Calgary CFO Consulting Services Open + A Trip Back Home

A resolution for next season: get better about tournament recaps! Although it’s been over a month now since the tournament in Calgary, I can still remember my matches and time there quite vividly. (It definitely also helps to take pictures to serve as little reminders!).

Two days after returning to NYC from Bermuda, I flew off to the other side of the continent for the CFO Consulting Services Open. I always look forward to playing in Calgary because they put on a great event, and I get to see friends from junior squash. (Shoutout: Thank you to all the sponsors, volunteers, and of course, Glenn Stark for putting on the tournament! You guys do a fantastic job every year, and make the event very special- especially for us Canadians!)

This year I stayed with friend and Canadian teammate, Danielle. I’ve stayed with her a couple times before, and we always have a good time. (I think the first time I stayed with Danielle was for a tournament in Grade 10!).

Breakfast by D!

Match vs Nouran El Torky

I had a bye first round, and drew an Egyptian, Nouran El Torky for a spot in the main draw. As the first seeded qualifier, I was technically “expected” to make it into the main draw, but it is not uncommon to have underrated players come through qualifying and beat the odds. My opponent was definitely one of those cases.

I went into the match with a neutral and relaxed mindset. I knew if I lost, that I could opt not to take the ranking points and it wouldn’t hurt my rating, which alleviated some pressure. Instead, I made my goal to just play and not worry about the outcome.

This “gameplan” (which was more of a mindset), worked surprisingly well. The score was like background noise- I knew it was there, but it didn’t have much bearing on my play. Even when the games went to a tie-break, I still felt calm. I actually found myself wondering if I was too relaxed, and was too indifferent about the score. As much as possible, I tried to let those thoughts pass and not bother me. I was playing well, and avoiding confrontation with my opponent (she tends to get into it with the refs and there are always lots of calls), and just tried to keep doing the right thing tactically.

After losing a couple match balls in the fourth game, I eventually lost in a tiebreak in the fifth. It was a very long match (about 75 minutes), that was more mentally draining than it was physical. I can’t imagine how spent I would have been if I had been anxious or wound up during the match, as opposed to having a calm, relaxed mindset.

Injury + Victoria

Unfortunately, my body found the match to be more difficult than I realized, because immediately following the very last point, I threw my back out. It wasn’t any particular movement that hurt it, so my best guess is that the injury was a result of massive overuse and repetitive motion. In other words, lots of squash and lots of tournaments, without adequate training and rest.

The pain was so bad that I couldn’t bend down to take my shoes off or put my pants on without holding on to something or compensating in some way. I even took some pain killers for the next few days to help the pain subside.

I flew home to Victoria the following afternoon for a little visit with friends and family. Before the whole back injury episode, I was hoping to get some really good training in. However, as the weekend progressed, it became increasingly clear to me that I needed to make rehab the central focus. Massages/rolling, mobility, and contrast therapy became my best friends for a few days, as I literally could not function if I didn’t do some sort of rehab every couple of hours. My back was tiiiiiight!

On the plus side, I got to see some old friends! Danielle, Lindsay, and I have known each other since Kindergarten (almost 20 years!), and I’ve known Casey since middle school. We go way back!

Casey, me, Danielle, and Lindsay

I also convinced my mom to go on some walks with me to enjoy the sunshine. How beautiful is the Pacific Northwest?!

After an amazing few days at home, I flew off for my last two tournaments of the road trip: Regina, Saskatchewan, and Houston, Texas. More on that in another post!

 

My 21st Birthday Edition: 48 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

It’s da weekend!!!!

I’m super excited for this weekend for a number of reasons:

  • Today’s my 21st birthday!
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Hadley, Rachel and me celebrating two years ago!
  • We have our first home matches of the season today and tomorrow!

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  • It’s the last weekend before American thanksgiving! (I’ll be heading to Florida with a friend for the break- a birthday present I’m stoked about!)

IMG_0731And now, for today’s post! I found this survey while I was browsing the blogging world, and figured, why not join in on the fun in honour of my birthday? So here ya go!

48 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

Four (or more) names that people call me (other than my real name!):

  • Buns (because of my last name…)
  • Nibu (pronounced nee-boo)
  • Nibs
  • Nibbers
  • Nic
  • Spicoli (ever seen Fast Times at Ridgemont High? No, I don’t act like Spicoli, but the name rhymes with “Nicolee”, so you can do the math)

Four jobs I have had:

  • Babysitting
  • Baker/food prepper at a bakery
  • Summer sports camp counsellor
  • Spin instructor

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Four movies I would have watched more than once:

  • She’s The Man (maybe my all-time favourite movie. I know every single line. I am not kidding)
  • Cool Runnings (I rented this movie for a week, and probably watched it roughly 6 times before returning it)
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • Flyboys (Who doesn’t love James Franco?)

Four books I’d recommend:

  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (absolutely hilarious, especially if you like Mindy Kaling/The Office)
  • Kiterunner
  • Born to Run (a must-read if you’re an avid runner or endurance athlete)
  • Harry Potter series (no shame here. I loved these books)

Four Three places I have lived:

  • Victoria, BC (my home!)

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  • Philadelphia, PA (this summer)

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  • Princeton, NJ

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Four places I have been:

  • Melbourne, Australia (school exchange)
  • India
  • France
  • Capetown, South Africa (trip with the squash team when I was a sophomore. So amazing!!)

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Four places I’d rather be right now:

  • Already in Florida, lying on a beach in the sun
  • Working out at Unite Fitness (you can read all about my experience at Unite this summer in this post)

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  • At my squash club at home in Victoria
  • Lying on my couch in front of the TV at home with tea (brought to me by my mother, of course!)

Four things I don’t eat:

  • Olives (on their own- never, but on pizza or something they’re tolerable)
  • Caviar (not that I come across it often, but I did try it once. Nah)
  • Tofu (it just really doesn’t appeal to me for some reason, and I swear I’ve tried to like it!)
  • Cereal (I just can’t get full off of cereal! It can sometimes be fun to snack on, but I’ll usually try to snack on something a little more nutrient dense like almonds or cashews)

Four of my favorite foods:

  • Greek yogurt
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A moderate amount of yogurt for me
  • Blueberries
  • Squash (duh)
  • Nuts (roasted almonds, cashews, and macadamia nuts are my fave!) + nut butter
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Classic

Four TV shows that I watch:

  • Prison Break (well, I did watch it…and then I finished it all)
  • Big Bang Theory
  • New Girl
  • Game of Thrones (I was very much peer pressured into watching this one!)

Four things I am looking forward to this year:

  • Enjoying my last year at Princeton
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Chelsea and me breakin it down
  • (Hopefully) playing the best squash of my career yet
  • Finding a job/figuring out a life plan for next year
  • Successfully completing my senior thesis

Four things I’m always saying:

  • “Fricken chicken” (I’m not huge on swearing, so this often takes the place of other, erm, not-so-nice words)
  • “Crap on a stick” (Same explanation as above. I have no idea how I came up with it, but it just stuck one day)
  • “Where is the peanut butter?” (Okay maybe not saying it aloud all the time, but I”m always thinking it!)
  • Singing the same two lines of any song over and over again

Four people I tag:

Questions:

What are you looking forward to this weekend? 

Any funny names that people call you? 

Casino Night

What a weekend! I didn’t end up going to Yale on Saturday, which was probably a good thing because the festivities for Casino Night started around 6 pm, meaning I would have missed the beginning. Despite all this Saturday talk, the weekend fun actually all started on Friday night, at Libbie’s 21st birthday party!

Friday: Libbie’s Birthday Party

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Me, Hadley, Alex

And yes, that is a maraca in my hand! The party was Fiesta-themed, so the venue was decked out in Mardi Gras decorations. There was also green, white, and red food, as well as tamales for snacking!

libparty1Oh yeah, there were hats, too! Are you ever too old to dress up? (The answer is always “no”, by the way 😉 )

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Saturday: Casino Night

All day Saturday I sat in the library, giddy with anticipation of the evening’s festivities. (Giddy? Does anyone say that anymore?).

The evening began in my room, where a few girls came over to hang out and get ready before heading out to the party. Once we got there, it was dinnertime, so we sat down for a rowdy nice meal.

IMG_5462Ooh, also! I ended up going with a different dress, not the black and gold one I had originally thought about wearing. The dress I wore last night was sparkly, comfortable, and a little unique- definitely a good decision 🙂 .

IMG_5480One of the most fun parts of the night was a photo booth, which was complete with dress up accessories. I grabbed a number of things, but ended up sticking with a ginormous pair of pink glasses, and a multi-coloured clown wig.

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IMG_5532A good look, am I right?

You better believe some selfies took place too… 🙂

IMG_5516No night is ever complete without a few shameless selfies. Props are just a bonus 😀 .

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Well that’s a little close…

I actually didn’t end up playing any casino games, but instead spent most of my time catching up with friends and dancing. This was honestly probably a good decision, since I have almost zero experience with any sort of gambling games. On second thought, maybe it would have been a good time to learn with such low risk!

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Clearly we took the photo booth fun beyond the booth…

Sunday

Sunday was mostly spent in the library studying, while also demolishing an entire pack of gum. WARNING: Never chew an entire pack of gum in 3 hours! Your tummy will get bubbles in it, and feel very uncomfortable. Thankfully the feeling passed during practice, when I (sluggishly) moved around the court a bit.

One pro of chewing a lot of gum? You get pretty good at blowing bubbles!

IMG_5563You also get pretty good at ignoring weird looks from other students studying nearby…

IMG_5562My tip? Go studying with a friend so you don’t look like a freak who blows bubbles the size of her face by herself.

Or just…don’t blow huge bubbles. Up to you.

Alrighty that’s all from me, now that we’re all caught up on weekend activities! Hope you had a great weekend, and that your week is off to a fantabulous start!

Questions:

What did you get up to this weekend?

Are you any good at casino games?

Do you like chewing gum?