I lay in the hospital bed with my phone, laptop, a bottle of water, and a beautiful bouquet of flowers next to me. Nurses come in to check on me, to transport me, even to take me to the bathroom. I am used to doing things for myself- I am a very independent person, but I suppose I should just be content with being taken care of while I am here. They keep telling me not to worry, that it is their job. Nevertheless, I greet everyone with a big smile and a friendly conversation. This may not seem like your typical hospital patient’s attitude, but I feel no reason to act any different because of my situation. The man in the room across the hall from me is yelling at the nurses telling them he is getting out of his bed. Truth is he only has one leg and is supposed to be on bed rest. The nurses come in tired of being cursed at but still put on their best face for me. I want to make their day just a little bit easier by putting my best face on for them!
So, why am I in the hospital? I am still wondering this myself. We don’t have all the answers yet. Yesterday afternoon, our team started our typical Monday practice on the courts. I had only begun to warm up hitting for about 4 minutes when I realized that my fourth finger on my right (dominant) hand was losing color. Soon enough, it was numb and completely white. I immediately ran over to my trainer who played with it to get some blood pumping and revived its color. After it returned to normal conditions, I went back to hitting and it was only a matter of minutes before it came back with a vengeance. We knew this lack of blood flow was not normal, so I called it quits on practice and any physical activity for the rest of the day. The athletic doctors checked it out and said I would be in to see the vascular surgeon first thing in the morning. I went home and a few hours later, I had lost all feeling in the top of my finger. The feeling was not coming back even an hour later. They decided to take me to the ER and start me on blood thinners, and this is where I have been since 10pm last night.
Now we sit here playing the waiting game. I am anxious to know what is going on with the circulation to my finger, but regardless of the news, I will try my best to remain positive. My head thinks back to the priest’s homily at mass on Sunday. He said, “Attitude takes you farther than skill and knowledge can take you.” I believe that there is no other way to handle so many questions and unknown answers regarding my health than to do it with a positive attitude. Just as the nurses bring a positive light to the room every time I have to bug them to use the restroom or to check my vitals, I will bring a positive attitude to make their day better and to make the best of my situation!
What does it mean for any athletic team at the University of Georgia when Tech is coming to town? It means it is time to show the yellow jackets, once again, who runs this state. For our team, this is always a huge match at the beginning of every outdoor season. Georgia Tech has always been good, but we have historically been better. They are currently ranked #13 in the country, and we are ranked #3. As it is this year, we are normally the favorite in this match-up, however we know that this team will always bring their very best against us because of the nature of the rivalry.
So, what does this week look like for us? Focus. Discipline. Preparation. We know we have more talent all the way down the line, and we know we will win this match if we do things the right way. But what does doing things the right way mean? It means that we are focused this whole week with all things including treatment, practice, weights, and running. We get to work when we need to and focus on the quality of what we are doing. It also means discipline. It means being responsible in getting to the training room early in order to get all the work done we need before practice. It means eating the right way throughout the week and hydrating way before hand. Finally, it all means preparation. Preparing our bodies, our minds, and our games for this in-state rivalry match come Friday afternoon at 3pm.
When the match begins, we will come out rocking and rolling. But, we know that this will be a battle. We know that the yellow jackets won’t just back down after our first punch. We will keep our level of energy and performance high throughout the duration of the match, and we will rise even higher every time they push their games up to meet ours. We will continue to throw punches until the dawg fight has been won. This is how we play, this is why we are so tough.
This week is an exciting week, it’s Tech Week. Go Dawgs- we run this state.
A trip to New Haven, Connecticut over the past week found a bunch of southern girls accustomed to the Georgia weather in a snow storm. I traveled with my team to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Indoor Tournament held at Yale University. We were snowed in, to the indoor courts that is. However, it called for some interesting drives to and from the tennis facility and the hotel. The snow storm might have been cold and windy, but it provided a beautiful scenery for some great videos pictures to share with our fans keeping up on social media.
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We drew a tough draw, running into Duke (ranked #10 in the country) first round. We had a bit of a slow start and lost the doubles point, going down 0-1. However, we proceeded to win 4 straight singles matches to clinch a 4-1 victory and move on to the Quarterfinal round. The next day, we had the challenge of facing Pepperdine University, ranked #3 and three spots ahead of us. We once again had a bumpy doubles start and started the match down 0-1. However, 4 more singles victory put us at a 4-1 win and a spot in the Semifinals against the #1 ranked Florida Gators.
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The gators proved to be a little too tough for us on Sunday as we fell 4-0 after losing a tough fought doubles point and three singles matches. We had three singles matches remaining on court (when the match was clinched) that could have been Georgia points, but even a 4-3 loss would not have been enough to advance to the Finals of the National Indoor Championship.
Our team went up to New Haven, Connecticut to prove that we are one of the best teams in the country. We did that, and we also proved that we have our best ahead of us. We will continue to work hard and prepare to start our outdoor season next week. This journey will take us all the way to the end of May with the biggest stage in collegiate tennis, outdoor National Championships being held in Athens, Georgia.
This Super Bowl Sunday, the New England Patriots made one of the greatest comebacks, if not the greatest, of all time. Games like those are exactly the reason I love sports. No one has lost the game, no matter the score, until the clock runs out.
Many people watch the Super Bowl for the much anticipated commercials. They then turn to social media for posting their thoughts and sharing their praises or critiques. I, however, watch the game for the love of football and the love of competition in general. You put the best of the best on the biggest stage in professional football, and they battle it out. That is when you see athletes’ true character show. That is when, against all odds, you see the most unbelievable comebacks in the game.
I am choosing to write a little less today than I normally would first because I am traveling with my team to competition and second because I want to make my point very clear. You are never out of the game (sports, dating, work) until time runs out. Keep working at it, show persistence and determination, and a will to do whatever it takes to be successful. These qualities can take any person or athlete very far in life’s game.