally in Sweden, is that because the league is so long (April-October), there is always a break in the middle which can be anywhere from 4-8 weeks depending on the FIFA Calendar. Because of this break, I get to head back overseas to spend some time at home with my family and friends, and this year I also took a short vacation with my two best friends to Spain and relax a bit. I was home for 10 days in the middle of July and it couldn’t have been better, which also meant that it felt like I was home for a total of 10 hours! As much as you really try to slow down and take it all in, the time at home always seems to fly by. Between babysitting, family dinners, camping in the mountains, and wedding festivities for one of my best friends, it was off to Spain before I knew it. We spend an incredible two days in Madrid, with the highlight of course being a two and a half hour Segway tour around the city, before heading to the island of Mallorca for some sun and beach…and maybe a few SangriasJ I definitely got the mental refreshment and escape from soccer that is always needed after an intense few months of season.
Now I am back in Sweden, back to the grind. At our first practice back together on Monday, it felt as though I had never kicked a ball before in my life, I literally kicked the ball with my plant leg three times and with my shin a couple more. Although I am not exactly the most coordinated person to begin with, I really got in touch with my motor skills after that session. It didn’t take long thank goodness, and now after a few more days of training and lots of touches on the ball we have amped up the intensity again and are looking to get back on the same level we finished the first half of the season on. It has been a very exciting start to the season for us, definitely not something undeserved or unexpected from our point of view, but of course there are many skeptics out there, there always are. Our success has definitely not come easily, and we are looking to put in even more work to continue on the path we are on, to take every game as its own challenge, and to keep improving as a team, and individuals every single game. It doesn’t matter if you play 90 minutes or don’t get the call to dress that game, everyone has a part in the team’s success, and everyone has a part in the team’s struggles. I am so proud to play with a group of girls who fight for each other every single day, and who push each other to new levels. It sounds extremely cliché, but the level of respect between the girls on this team is the reason for what we have accomplished thus far. I know that I can look to anyone for motivation or support, and that is powerful beyond words.