Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Traveling Book Club


The advent and commercialization of the internet, specifically the recent growth of social media networks like facebook and twitter, have challenged the hierarchy of tour leisure activities undertaken by the members of the USA field hockey team.

Facebooking, which falls under the more general category of internet play, is closing the gap on the team’s number one tour past-time, good ‘ole, traditional r-e-a-d-i-n-g. Yes folks, believe it or not, book reading (and by book, if you have forgotten what they are, I mean those long stories composed of related words on touchable paper, bound together in either paperback or hard back) still has a stronghold on spot number one. It makes me proud to know we are a team who values substance.

I have taken it upon myself to perform some research into the “substance” of which we are reading. My research has led me to some interesting questions and conclusions regarding the relationship between who you are and what you read.

Remember that saying, “You are what eat,” (in which case I would be a combination of beets, corn, beef, bananas and peanut M&Ms). Well, what if we rephrased and said, “You are what you read.” Who would Lauren Crandall, Kayla Bashore, Katie Evans, Barb Weinberg and the rest of Team USA be?

My findings are intriguing. Here are the characters / players (or readers) in what can, from now onwards, be known as the Traveling Book Club.

We have the Searchers for Soul / Self, The Fantasy-Fiction Faction, The Mystery Mongers, The Money-making Mogels / Success Seeking Sect, The Ready for Romance Readers, The Open Occulters and the Miscellaneous Remainders.

Three books belonging to three readers comprise The Searchers for Soul / Self: The Power of Now by Eckardt Tolle (Barb Weinberg), The Virtue of Selfishness by Ayn Rand (Kristen Holmes), and Eat, Pray, Love (Lauren Crandall). Are these readers in need of spiritual healing?

The Fantasy-Fiction Faction is spear-headed by Claire Laubach, reading Alice in Wonderland, Katelyn Falgowshi reading The Lord of the Rings, and Sarah Dawson reading Oliver Kitteridge. What type of relief do these readers find in the wordy world of fantasy fiction?

The Murderous Mystery Mongers group is quite large, here’s the list: The ScareCrow (Matt Soto, Team Videographer), The Sixth Target (Michelle Kasold), The Lost Symbol (Maren Ford and Lauren Phieffer), Beat the Reaper (M. Ford), and The Girl Who Played with Fire (R. Dawson). Is the mundane ness of life in a hotel room in Argentina not exciting enough for this group of violent, secretive thrill seekers?

And then we have The Money-making Mogels / Success Seeking Sect (who needed two titles because they are too ambitious for just one). Kayla Bashore, co-owner / CEO of KaPow hockey (www.kapowfh.com) took some useful tips (hint, the mention of the company in this blog) from her book The Girls Guide to Owning your Own Business. With the reading of Outliers by Malcom Gladwell, Steve Jennings and Katie Evans are seeking to join the ranks of the extraordinarily successful, business elite. Meanwhile team trainer and recently engaged Jamie is reading the 7 Habits of Really Effective People. So what drives these already successful readers toward further greatness? And can I get me some of whatever genius you get from your read?

My heart goes out to the next group, the Ready for Romance Readers (Valentine’s Day away from their loved ones must have been especially difficult). Nicholas Sparks has edged his way quite strongly into the group; Katie O’donnell is reading At First Sight while Maggie Giddens (USA Referie) reads The Last Song. Carolina Nichols meshes love with law in the dramatic Jodi Piccoult novel Change of Heart. Betty Boot (Sara Silvetti) rounds out the group with her reading of the historic and tragic love affair known as Atonement (yes, she has already seen the movie but insists that she will see herself thru to the end of book – now that is persistence if I’ve ever known it). Now I wonder if these ladies translate the romantic passion of their reads into the game they love? **Please note that I have refrained from mentioning Kate Reisinger ‘s (Team Manager / Mom) book of the moment, Broken Little Heart at her insistence**

Now the Open Occulters have fallen for Andre Aggassi in his Autobiography Open. Jesse Gey, Carrie Lingo, and Maggie Giddens have all been mesmorized by the captivating, formerily undisclosed, story of Agassi’s life and career. I wonder if their personal sporting tales can in anyway relate to Agassi’s story – I have heard it is a must read.

The last group, the Miscellaneous Remainder is made up of three people, two of whom could be called the most miscellaneous members of the group, Lauren Powley and Lee Bodimeade. When asked what she was reading, Powley said, “Nothing at the moment.” She quickly rescinded her first answer, and replied, “Fast Track.” To which Kayla Bashore replied, “We aren’t talking about your EZ pass.”

Miscellaneous #2, Lee, provided multiple answers – the truth and validity of which is anyone’s guess – Sport’s Illustrated, USA Today’s Sports Crossword, and How to Coach a Winning Field Hockey Team (which I assume is written by Terry Walsh). I wonder how Lee feels about sports.

Miscellaneous #3 has a quite intriguing and informative read. Doc (the team Doctor) rounds out the Traveling Book Club with Horse Soldiers, an account of the special forces operation in Afghanistan after 9/11/2001.

Now, in assessment of the Traveling Book Club, I must admit, there is quite a bit of variety going on in our team. I posed the question earlier, are we what we read. And if we assume, for the moment that we are, then Team USA is quite an interesting and assorted bunch. We have quite a bit of substance and depth to our character – you see there is a lot more going on with us besides being just hockey players. We are self-searching, romance-loving, mystery-needing, money-making (or not), fantasy-finding, free-thinking wanderers, trying to relax with a good book before a big game.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your Story today was well done..This is something that I have always thought about, really never wanting anyone tho know what I was reading....I give your teamates alot of credit to be exposed....I am what I read... ut oh....Momma