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!

 

Harvard/Dartmouth Matches + Senior Night

Hello hello!

Just a quick heads up: I’ve got exams until Saturday, so I’m going to be a bit tied up for the next few days. If I do get a chance to step away from the books and off the court (training doesn’t stop!), I will for sure take some time to blog, but they could be short and sporadic posts!

Mind, Fitness, Nutrition Goals Week 2

Monday: BODY

  • Today’s goal is to allow my body to recover from the weekend, and to get up and move (while I write my paper) for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes.

Saturday

Match vs Harvard

Our match against Harvard wasn’t until 2:30 pm, which meant that I had to find some way of distracting myself in the morning as to not tire myself out mentally. So, what did I do? I worked on my paper until it was time to go and eat. After our usual pre-match meal at Panera, the team and I headed down to the courts to pump some tunes in the locker room, warm up, and get psyched for our match!

A quick note on how college squash works. There are 9 matches that count, and play in shifts using either a 3 or 5-court system. Yesterday we played using a 3 court system meaning that positions 3/6/9 went on first, then 2/5/8, and finally 1/4/7. I was playing the #3 spot, which meant I was on right away. This can be awesome, because after I’ve finished, I can concentrate on helping my teammates, but it can also be stressful trying to set up a good lead for your team. My match ended up being quite long, and I managed to be very fortunate and sneak it out, winning 15-13 in the 5th game. (You play best of 5 games).

Big shoutout to my friends who came down to Jadwin to watch! Your cheering was motivating beyond words, and most definitely kept me going between those hard points.

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Click on image for source

Since my match took so long, and I had to ref Maria Elena, our #2 who was on after me, I sadly didn’t get to see many of my teammates play. The ones I did see, however, played with heart and determination, which made me incredibly proud. We ended up falling a bit short, losing 7-2 to the Crimson, but definitely put up a good fight.

If you want to read the recap by GoPrincetonTigers, click here!

Senior Night Dinner

As soon as our matches finished and we’d had our team meeting, we had to shower as fast as possible in order to get to our senior dinner! As I mentioned on Friday, the senior dinner is probably the biggest (and funniest) event that is put on for the team each year. All of the parents are invited, which makes it that much more hilarious when the juniors subtly refer to embarrassing things about the seniors.

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Mom, me, and dad

Isabella wrote my speech, and absolutely knocked it out of the park. What I loved most about it was that she touched on the things I wouldn’t have thought to mention. I thought there would be references to my blog, my peanut butter addiction, and some goodhearted Canadian put-downs, but to my surprise there were none. Isabella, you have been a great friend and teammate over these past couple of years, so thank you for your kind words (and embarrassing ones).

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The seniors: Alex, me, Hallie, and Hadley

After the senior speeches had finished, we each said a few words to thank our faculty fellow, our coach, and our assistant coach. They all do so much to help us this year, and it really is difficult to thank them adequately in a minute long speech.

IMG_6053Thankfully, we’ve got about a month left in the season, so there is still plenty of time for thanking and apologizing (knowing I will inevitably do something wrong 😉 ).

Sunday

Match vs Dartmouth

Yesterday morning I met up for a quick breakfast in town with my parents in order to exchange some clothes and other things they had brought from home. Since I had brought a carryon back to school, I hadn’t been able to bring all of the things I had wanted to at Christmas, so they brought the rest of of the stuff for me! In return, I gave them clothes and other miscellaneous things I no longer wished to have on the east coast. (Am I already moving out?!?!).

We then said our goodbyes, I met up with the team at Panera (of course), and we headed down to Jadwin (the name of our courts) to kick some Big Green butt! (FYI: Big Green is Dartmouth’s mascot).

Everyone pulled out a very strong performance, and I am pleased to say that we took this one 9-0 🙂 . Way to go, Tigers!

Oof! That took much longer than I had anticipated. Time to work on my lovely French paper that isn’t going to write itself!

Have a great Monday!

Questions:

What did you get up to this weekend? 

What are your healthy goals for the week?