“Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.” Demosthenes
At the conclusion of WU23UC, I felt like I was in pieces. I was recovering from a multitude of minor injuries, I was exhausted, and my team and I had just lost the bronze medal match. All I wanted was to go home to everything that was me in real life. When I was asked to join the All-Star Tour, I knew within two minutes that I wanted to join this team. I had been dreaming of a chance to travel the USA while playing with the best clubs teams (including some of my heroes) for years, and as a high level Australian player, I believe that it is my duty to continually improve. Within six hours, I had decided that it was possible for me to go on the tour if I stretched my resources and did some serious injury management. After two hours, I had decided it was worth that stretch. Another 10 hours later, I had locked in my new plans to fly to the USA in exactly a week.
Due to the timing of the trip, I put many things that I care about in Australia in jeopardy, but it’s the choice I had to make to get a shot at my dreams. A close friend of mine actually said to me that it was an achievement just to be invited in the tour, but I disagree;, just to be invited would have been nothing, a non-event;, the opportunity was possible, so I had to do it. In my limited life experience, I have come to believe that great opportunities are never perfect, but you have to take them anyway.
I have been playing ultimate for seven years, but I have never played as well as I have in the last few months. In fact, for the first few years of my playing ultimate, it seemed as if I wasn’t even going to be a talented player. I don’t feel like I have been working any harder than I did before, but the difference is that I have been expanding where and when I play. In 2014, I was given the opportunity to attend Kaimana in Hawaii and the World Ultimate Club Championships with a team I had never played with before. Now in 2015, I managed to make the Australian Under 23 Women’s team and the All-Star Ultimate Tour team. These amazing adventures are linked and each would not have happened without the other.
These opportunities have exposed me to so many high-level, high-pressure ultimate games that I have improved so much without even realizing it. I am suddenly saying yes to every throwing session, training session, game, or piece of advice anyone is willing to give. It shows. Usually, I would only get a chance to be filmed playing ultimate maybe once a year, and now I have been filmed playing nine times against the best in ultimate. You can bet I will be analysing and re-analysing those games over and over when I get home.
I have just finished playing my last game of the 2015 All-Star Tour, and I’m still not satisfied with how I have played. However, that doesn’t matter. The wise Opi Payne told me that when we mess up, we have to look forward and, see what’s next. The next step for me is to share what I have learned on this tour with my friends and teammates world-wide. If I had any advice for young athletes, it would be to take every opportunity. Every time someone asks you to throw, train, play or gives you advice, take it. Opportunities come big and small, imperfectly and sometimes fleetingly. Ypou have to seize them and learn all you can from them.
23 days ago, I met Qxhna Titcomb. 17 days ago, I joined a team of 17 amazing athletes. 1 day ago, I played the last game I will play during the most amazing experience of my life. I have met thousands of passionate ultimate fans and people that I normally would never meet. I met them as part of a huge community I am extremely proud to call myself a part of. I have achieved new goals and records. I have learned styles of play that I haven’t understood before, and I have been inspired by hundreds of new friends. Finally, I have learned the power of my decisions.