Whew, I can’t believe it’s been 7 months since Willa entered our world! So much has changed—I didn’t realize how much a little 7lb 8oz bundle could move the needle on how I spend my time! I’ve learned a lot about perspective and like my friend Elaine Hill says, “Don’t sweat the petty stuff, and don’t pet the sweaty stuff.”
Getting pregnant with Willa forced me to take the longest break from beach volleyball I’ve had in over a decade! Before her, I hadn’t had more than a couple weeks off. While I wasn’t playing much in 2019, I was still very involved in the sport – following AVPs and FIVBs, coaching at a much more involved level at Stanford, listening to a lot of “Coach Your Brains Out” and just thinking more about the sport. There are a lot of changes that I’m excited to pursue while I get back to competing at the highest level.
One theme that I’m really trying to execute is adding more risk to my game. One way I’m doing this is by adding dimensions to my offense. In these first few weeks of practice this has resulted in more errors and some moments with high levels of frustration, but I try to remind myself that if things are hard then I am right where I am supposed to be. I want to evolve my game and I’m committed to the learning process that’s going to get me there. I’m not playing to get 5ths, make the semis, etc. I want to win and I can’t get there by just doing what I’ve always done. The way I’ve done things in the past has served its purpose. Now, it’s time to expand.
In the same vein that I’m trying to evolve my game on the court, I’m also looking for ways to expand my health and recovery off the court. I’ve been using my new infrared sauna (by Clearlight Saunas) for about 4 months now and it has been a game changer for relaxation, joint and muscle stiffness, and increased blood flow. I leave the sauna after 30-60 minutes and I just feel utterly fantastic. I love the Clearlight brand too, because unlike other brands it emits very minimal EMFs. You can read more about the many benefits of infrared here.
I’ve also been using the Somavedic Amber for about two months now and within that time, I’ve really ramped up my training in the gym and on the court. I expected to be WAY more sore and tired after taking about 10 months off during the last trimester of my pregnancy and about 6 months after Willa was born. I was still active during most of that time (except immediately postpartum), but I wasn’t lifting heavy or playing dynamic beach volleyball. I kept track of my sleep data with the Oura ring and my resting heart rate with the Masimo Mighty Sat. Within a few days of plugging it in, I got more deep and more REM sleep and my average resting heart rate lowered from 47 to 42.
Additionally, Willa has started sleeping more soundly and seemingly more restorative. She used to cry several times during the night. Now, she usually only wakes up once, but sometimes she sleeps for 10-12 hours straight! And she’s done this while cutting a tooth, traveling and missing daytime naps, starting solid foods, and moving!
I opted for the amber Somavedic because having a 6 month old, I really wanted to do what we could to neutralize the EMFs that she was exposed to and the amber is stronger and works on 5G cellular EMFs.