It must have been fate that today was the day to write this blog post. My time hop reminded me that is was 4 years ago since I was in Florida with the Scotland Lacrosse Senior Women’s Team. Before I looked at my time hop I had been structuring this blog post in my head not knowing I would be reminded of my last lacrosse trip.
Over the years I have had some fantastic experiences with lacrosse. It is 25 years since I first picked up a lacrosse stick at school. I still remember my first lacrosse coach Miss Doig. Ex Scotland International. In the early days I played in goal and remember being asked to play up my age at school and go with the team to National Schools. National Schools back then was so different from how it is now. Lacrosse was so different: you played 12 aside the straight attack positions were called 1st home, 2nd home, 3rd home and the straight defence were called 3rd man, point and then cover point. There was also no boundaries either and no restraining lines. We also didnt need to wear goggles!
I struggled with lacrosse at school because I was so young but once I went back a year I was able to compete and do fairly well but not as well as I would have liked. I often wonder now if my asthma had been taken more seriously and not so uncontrolled if I would have done better.
Certainly the fashion on the lacrosse field has changed a lot. Gone are the flat fronted pleated skirts and long red woolly socks. There was no such thing as leggings for when it was cold. We could wear thick navy knickers under our skirt to keep warm but that was it.
I was so fortunate that I got to go on tour to Boston in America in my final year fo school. It was great fun.
Once leaving school I didnt play lacrosse for a while until I joined Capital Lacrosse Club when I came back home to Edinburgh. It was a blast and I had a great number of years there. My health meant that I never really got to say good bye (seems to be a theme I have) to team mates and end playing when I wanted to. Despite my health I played out field for a number of seasons even playing centre for a few seasons but then ended up playing back in goal where I first started all those years ago.
After paying for Capital for a bit I got the chance to play for Scotland at Home Internationals. I never in my wildest dreams did I think I would pull on a Scotland shirt and sing the national anthem. It was one of my proudest moments ever.
Once my playing days were over I was so fortunate to be able to take on a coaching role at various places from Schools, to Universities in both Dundee and Edinburgh and then with U19 Scotland as well. My biggest regret is that I have not had the chance to say goodbye to kids I have coached as stuff was taken out of my control. It is one of the things you need to deal with when you are a volunteer- you are just that. You give up your time for the love of what you do, come rain, hail or shine, you go out and do what you do. It would be nice to be able to say goodbye but these things happen.
I wanted to save the best memories I have with lacrosse to last. It was getting the chance to play with an awesome touring team who came over from the US. It was a coach and some players from Florida Southern College who had just won the DII championship. They formed the International Inferno touring team and it was so much fun joining them in both London and Prague. I got the chance to go out to Florida the year after to surprise the players as well. I was bundled by the players when they saw me walking across the playing field! The last photos are my best lacrosse memories.
Finishing with my best memories. Lacrosse has given me so much and made me grow as a person as well. I have had ups and downs with it and it is hard to feel like I am saying goodbye but I feel now is the time. There is so much going on just now with advocacy work and public involvement work that I need to prioritise things and now lacrosse is becoming more stressful than it was and I was getting less enjoyment out of it. Before I start resenting lacrosse the time is to step away. I may one day come back to it but for now my time is over. I will treasure my memories for ever especially the friends I made and memories I made with the team from Florida Southern Lacrosse.