|Brian Wheeler keeps the 'Cats on the court.|
Wednesday, February 1
It’s 3 p.m., and the training room is PACKED. Division of the day starts at 4:30, so athletes from all sports are in getting their pre-practice treatment and rehabbing every injury from torn ACLs to ingrown toenails to dislocated fingers. Our practice time is scheduled for 4 today, and about half of us arrive an hour ahead of time to get ready. P.S. – Are you a Davidson outsider and perhaps unfamiliar with this “Division of the Day” lingo? Luckily for you, Davidson people like to explain things: In order to maximize both student and athlete potential, official class hours run from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This is when we (student-athletes) belong to our professors. Before (eek!) and after those hours, we belong to our coaches. When everybody respects division of the day, you don’t get as many student-athletes missing class for practice and vice versa, and coaches and professors don’t get into any fistfights. Time conflicts still happen on occasion, but overall it’s an effective policy. (And I was just kidding about the fistfights. But the professors would totally win.)
Anyways, so everybody who doesn’t have class at 3 p.m. is in the training room. Like, everybody. Football, lacrosse, field hockey, cross-country, basketball, soccer. Every table has an athlete on top of it. The big great new hot and cold tubs are splashing with chattering lacrosse players and runners. Davidson athletic trainers Gerry, Beth, and Brian (our guy), and several UNC-Charlotte students (athletic trainers in training) are bustling around stretching people, teaching them exercises, and applying ultrasound and ice-compression and electric stim treatments.
Hannah is doing some rehab exercises in the backroom to strengthen the leg muscles around her knee. Soph comes in to fill up her water bottle. I begin my own rehab exercises. By 3:30, things have calmed down a bit. Shannon (Eriksson, freshman guard) crutches in. She had surgery right before Christmas. She says she’s “feelin’ good” today, because she might get to put 50% of her weight on her injured leg for the first time! Barb, who took a knee to the thigh in the Furman game, gimps to a table. She said she’s feeling a lot better, too, and she seems to be thoroughly enjoying her “limp swag.” Jess, Brian’s student-assistant, applies stim and heat to what she calls the “contusion” on B’s leg (some medical jargon for you). Kat is sprawled on another table with a heating pad. Laura naps on a table with heat. Peaches (who’s actually Sarah, in case you forgot) comes strolling in, and B calls her out – “Peaches looks like she just woke up!” Sarah scowls and shoots back, “I’m coming from class!” (Peaches is a great student. We promise.) She heads for the warm bath to heat her foot.
“Aw man, why can’t I go in the hot tub?” whines Barb.
Jess laughs. “Uh, because you have electricity on you.”
“If you went into the hot tub right now you’d light up like a Christmas tree!” Soph adds, helpfully.
Lillian, who’s in here filling up her water bottle, goes up to Brian. “I just wanted to apologize for saying I hated you while I was in the ice tub last week,” she tells him earnestly, because Lil is a very earnest sort of person. “I don’t actually hate you.”
Brian knows this. He’s well aware of the ice-bath phenomenon that makes the cheerfulness of his athletes drop accordingly with their body temperatures. He laughs.
Mel (Giegerich, freshman forward) brings her water bottle to the sink. “Kat, let’s chat,” she says. “How was your day?” Kat launches into a story about her bike. The chain had broken that morning, and Kat left the bike outside Chambers while she was in class, planning to walk it to the bike shop on Main Street afterwards. But when she came out, the chain was magically fixed! One of the more beautiful parts of Davidson – the mysterious bike-fixing fairies. (She’d like to say thank you, if you’re reading this, bike fairy.) Mel braids her hair. She calls this process “taming the mane.” Why? Ask Brian. “’Cause she’s got the hair of a lion,” he informs us.
On that ferocious note, we’re all about to head up to the court. This is as healthy as we’re gonna get (knock on wood), and the practice players are coming at 4 p.m.. We’ve got a big road trip coming up this weekend – College of Charleston Saturday, and Georgia Southern on Monday. Bus pulls out Friday evening at 5:30 – I’ll be sure to keep you updated! Go ‘Cats!!
Love, ice baths, road trips, and Super Bowls,