Friday, March 9, 2012


It’s not very often we see women on our squash courts. Slowly, however, we are seeing an increase in their participation. I have had the pleasure of coaching this particular young lady for a while now. Strong, athletic, competitive and dare I day it – a little stubborn! Which is actually a good thing when it comes to learning the sport. She is determined to do it right, and works very hard on her game.


The Squash Joint (TSJ): You come from a sporting background and are involved in coaching yourself. Tell us a little about your athletic history and who / what you teach.

My love of athletics began at the ripe age of 2.5 when my parents enrolled me in figure skating. That only lasted a couple of years before they realized I’m not dainty or graceful enough to be on the ice with other small children, rather hazardous in fact, so I joined the swim team, a natural fit for a Pisces. Along with swimming came basketball, soccer, volleyball, golf and tennis lessons. My mom was quick to notice the benefits of enrolling her high-energy child in every sport possible. I decided to narrow it down to just field hockey and soccer, which I was playing year round. Come time to apply to schools, I had to choose between soccer and  field hockey since the seasons are the same at the collegiate level, so I went with field hockey. I played 4 years at Denison University, hands down the BEST years of my life. It absolutely made my college experience, wouldn’t trade it for the world. Post-Denison, my best friend & lifelong teammate approached me with a coaching opportunity at Cranbrook. Mind you, Liggett, my alma mater, and Cranbrook are archrivals, but my love for the outdoors, children, and the sport made this decision rather easy. How could I turn it down? So, two seasons later, and after turning the program around and rebuilding it from the bottom up, I find myself counting down the days until preseason starts. It’s the most rewarding experience, and the girls are simply a joy to be around. I couldn’t be more thankful to have the chance to give back and make a difference in these girls’ lives the same way my coaches and years of playing have done for me, all the while doing it with my best friend. It doesn’t get much better than that.

TSJ: All athletes have experienced injuries. I know you are no exception. What injuries have you suffered through and which was the most difficult to overcome?  

By the grace of God, I’ve never really endured a major injury, per se… ailments that come and go, yes. Going full throttle all these years, it’s bound to happen, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I play hard and I push through. I’ve never really known the difference between pain and discomfort, so I just go until I can’t. The list includes rotator cuff issues (complements a la field hockey), various forms of tendonitis throughout my lower extremities, occasional asthma attacks, and the worst at this point is my back. My scoliosis has required weekly chiropractic visits for some 20-odd years. My back flares up every now and then, most recently with squash and indoor (co-ed) soccer. I can’t forget about my ‘broken’ toe, probably the most annoying injury of them all, because it simply won’t go away. I got spiked by a 230-pound dude in soccer. Felt like someone took a meat cleaver to my foot, and 5 months later, I’m still dealing with it, and still playing soccer, and still wearing pumps. I probably should go see a doctor, but the most they’ll tell me is to rest and stop playing, and that clearly is not an option, so we shall see. Squash is not the friendliest of sports on my joints, but like any athlete would, you do what needs to be done with regards to daily maintenance, strength training, RICE, etc.

TSJ: You win the lottery and are set for life. The catch is that you have to live anywhere that is not the USA. Where do you go and why?

I’d definitely move to Malta. I’ve grown up on the water, and who wouldn’t opt to live in the Mediterranean if given the chance, so yes, Malta it is. Not to mention every third person on the island is a (maternal) relative, so that’d make for a fun time.

TSJ: What job would you be doing if you were not currently working as a real estate agent?

Simple. I’d own a ranch out West, a dude ranch, in Wyoming or Colorado. Few people know this, but I’m a cowgirl at heart. I come from a long line of cowboys and rodeo stars on my dad’s side. Rode my first horse at 2 and fell in love. Been riding and instructing since. It’d be an absolute dream come true to work and play with horses day in and day out.

TSJ: What attracted you to play squash? Did you believe you would pick up the game quicker or slower than what you are currently doing? Is there anything you find easy about the game?

Soon after joining DAC, I saw a sign for the beginner’s clinic that caught my eye. Figured what the hell, I’m willing to try most anything at least once. To be honest, I was just so thrilled by the idea of being able to learn a new sport I could eventually compete in. There are very few things, athletic-wise, that I participate in for “fun”.  I’m a natural competitor, but if I can have fun and make new friends while doing it, even better. It feels good to be playing a competitive sport again; it’s all I’ve ever known and I’ve missed it a great deal. Granted, I’ve always played team sports, so this is a bit different, but as with any sport, I needed to enlist the expertise of a ‘coach’, whom I absolutely adore, and implement a regimented practice schedule. After about 6 months of lessons, 2 times a week, all of which were fun-filled and laughter-infused, I felt confident enough to begin competing. I was pleasantly surprised with my progress and the ease with which I picked up the game. The most challenging aspect was retraining my muscles; I’d often go between “field hockey mode” and “squash mode”.  It’s like learning a new language; it’s hard not to confuse or blend the two, something I’m still working on. On the flip side, my years of field hockey and soccer training have really paid off. Anyone who knows anything about field hockey players knows we’re a big-bottomed breed with legs that could kill – Ha-ha! - so the lunging and agility comes quite naturally.

TSJ: Who is your one sporting hero (dead or alive) that you would love to meet?

Honestly, I’ve never been drawn to one athlete in particular, mainly because I’m not a huge proponent of professional/contracted athletes. The athletes that really impress me and earn my respect are college and Olympic athletes. Their passion for their respective sport is so genuine and pure, totally untainted by the elements that plague professional sports. Perfect example, and one of my most favorite movies, “Miracle On Ice”.

TSJ: What was your worst / most despised subject in school?

I’ve never really despised any class because I love to learn, but I’d have to say Chemistry takes the cake on this one. Only reason I passed is because I had all my sister’s old labs to refer to.

TSJ: Not counting squash, what do you find the most enjoyable and rewarding part of being a member of the DAC?

Bar none, the Intermediates. I’ve made the MOST wonderful friends who, in truth, have become more like family. We have such a close-knit group of friends; I am truly blessed.  

TSJ: You have squandered your lottery winnings by betting it all on the Lions to win the Superbowl. (The odds were astronomical.) As they take away all your expensive possessions that you purchased with your money, you are allowed to keep one. What do you keep?

Hands down, I’d hold onto my horse. Nothing can break the bond shared between a cowgirl and her horse.

TSJ: Tell us your favorite…
a)      Couch snack… Pita chips, green apple, and asiago cheese or carrots and PB
b)      Electronic gadget that is not your cell phone… Electric toothbrush. I’m obsessed w/brushing my teeth.
c)      Best looking actor… Zack Morris and Kevin Costner, you know I can’t pick just one.
d)      Cartoon character… I didn’t really watch cartoons, but I was a huge Barney fan.
e)      Clothing store… Ann Taylor / LOFT
f)        Horror movie… Cape Fear and the Exorcist movies, none of which I dare watch since living on my own.

TSJ: What is the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?

In honor of keeping family tradition alive, fresh, aka LIVE, crabs off the cliffs/rocks in Malta… that was an experience.

TSJ: The final question has the goal of being a teensy bit embarrassing and to see how much you are willing to reveal of yourself. What is the naughtiest thing you ever did in school, did you get caught and if so what was the punishment?

This is cruel and unusual, I’m well aware, and I’ve since repented for my sins, but you asked. All throughout Liggett lower school, we had assigned seating during lunch. Well, in 1st grade, I sat next to someone who was said to be severely allergic to PB. Not saying I didn’t believe it to be true, I just wanted to test it out for myself, confirm the facts. Our teacher should’ve known putting us at the same table was a bad idea to begin with, based solely on the amounts of PB I consumed as a child. My devilish self decided to conduct a little experiment. I waved my PB & J sandwich under his nose, may have even skimmed it, who knows, and thought it was absolutely hilarious. I couldn’t stop laughing. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen? Well, he went ballistic on me, started heaving and breaking out in hives. His mom came and picked him up, after she gave me a stern talking to, along with my teacher, principal, and parents. Long story short, he was definitely allergic to PB, though I still wonder, if he had such an extreme nut allergy, why even allow him to come close to PB. First graders like to test their limits; you tell them not to do something, and guess what, they go and do it! Anyhow, unless my memory serves me incorrect, this was my first and most significant run-in with Liggett authorities during my 12-year tenure.

A big thank you to Brittany for taking the time answering these tough questions! She will no doubt improve on the court rapidly, so player beware if she has you in her sights – she seems to be a little like the Terminator. She absolutely will not stop until she takes you down! I have to admit though, I never saw the ‘cowgirl’ thing coming. The DAC community is very pleased to have her on board and until (if) she rides off into the sunset with a big “Yee-Haw!” and chewing on a live crab dipped in PB, we’ll enjoy and make the most of her company!

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