The 2013 season is here and we wanted to work closely with college programs to bring a part of the excitement to you. Throughout the 2013 season we will highlight lacrosse programs on our space for all of our readers to follow. Player blogs serve as a unique outlet for programs to showcase their season as it develops, plus highlight everything they have to offer a student-athlete. In contrast, families and fans get a glimpse into the program’s athletic and academic regimen.
Senior – #13 – Attacker
Week 2: Wet T-Shirt Contest
Welcome to week 2 bloggers! Classes are underway, practice running according to schedule, and lifts are returning to normal. I have to say, it is great getting back into the swing of things. One tell tale sign of preseason in Boston is the weather. The latest weather report? Breathtakingly cold. So cold in fact that last week the sky couldn’t snow. I never thought I would look forward to snow but if it’s warm enough to snow, it’s warm enough for us to be outside. Last week it was so bitterly cold we were confided to either the BU basketball gym or the track and tennis center (TTC), both of which are amazing facilities but lacrosse just isn’t meant to be confined to the indoors. The -13 degree wind chills called for desperate measures; I looked up trendy ski masks on e-bay in hopes I could save my face from the seemingly inevitable frostbite.
Like I said, lacrosse is not meant to be played indoors, unless it’s box lacrosse; however, we are neither men nor living in Canada so our version of lacrosse is just not an indoor activity. Short of a bubble with a turf field, the TTC is just about the nicest indoor facility we could ask for; four tennis courts in length and surrounded by one of the country’s nicest indoor tracks. We really are lucky to utilize this space to stay warm and practice during the coldest Boston days. The TTC is located no more than 400 yards from our humble abode, the locker room, but the walk there presents a great deal of discussion and debate for this group. The Mass-natives, who think they’re tough, throw on a sweatshirt with shorts and strut their way down the road, appearing completely un-phased by the Arctic air. The wise ones who willingly admit it’s cold, put on their Nike issued winter puffy coats with sweats and hustle until they’re safely inside. There are always a few stragglers, a mixture of freshman and indecisive returners, who lag behind unable to decide if it is more important to them to act tough or be warm on the 5-minute walk. I enjoy practices in the TTC, because it gives us the opportunity to develop our small-sided game. This week we had a lot of focus on 2v2s, man-up, man-down, and stickwork. Practices inside keep everyone focused on the task at hand instead of focusing on how cold their hands are which sometimes distracts the team during chilly January/February outdoor practices. On the coldest of days, I welcome the chance to throw on shorts and a t-shirt and practice in the warm TTC.
As great as indoor practices have been that’s not the real point of this post. After practice Wednesday we were told that the following day we were to be dressed in our team sweats and meet in the team room at 3:00. Since we’ve been practicing at 6:00 pm, the time change was the first thing a bit suspicious. Then we were told we didn’t need our sticks/goggles/mouth guards…cue the suspenseful theme music. Our coaching staff truly enjoys the element of surprise now and then, which then ignites my team into the 21 Questions. More often than not, our athletic trainer is at the receiving end of the who/when/whys/how, but after two years under her belt with our team, she knows better than to spill. All of Thursday leading up to 3:00 was filled with assumptions ranging from scavenger hunts to fitness testing, as well as a trip to the movies, bowling and a tour of Fenway, all events we’ve been surprised with before. So as 3:00 rolled around on Thursday, tensions were high. We all anxiously awaited the announcement when Liz (Robertshaw) came down and told us where we were going, jaws hit the floor. We were going to Boston Boxing and Fitness. Canada isn’t the only one with a Boxing Day, for the next 5 weeks Thursday is BU Lax’s boxing day.
Liz chose to tell us in the privacy of our locker room so we were free to jump around, scream, flap our arms, and as she put it “act like a bunch of girls” so it would be out of our system by the time we got to the ring. The giddy chatter continued throughout the van ride through Allston, once again feeling the excitement of the unexpected. The moment we walked through the doors the mood suddenly switched from “oh my God I’m so excited” to “oh crap what did we get ourselves into.” This place is your cliché Rocky, torn up and worn down boxing gym; a tattered American flag hung behind the ring, posters dating back to 1960 decorated the walls, and we were greeted by your stereotypical boxing coach; an older guy who clearly tolerated zero BS. Although the lighting was dim one thing was clear as day, we were about to work, hard.
Considering the exponential amount of soreness that this workout was about to provide, I had to sit this Thursday out. I had an exciting weekend with Team USA coming up where we competed in the Champion Challenge down in Orlando, FL. On the flip side, I had the opportunity to be camera-lady and capture the madness. The team “warmed up” with a 10 minute jump rope and a casual 100 pushups. Most tiring warm-up of their life. After that, there were three stations and here is a quick rundown on how they went. Station 1: medicine ball passing, at first glance not too terrible, and of the three it was definitely the least-exhausting. After 15 minutes of whipping a 10 lb medicine ball at your partner and her doing the same, arms were starting to shake. Next up came the kettle bell station. Again, not too torturous but definitely more challenging than med balls. After another 15 minutes of holding a 10 lb object either out in front or overhead; once again, arms were twitching and I am sure burning as well. They had also done a plethora of leg exercises including step-ups, shuffles, and jumps all while holding the kettle bell. Then came station 3 where they had 15 minutes of pushup rows with 10 lb dumbbells, shoulder press and holds, and abs, all while holding the dumbbells. I’ve seen sweat, but nothing ever like this. By the end, everyone was observing her immobile hands and fingers, which were cramped into the position of holding the weights. Oh, the best part of station 3 was the last exercise, clap pushups. Talk about face plant central. To the team’s credit, throughout the entire first hour all I heard was constant support and encouragement. I was so impressed with their resilience and refusal to quit.
So hour two rolls around and they finally get to put on the gloves and hit the bags. The girls partnered up and went through a series of jabs, hooks, power punches, and speed rounds. In between the rounds they would stop and do pushups and jumping jacks; most have never considered jumping jacks challenging until that day. After seeing some of my teammates absolutely wail on the bag, I can honestly say I’d want them on my side in a fight. We have a couple Million Dollar Babies in the making. Additionally, we have a couple people who I think really used their bag time to let out any frustration, facial expressions absurd enough to break mirrors. The footwork and speed of the bag work was awesome, teaching how to stay light on your feet while being powerful with your upper bodies. To top off the workout, they ended with 15 minutes of abs, much to the gym owner’s surprise our team found the energy to belt out a Kelly Clarkson sing along, definitely a first for that gym.
Boxing was arguably the most challenging workout this team has ever experienced. It also marked the first day for many, where they had zero choice but to succumb to doing girl pushups- you know the ones where your knees touch the ground. I’ve never seen such a sweat-soaked group as I did at the end of this workout. Boxing gloves also handicapped many for the occasional hair adjustment, which left for a great style or lack there off. All worth it in the end because everyone loved it. If it was easy everyone would do it, right?
Stay tuned for my first and teams second week of boxing goes. I hope the title this week didn’t throw you off too much. But if it is true that the harder you work the more you sweat, game on.