WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — We’re only several days into camp and despite sunburned faces (Mom, I promise I wore my sunscreen!) and heavy legs, laughter still ripples throughout the meal room.
I’m in bed and I can feel my legs pulsing in my recovery tights. The two ice baths a day (one after each of our sessions) haven’t been enough to successfully combat the soreness and fatigue. My serious hydration regime — carbohydrate and electrolyte recovery drink, enormous food intake, and absurd amount of sleep with daily naps — are all being put to the test. Yet somehow, I still can’t wait to get out on the field again.
This camp is a hectic one to say the least. The women’s national team will be here for three weeks, with players heading in and out on weekends for W.P.S. games — negotiating their professional games between national team training. Now that the W.P.S. season is underway, the scheduling is a little more difficult. There are days when different groups are doing different things in training, depending on the timing of their W.P.S games.
My W.P.S. team, the Western New York Flash, won its opening game of the season and its W.P.S debut, 2-1, against Boston last weekend. I wasn’t at the game because I’ll be joining the team after my national team duties, but I was excited to see how well they played, especially for a first game. The team plays at Atlanta on Sunday (Fox Soccer Channel, 6 p.m. Eastern).
For those of you who follow W.P.S., you know that there are only six teams this season, so it’s going to be extra competitive and high quality. It’ll be interesting to see how team identities emerge. I may be slightly biased, but I think that the Western New York Flash will be particularly entertaining, especially now that Marta and Maurine have arrived from Brazil. (I actually ran into them in the bathroom of the Atlanta airport as I was heading to camp and they were on their way to the team in Buffalo. I was going to try out the minimal amount of Portuguese that I’ve mastered, but most of I learned from my Brazilian teammates in the past is inappropriate, so I decided against it.)
It’s 9 p.m. here and my eyelids feel almost as heavy as my legs. For updates on how camp is going, you can follow me on Twitter … Yael_Averbuch (In case you couldn’t find me. I know, it’s pretty clever!)
Needless to say, the intensity is high (physically and mentally) as we embark on this training camp. But spirits are equally as high, which makes what could easily be a stressful environment, exciting and enjoyable.