Ivanna Schoop gets pumped for pre-season training

Practice starts tomorrow.  I feel the same sort of giddy that I always did on the first day of school.  My pads are clean, I have plenty of socks, and my mouth guards are washed and staged. After I was knocked out (literally, with a concussion--no I didn't pass out on the track) for the remainder of last season (after a nail biter in the Quad Cities)—I have thought about my play.  I have visualized skating on a smooth surface and making clean hits.  I’ve thought about my teamwork and what it takes to be a solid team player.  I’ve done tons of push-ups and crunches and ran lots of miles.  I’ve also been to a number of doctor’s appointments and finally got cleared to play. This morning when I left the house, I saw my work hard hat and my new hockey helmet next to each other--my white hard hat and my black hockey helmet.  I thought about how those helmets represent two different parts of my life—the clean, defined nature of project management and the mysterious, ever-changing world of roller derby.  I thought about the encouragement that Tommy Gunz, my friends and family have provided me with so I could have enough confidence to go back and skate.  I thought about how Tommy told me that I’m going back, and that there is no other answer.  I thought about how the concussion knocked me out of work, but how my coworkers are excited to see me go back--see me bruised at Sunday practice and back in the office for 9am Monday meetings.

I’ve had a lot to think about.  One thing’s for certain—The Outfit's playing this season for keeps.