Strength Days

Strength Days

Returning back to the Sweets this year as a sophomore, I've been lucky enough to take on the roll of "Workout Woman". I make up the half of our workout committee that creates our lifting routines each month, and helps instruct the team on how best to use our time in the gym.

Coming back to school from a whirlwind first year at Whitman, I had a silver medal in my room, a summer packed full with doctor's appointments and a chronic injury behind me. I walked onto campus in August with a new energy—more excited to see my teammates after a summer away than I can clearly articulate. Being with my teammates again is a gift. Seeing them around on campus never fails to brighten my day. When I returned to them in August, I channeled that excitement into my new role, deciding to get stronger than ever before, and help my teammates to do the same. 

Building muscle takes time, but as any seasoned athlete can tell you, the integration of strength training in a fitness plan is essential. It increases speed, stability, endurance, balance. When done right, it greatly reduces risk of injury. I knew about building strength from many months of PT, but I wanted to know more. I started doing my research: pouring over fitness websites, talking to other athletes, signing up for a one credit weight lifting class at Whitman. I made the workouts, showed them to my team, and did my best to communicate the importance of strength to them.

The Sweets spend two days in the gym each week. It's up to the individual to decide whether she wants to do a third strength day on her own time, or if she'll take an additional rest day. The more I think about our team, the more I want to tell them that regardless of what they choose to do—regardless of what their body looks like, regardless of what their ability level is, regardless of the blessings and misfortunes that may have touched their lives—each day is a strength day. Even if it doesn't feel like it. 

Playing for the Sweets has given me so much: a community on campus where I belong, a group of women who love and support me, a team full of independent, compassionate, and hard-working athletes. These women push me to demand more of myself, but also urge me to be gentle. To forgive myself and others. To trust in my teammates enough to be vulnerable. These women remind me that sometimes strength looks a lot like weakness. They remind me that real strength has to be earned, but is also shared. The more muscle we build—the more we build each other up, the better off our team. I am so grateful to be a part of a program that values that kind of commitment to our own bodies, and to each other. 

To each of my teammates: thank you. Here's to all that we have accomplished, and all that has yet to come. I'm proud to be a Sweet, and proud of you.

Welcome to the Sweets: it Might be Fate

Welcome to the Sweets: it Might be Fate

When our captains announced the sweets 2017 coaches were going to be Gwen Ambler and Rohre Titcomb, I was speechless. Not only was I going to be coached by two of the best women who have stepped on a frisbee field but I was also going to meet two of my idols in a sport that I play. I cannot adequately express how influential these two women have been in my life. I may have not met them before this past weekend but I have studied their highlight reels. I watched Gwen’s incredible toe the line from WUCC 2014 on repeat. I studied Rohre’s low release squat flick; replaying the YouTube video in slow motion just to grasp how unreal it is (I have attempted it in my room, I can confirm that it is extremely difficult to get that low that fast). These athletes are not just great athletes. They are great female athletes. Most of the highlight reels are dominated by men. Fans are not going to pick the women’s final to go watch because our game is “too slow”. To have these women as role models and idols is amazing, to have them as coaches feels like a dream. Being able to have strong female role models in my life made me the player I am today and the player I hope to become by the end of this season. I guess all I can say is thank you. Thank you to our captains for sending out emails to find us strong female coaches. Thank you to Gwen and Rohre for deciding to coach us. Thank you to my teammates who inspire me every day.

The theme we chose for our first tournament of the season, Santa Barbara Invite, was “First Date.” As far as first impressions go, I’d say we really hit it off. The chemistry was unmistakable (sparks were flying), we learned a lot about one another, and we even ended the date with a promising “Call Me” gesture and a wink from Gwen. 
This weekend the Sweets went on our Second Date with Gwen and Rohre. Both coaches made the trip out to Walla Walla for two days full of Frisbee. After a solid indoor practice, my prayers to the Frisbee Gods were answered and the skies parted long enough for the sun to melt the Walla Walla tundra we’ve been stuck in for months. On Sunday we practiced outside for the first time all season. The excitement of lacing up sorely missed cleats combined with the presence of Gwen and Rohre who were there for us, to coach us, was tangible. It was really happening; I was learning from two of the most amazing ultimate players in the game. Maybe every rep (or Mep!) we ran this weekend wasn’t perfect, but our learning was perfect. As Rohre was explaining a metaphor about how the smoothness of our zone O should be equivalent to the ease of German engineered automobiles, I looked around the faces of everyone in the huddle. We were soaking in every word, listening as hard as we possibly could and getting ready for a season of learning and growing together. So, Gwen and Rohre, here’s to our Third Date. We’ll see you at Stanford Invite!


Post will start when we get back to Walla Walla after Winter Break!