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Life with the Lady Flames:Rachel's Reflection

February 24, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Rachel Hammond and the rest of the Liberty seniors will be honored prior to Saturday evening's game against UNC Asheville. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Vines Center.

Rachel Hammond and the rest of the Liberty seniors will be honored prior to Saturday evening's game against UNC Asheville. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Vines Center.

From now until the end of the season, Liberty's six seniors will provide a unique look inside the women's basketball program, by way of journal entries. The series continues with Rachel Hammond.

Well, it is exactly 1:25 a.m. as I start to write this week's blog entry, on the bus ride back from Charleston Southern. Alex Bream and I just finished watching the movie, The Prince and Me, as we decided to pass some of the time in the six-hour trip back from our annual trip to South Carolina. Despite the criticism that chick flicks often get (perhaps rightfully so), I really do love that movie!

While it seemed a long trip, it was also a meaningful trip and a fun trip. But before I go into the high points of the trip, let me say that the week of preparation beforehand was just as much fun, just as meaningful, and just as long as the trip itself.

First off, after beating Winthrop on Monday night, I officially broke my record for least amount of sleep by studying for my Greek Civ exam until 5 a.m. and waking up at 7 a.m. for a grand total of two hours of sleep! My day went from 7 a.m. to 4:50 p.m., but luckily we had the day off from practice. For most of my teammates, these early mornings and long days are quite typical, but staying up that late is a rarity for most of us - I assure you!

Then there was Wednesday. After having Tuesday off, we practiced in the late afternoon followed by another workout with Coach Williams in the weight room. That was where the fun began. As is typical during the season, we have music on as we lift. During our wonderful time of squatting, the popular song and dance, The Cupid Shuffle, came on. There are quite a few songs that make everyone go crazy. The sound of this familiar and lively beat is one of them.

As the music continued and my lifting partner, Amber Mays, was dancing to it in between sets, the greatest moment came when I looked beyond Amber and saw Megan Frazee sliding to the beat, totally in sync with her steps to the music. For some reason, while I was a little shocked, it was entirely believable and not unexpected. I have grown accustomed to Meg's surprises. By the end of the workout, the entire team was lined up in front of the mirrors in the weight room - fully serious and fully enjoying The Cupid Shuffle – as Meg and Amber led the slides. It was a workout to remember.

It's ironic how much fun you can have one night and then wake up the next morning to learn that a dear friend has passed away. Bill McKenna was not just a fan of the team, but he was a gentle motivator. He made me feel like I had the shot of Pistol Pete Maravich. As he talked to me after the games, his analysis and critique of the positive things about my game always showed how closely he watched us play. I didn't realize how much that meant then, but I think without him, those days on the bench as an underclassman would have seemed a lot longer. He and his wife, Kathy, built us and the program up, giving us just another reason to be excited about playing the game.

The McKennas had even planned on being at the amazing villas we stay at on Myrtle Beach for our game at Coastal Carolina! Our time spent on the waterfront for two nights is always a highlight of the season.

On our first night at the villas, we were told to ice our legs after practice. Sometimes we use ice tubs in athletic training facilities. Sometimes we use hotel bathtubs full of ice. Friday night, however, we used the Atlantic Ocean! It was a sight to behold. Imagine having 15 crazy girls running toward the ocean against the beating wind in the dark, and screaming, "I don't want to do this!" Amidst laughing, screaming and shivering, we got in up to our knees. As the injured Molly Frazee, Brittany Campbell, and Alex Bream watched from the shore, trying to hurry up the process so they could get in the jacuzzi, the rest of us hovered around each other as we jumped up each time a new wave came crashing in.

After our eight minutes of icing were up, we hit the jacuzzis. The revelry continued for a good 20 minutes. It was a beautiful thing to be surrounded by the girls who I've shared my college years with. It was a moment in time to hold on to forever.

The rest was basketball and business. With or without a 15-game winning streak and a healthy team, I'd say we have a lot to be grateful for. With only about a month left to play with these girls I love and the coaches I've come to fully trust, it's easy to get sentimental and emotional, but we still have much work left to do.

Previous Life with the Lady Flames entries
Oct. 28 - Moriah Frazee
Nov. 4 - Rebecca Lightfoot
Nov. 11 - Molly Frazee
Nov. 18 - Alexandria Bream
Nov. 25 - Megan Frazee
Dec. 2 - Rachel Hammond
Dec. 9 - Moriah Frazee
Dec. 23 - Molly Frazee
Jan. 1 - Alexandria Bream
Jan. 6 - Megan Frazee
Jan. 13 - Rachel Hammond
Jan. 20 - Moriah Frazee
Jan. 29 - Rebecca Lightfoot
Feb. 3 - Molly Frazee
Feb. 11 - Alexandria Bream
Feb. 17 - Megan Frazee