Saturday, September 13th
Oh, happy day! After a long night of training from Kiruna to Ostersund, I got my second dose of the lovely Brigit Reder and team!
I got into Ostersund around 7:30am completely exhausted from the 17 hour trip. Brigit had left a key in the mail slot for me so I let myself in and got a wonderful few hours of sleep before the sounds of the ladies about the apartment woke me. It was so good to see them again!
I shared all my stories of the trip with Brigit and whichever of her teammates were in the room at that time. The mice and Kiruna stories got the best reactions. I showed a few pictures to fill in the gaps that words couldn’t describe. Before I knew it the girls had to head out for their pre-game lunch so I took the time alone to shower, repack, and grab some lunch.
I was called in as an emergency gear runner for Brigit about halfway through my ham and cheese sandwich. While it made the sandwich disappear unexpectedly fast, it was good to be able to help out and get to the stadium before the ticket tellers got there!
I was surprised by the openness of the stadium. I was able to walk all around the locker room area and even onto the field without a single person saying a thing to me. Kinda cool!
Brigit’s team, Ostersunds DFF, have been having an incredible season and were at the top of their division with just four games left in the season. This game was important for them to stay ahead in the point count so it was fun for me to see a relatively ‘big’ game. Their opponent, IK Hugo, was in the middle of the division but apparently had a reputation of playing hard and were on a hot streak.
When the match started, it was a big case of dejavu to see Brigit play. While I couldn’t say it had been five years since I saw her anymore I could still say itd been five years since I saw her play! My favorite part was watching her personality come out on the field. Strong and in a leading role, but never negative or harsh manner. I had heard her talk about updating her player video so I did my best to tape some but my timing was awful so sorry about that Brigit.
Watching the team’s personalities come out was cool, too. I had only met them for a few minutes each and their playing style and chemistry on the field was very cool to see. It told a story, I felt like.
It helped that they controlled the game from start to finish. The ball control had to have been at least 75/25 in their favor and they were without question the dominant team. The 1-nil victory doesn’t do their performance justice but a win is a win!
When we got back to the apartment I joined Brigit to watch some of the OSU football game over some of the leftover Thai food from their pregame lunch. While the team wasn’t my first choice it was a lot of fun to watch some good ol football.
The weather was absolutely phenomenal so it was decided to head down to the lake for a fire and smores! A bunch of Brigit’s teammates gathered on the beach and, with my very rudimentary fire making skills and a handy lighter, we soon had quite a picturesque set up going. I gorged myself on smores, threw a football with Brigit, got annihilated by the center middie Mel in rock skipping, and passed the evening hours surrounded by this group of complete strangers who were themselves held together by such a chance happening but had come together to form what could only be described as a team. We left the beach smelling of fire and happiness.
Despite my tiredness, I stayed up to watch Gravity with Brigit and the goalkeeper Nicole. I wanted to make the most of my time there and these two definitely made that happen! I dont think any of us watched more than a third of the movie because we kept talking and getting distracted. It made me terribly conflicted when both of them made a comment about me not leaving in the morning so I could stay and help them break the monotony of Ostersund life. That night with Brigit and her team was just what I needed before the whistlestop tour I was about to take on.
The next morning I got the all important selfie with Brigit (who groaned at me for waiting until the morning to do it) and passed along my copy of Barbara Kingsolvers Prodigal Summer that I had finished on the Kungsleden. Then it was a goodbye hug with a rediscovered friend and off to Stockholm!
Once again, thank you to Brigit and the Ostersunds DFF girls for your hospitality and friendship. I will be keeping tabs on your season and cheering you on from wherever I happen to be!
All my love.