In the kitchen

Search This Blog

Monday, March 14, 2011

Her Game

For those of you who don't know, Sandi has a past that she would rather not discuss. When people bring it up, she cringes internally (and sometimes externally). When they tell her she looks familiar, she looks uncomfortable.

When they ask for her autograph, she blushes crimson.

I'm certain I would feel this way too. (Okay, so WHO believes THAT?)

Sandi was a high school, and then college, basketball star, playing for the University of Maine from 1994-1998.  Recently went to see a movie about her senior season playing on that team.  It was an incredible experience for me to see my partner of 10 years as someone else (with some seriously questionable tastes in hair scrunchy and flowy, collared shirts) in a pivotal time in her life.

But enough about me.  Here was what Sandi wrote about it right after we watched the movie.

"I am humbled at the journey of the human spirit.

Today I watched a documentary made by my friend Dana Rae Warren at Moody Mountain Films. She followed and filmed my 1998 UMO basketball team for that year and has just released the completed version of her film for public viewing, called “Her Game.”

Not many get to take a piece of his/her life, tuck it away for 12 years, and then go back and relive it. That’s what happened to me today.

Looking back, these are some of my thoughts. Mostly, I am humbled. I was so young, both physically and as a spiritual being. I had little voice, if any. I could remember how confusing that time was and I was taken back to that cloud of confusion as I viewed it. The feelings were visceral. I barely knew myself. I reacted instead of acting. I was scared. I had many an expectation placed on me. Expectations of which, had I wanted the same, I could have met. But I mostly reacted to others expectations instead of creating my own reality and my own self. I didn’t feel real. I felt more like a puppet.

I didn’t feel real. Since that time, my life has taken many a turn. I finally found my own self, the self that is real... and the voice to express it.

On a Zen-based journey, we are taught to burn up the past, to learn from it, remember what’s important that will help us along in the future… yet burn the past to keep it from tainting our present. Pride… burn it. Embarrassment… burn it. Feelings of failure or success… burn them. Keep the lessons, lose the judgment. Start anew in each moment. Be present. Feel life. Feel the moment. Act and speak in that moment, but speak only if it shall improve upon the silence.

I may have said things that were helpful or unhelpful during those years as a basketball player, but I didn’t say them from a place of presence. I didn’t act from a place of presence. Because I wasn’t present. I lived in a bit of a fog. I acted as was expected of me. I performed.

Since that time, I have worked as a nurse and as a massage therapist. The several fields of nursing include neuro/ortho, pediatric psych, acute rehab… and my most favorite (for which I have the most passion)… critical care. I have been blessed in my work life to be placed in positions of vulnerability, both for myself and for the clients to whom I offer care. It has allowed me to examine life, live moments that are most intense, humbling, revealing, scary, tender and beautiful. People have intentionally and unintentionally revealed their intimacies. I have not taken these lightly. They have changed me… opened me… allowed my heart to feel the fullness that life offers.

Also since college, I have created a life in which I have two children, a beautiful partner, friends for which I would do anything, a home in a beautiful neighborhood, a work life that fills me. I wake to meditation, have days full and rich with love, and lay down on my pillow at night exhausted, but knowing that I created and lived my day. Not to say that those same days aren’t also often filled with the stress of life, children, work schedules, and the coordination of day-to-day activities. Never the less, my days feel rich. And real.

But it was a process to get there. We all have a journey to get there. My journey didn’t truly open me until about 3 years ago. It was brewing all along. But I didn’t realize my true self until recently, in my 30’s.

Had I those college days to do over, I would fill my days differently. I would stop and breathe. Get to know my teammates, fully. Know not just where they came from and what their family members’ names were, but who they were… what made them feel things… what moved them… what scared them… and I would offer myself in ways that were non-compromising to who I am, give what I had to the expressions that felt real and life-affirming. I would speak when I felt things, instead of when it was expected. I would love more and react less.

But as we cannot go back and relive the past, I will view this piece of my life from a place of nonjudgment. View it for what it was. And give thanks for the process.

As for the film… it was beautifully pieced together from hundreds of hours of footage, focusing on leadership, and what it takes to be a leader. On the court, Cindy was a clear leader, and this film showed highlights of her years in a way that was a brilliant tribute to who she was. Coach P… a born leader, and seemingly the films’ more leading character. The film displayed her in many facets, showing the range of what it takes to be a coach, a mom, a motivator, a partner, a leader. You get a true feel from the documentary about who she is. When she speaks, her whole self is talking. She doesn’t just say what she’s supposed to say. You feel that it comes from her, from deep inside her. She lives it. No puppet there… I’d like to know her better…

As for other characters in the film, I miss my teammates. They were and are humorous, fun-loving, and beautiful people… it was definitely worth the couple of hours to revisit that period of time."

And yes, if anyone is wondering...that is Sandi's silhouette (and probably her massive bicep) in the picture.  She would not want to me post the picture or the comments but, c'mon!  Since I'm not the one whose autograph is in demand, I can brag a little, no?


Kerry Stone said...

I would love to see this movie. Is it being shown locally or can I purchase it somewhere? Thanks!
Kerry (Mindy's aunt)

Anonymous said...

In HS I used to leave the softball field with softball shaped welts from where I'd get beaned by Sandi. Then in college she lived up stairs and was just another kid in the dorm. I didn't recognize her when I was at my mother's bedside and she was the critical care nurse after her surgery. She may have played on a winning NCAA basketball team but the most memorable memory I have of Sandi is of her careful eye over my mom during her recovery.

Well, that and those welts, damn that hurt!

Site Meter