This is the blog where I apologize for not writing and now I must jostle through the events of the past few months to abruptly bring you up to speed. And, this time there are many significant events to report.
My last blog concluded with the team in Argentina back in February 2011. I posted that blog the day before we played the home nation in the finals. We lost the final by one goal. And upon returning to the hotel, I revealed to the squad that I was three months pregnant with our second child.
It was a celebratory night for two reasons. First, because everyone was excited that Xavi was about to become a big brother. And, lets be honest, anyone that knows him can testify to the fact that he needs a playmate at home.
The other reason for celebration was the fact that we scared Las Leonas on that day. They felt their Pan American rival closing the gap. For so many years they have never felt threatened by our side. But, on that night, something changed. You could see it in their eyes. It was a very exciting note to end the trip on and begin hibernation for baby number 2.
I did not actually hibernate. In fact, I flew to San Diego to spend a week with the team the following month. I wanted to keep training with them until my belly grew too big.
That week in March came to a quick end and it was back to Charlottesville. Back to the family and time to seriously start organizing my first season of our new club team. FH Life was starting the spring season that April and I was looking forward to meeting new faces, our future new stars.
With two season behind us (almost! the fall season wraps up on Sunday). Our first winter season is about to begin. We have excellent coaches working with the group this year and a lot of exciting things coming down the pipe.
Finally, my personal life has been uprooted too since last February in Argentina. My husband, Inako, was contacted by Miami University in Ohio back in April and asked to interview for the head coach position.
After much consideration, we decided to take the job and move the growing family to Oxford, Ohio.
It was an absolutely hectic few months to follow. I had a commitment to the club, as well as my summer camps. Inako had also accepted the position as head coach of USAFH’s high performance Mid Atlantic team and was commuting back and forth from Virginia to Ohio. We would see each other only in passing.
Somehow, we made it through those months and that is the primary reason for my absence in writing blogs. It was so hectic that I was lucky if I got my hair brushed and the laundry done.
Now it’s 11-11-11 and here I sit in our new living room in Oxford. We bought a new house, established new roots in the Mid-West and most importantly, we have a place that we not only call home, but it feels like home.
Ohhhhhh and wait. I forgot the most important news of all. Remember at the beginning of this blog when I told you that back in February, we sent a clear message to the Argentine team? Well, it was spot on! The gap was closing in and this October the National Team sealed it!
With my boys on the couch (Ian was just 6 weeks old) and nerves in my throat, we watched and cheered for the girls at the Pan American Final. The message was marked with a 4-2 victory and automatic qualification to the London 2012 Olympics. Wow, it feels great to write that.
I am not sure what my future will hold but one thing is certain! I better get off the couch and into the gym.
Keli Smith Puzo is a two-time Olympic Field Hockey player, Wife to Inako Puzo, head coach at Miami University, Mother of two young boys and your everyday kind of gal trying to keep it all together.