Paving the Dirt Road

I was 18 years old, hearing back from colleges, and likely going to a school without a team.

I was done. I spent 5 years playing the "alternative" sport in high school, begging any of the year round lax and volleyball girls to come out for frisbee. Tirelessly attempted to get even 7 girls out for practice, while simultaneously adoring our rag tag bunch. Frisbee was such a huge part of my life, I abandoned 4 other sports and theater, but I was exhausted. I couldn't do it anymore. 

But I constantly heard about the successes of Alison Douglas and Laura Masulis out of USN, I learned so much from Yusi Turell, Sara Gibson, Tobey Beaver...
I remember watching Georgia "Lebron" Bosscher's Callahan video for the first time, it made me want dreads. 

I remember watching Carolyn Finney's Callahan video with awe and pure desire to play on that level some day. 

I kept playing frisbee because of the inspirational women I was exposed to.

I visited the University of Oregon on a beautiful spring day. It happened to be Regionals weekend, and I loosely knew Sophie Darch but I was still super awkward. I began wandering around, and found myself gazing over the Willamette River on the Autzen Footbridge...That was the moment I decided that this was the place I needed to be. When I returned to Oregon in the fall, I joined a family called Fugue and was given the gift of competitive, athletic, and supportive women for friends. 

Hayley Wahlroos Top 10 Sports Center play, 2014 College Nationals Semi-Finals.

Hayley Wahlroos Top 10 Sports Center play, 2014 College Nationals Semi-Finals.

Fast forward to 2014 College Nationals... 
In the moment, Hayley's Sports Center lay out grab was awesome because it was a break for Fugue in semis, but the bid was standard play. It was sick, but it was expected, she does it all the time. They caught it on ESPN - cool, but they just caught one of many. 

I am often given the opportunity to play on a big stage and with that opportunity comes the will to make our sport better. My hope is that the All-Star Ultimate Tour can breathe energy into youth girls' programs and players, to share with them the incredible community that is women in ultimate and to give them something to look up to. Youth girls' ultimate is unfortunately the lowest represented division in USAU, but it's producing the GRITIEST players. Youth girl players are the members of our community giving the most and getting the least back.

This week, I was a volunteer counsellor at the Eugene Middle School Ultimate camp. The one camper that was consistently asking for the biggest challenge, taking the toughest matchup, and fighting to prove herself was a girl named Elsa. Elsa was an inspiration, and she is the player in every city that I am hoping to reach. She has a tough road ahead of her, but I hope that the show we put on displays tenacity, strength, power, integrity, and unbridled confidence by relentlessly unapologetic women in sports. 

Let's make her road easier. Let's unify.