For me my compulsion started as a little girl studying the religion of "soccer" with my dad. By high school practically every Saturday and Sunday morning I didn't have a team-game I would be up playing pick up soccer with my dad; usually out on the pitch by 6:30. I loved the feeling driving home and seeing almost no one else on the road, just me and my dad. And we were covered in sweat from running our hearts out for the last 2-3 hours.
When I would come home from college breaks (especially when I lived in Oregon with a 3-hour time difference), my mom would make my dad promise not to wake me up to go play soccer because "I would need my sleep". But he would come by at 6am (3am my time) and whisper "Courtney, are you ready, you sure you don't want to go play?" And I would get up and go.
My dad runs through every injury and always has. Growing up, he was always injured or had a black eye, or something else. Every year he would mention something about giving up soccer because it was hard on the body.... In fact, we were told that if it weren't for our bad knees, we wouldn't be here. My dad had played semi-professional soccer. Then the first lottery he ever won was the Vietnam War draft. His birthday was the first number picked. When he reported, he was rejected because of his knees. As he walked into the reject room, a football player looked up and said "what sport do you play?"
Now he still goes out there and gives it all he has got. He can't see peripherally or when someone sneaks up on one side because he has glaucoma (for which the dutiful man would never try marijuana :) and he is virtually blind in one eye. He also can't see depth because that needs two eyes. But he is out there giving it what he has got because he isn't a normal person; he is an athlete!
|My Saturday morning Coaches league|
Coming home to take care of my mom I played pick up on Tuesdays and Thursdays nights with one group and Saturday mornings with another. People played through all kinds of muggy, hot Virginia summer weather, and this normal/fun activity with these guys gave me a happy place which helped buoy me through the hell I was experiencing inside. Because of their strange athletic compulsion, I could trust that they would be out there trying their hardest despite whatever injury they were working through. These are my people.
|Love this shot, note the head in the hands on the right :)|
|Me, my sister, and my Dad|
|Family canoe trip when I was 5|
|My dad in my boat, life jacket, and paddle looking at the leaves this past month|
|Me two summers ago going off a waterfall 2.5 months after I started kayaking|
|Me competing in Missoula a year after starting kayaking; lol, somehow I came in second :)|