After an extremely busy week, I find myself writing to you from Barcelona. The past week has been full of ups and downs and relaxation time only happened in the air. I spent many hours in airports and flying the friendly skies.
The Pan American Cup concluded a week ago with a disappointing loss in the finals to Argentina. I was pleased with the performance from our side, but we were not able to capitalize on our many opportunities in regulation. This led us to overtime and concluded in sudden death penalty strokes. We walked away from the experiences a little discouraged, but these feelings are part of sport. We will learn from our time in Bermuda and ensure that our next chance at qualifying for the World Cup (which will happen next year), will be a victorious one. Regardless of the outcome, we were lucky to play in such a beautiful country.
An entire day hoping from airport to airport finally landed me in the backseat of my parent’s car on Monday night. I was excited to see my family and spend the next few days at home with my niece and nephews. I needed some “down time” after Bermuda, but last week was not the moment to get that perk. My agenda was full of meeting and social events. On Wednesday, I spent the afternoon speaking to a crowd at Susquehanna University. It was a nice program and I was happy to see many familiar faces from the community. My presentation was a trip down memory lane from the Olympic Games.
On Thursday morning, I again boarded a plane and headed to Espana! It was nice to return and especially wonderful to eat Spanish jamon and other specialties only found in this country. After landing, I took a quick nap, put on my shin guards, and grabbed my stick. I had to get to practice that afternoon. It was vital that I attend because it was the final training run before our game on Sunday, which marked the first time I played with the new international rules (by the way, I like them). We won the game that day and will look forward to playing in Madrid next weekend.
As promised, I will stay committed to writing my blog often. The next few months are sure to be action-packed and I look forward to sharing it with you.
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.