Time Out with Tori

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Monday was picture day! We took individual and team pictures in the arena.  We had to dress up for some of the photos and wear our uniform for the others.  It was quite a scene in the locker room when we were getting ready! Everyone came in from class in their t-shirts and shorts and we all changed into skirts, dresses and shirts with ruffles.  The bathroom was full of us girls trying to straighten our hair and do our makeup.  We clean up pretty nicely if I do say so myself! The coaches looked good too!  It's always nice to see our whole team dressed up because so much of the time we are in basketball shorts and t-shirts.  But we all survived picture day and hopefully all of the pictures turn out nicely! 
This past week I had to write a blog for one of my classes and I thought I would share a little bit of what I wrote.  The topic was my team.
I don't think anyone fully understands what a team means unless they are a part of the team.  Unless they can say that's my team.  And I don't mean a fan in the crowd cheering for their school, which they may call their team.  Most people can cheer for a team, but could they handle being a member of that team?  Being on a team means you have a team first mentality.  Every decision you make affects the team and you must always put the team first.
Being on a team, my team, means we go through the trenches together.
Every day we grind it out in practice and physically and mentally exhaust ourselves trying to push one another to get better.  Every day we challenge the next girl to lift more weight than they did on the last set.  How many girls do you know that would feel comfortable bench pressing over a hundred pounds? Being on a team means that in practice we constantly battle, but we know that there are no hard feelings once practice is over.  How many girls do you know that wouldn't make a big deal if one of their friends shoved them in the back or hit them with an elbow?
Being on a team, my team, means that I know I have 13 sisters, yes sisters, not just friends.  When I'm on the baseline about to run sprints, I can always look to my right or my left and see my sisters right next to me.  When I feel like I can't push myself any harder, I know that my sisters are next to me to give me that extra energy.  I know that my team will never give up on me and will never leave me.  That's a pretty incredible bond, knowing that no matter what, my sisters will always support me.  How many people have that bond with 13 other people?
My team has shared moments that have brought us so close together that not many people could understand.  The phrase "blood, sweat and tears" really does apply to the bond my team has.  There are always scratches on one another from playing against each other.  At the end of the day our workout gear is soaked in sweat.  And there have been many long talks and heart to hearts with one another, whether it's in the locker room or outside of the arena, where there have been tears.  It's okay to cry on my team.  The emotions are real.  When one of my teammates experiences sadness, the rest of us do as well.  When someone is happy, we feel that way too.  It's all love.
Not many people could handle what all comes with being on a team.  But I couldn't handle not being on my team.
Peace, Love and Basketball
Tori Niemann

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