S2, Ep. 2: Loving the Game Despite the Pain

Hannah Hemmerly, a former D III soccer player and creator of HRH Blog, joins us to talk about soccer, her 5 knee injuries, and the importance of being part of a community even if you need to build it yourself.

Forward Progress is sponsored by Hi-Viz Safety Wear. They’re a leading provider of high visibility apparel. So if you need safety vests or hoodies and jackets in the wintertime to keep your crews safe and warm, give them a call at 888-554-4849 or visit their website at wearitforsafety.com. They also offer in-house logo printing. That’s 888-554-4849. Or wearitforsafety.com. Nobody does Hi-Viz better.

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Hannah: [00:00:00] When you know that your body is capable of doing something mentally, but it can’t physically react or it reacts in a way that’s painful, that you know, that it’s going to be bad in the long term. There’s this very frustrating dialogue that’s going on in your head because it’s like I can run and I do not appear to be injured, but I am.

Caroline: [00:00:36] Hi, everyone, welcome to Forward Progress. I’m Caroline.

Sophia: [00:00:39] And I’m Sophia.

Caroline: [00:00:40] This week, we’re talking with a new friend that we’ve made through the community of those supporting women sports and sharing their own sporting stories. But as always, or starting off with some of the latest happenings in sports, Sophia,

Sophia: [00:00:53] In snowboarding, Jamie Anderson wins gold and tie Shaun White’s snowboarding medal count in the Winter X Games with 18. Chloe Kim, the Chloe Kim, won gold in women’s snowboarding superpipe,

Caroline: [00:01:06] And that’s after taking 14 months off from snowboarding.

Sophia: [00:01:11] WNBA free agency has been absolutely wild, Candace Parker is going to play for Chicago Sky, Kayla McBride is going to Minnesota Lynx. Allisha Gray, Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Nneka Ogumike are all staying home at their own respective clubs. My dad’s really pumped that Allisha Gray is going to stay with Dallas Big, Big Wings fan.

Caroline: [00:01:31] On Saturday, Lolo Jones and Kaillie Humphries won gold at the bobsled world championships and Altenberg, Germany. This was the first world championships for Jones. So she’s going home with a gold and Humphries became the first woman to win four bobsled world titles. You’ll love to see it. All right, Sophia, who’s last but certainly not least this week.

Sophia: [00:01:53] The star of the show, Nia Dennis. She was phenomenal. She’s a UCLA gymnast. I hope you all saw this if you’re on social media at all, you definitely did. We also shared it on the forward progress twitter. We’ll make sure that we link it in the show notes so that you can go follow us if you don’t already follow us. All of the songs that are in her flour routine are by black artists. And she has said that it was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. Nia Dennis absolutely killed her floor routine. So much energy and love, just everything about it. Here we go. Caroline, who do we have on the show today?

Caroline: [00:02:30] This week’s Forward Progress guest is Hannah Hemmerly. Hannah was a Division three soccer player at Carleton College where she majored in art history. In October, she started the H.R.H. blog to share her own journey of injuries, athlete identity and self-acceptance by creating a community where others can do the same. We hope you enjoy our discussion.

Caroline: [00:02:52] Thank you so much for joining us on our podcast.

Hannah: [00:02:55] Thank you for having me. I’m so excited.

Caroline: [00:02:58] Cool. OK, so we always like to start right at the beginning. What were your early sporting experiences growing up?

Hannah: [00:03:05] Oh, me. So I’ve always been very active. My parents have always joked like one kid was enough. I’ve just always like needed to be running around like I was the kid at the playground that was on the monkey bars beating everyone. So, yeah, sports was like a natural transition. And I was first put on a team when I was eight. I was put on the soccer team. I wanted to play basketball, but I ended up joining a soccer league because that’s what my best friend wanted to do and never stopped. So I think when I started..this is going to sound really weird. It’s like when I started scoring all the time. No. But, you know, there’s a point with Youth Kid leagues where you realize the kids are going to be athletes and then they’re like the kids who are just there because their parents put them there. There just came a point. And my dad is like, we need to get you on a club team. You’re not doing the youth soccer league thing anymore. So and I was playing club soccer by the age of nine and 10. So,

Caroline: [00:04:04] Wow, that’s really early. Yeah. It’s really just like start focusing on club.

Hannah: [00:04:08] The thing with New York is your school doesn’t have good sports normally. So if you’re not on a club team or around other people who really want to be getting good at something, you don’t really have the opportunity. I do definitely wish, though, that I had had the opportunity to try more sports out in a more serious way. I mean, I played softball and basketball in middle school, but I went to like this little Quaker school in Brooklyn. And so I had coaches that at the end were like, oh, we lost, but it really felt like a win. Hannah you really put your energy in? It felt if I was like, are you kidding me? Like, this is just so not the environment that lives with how I approached sport. I was like, no, it doesn’t feel like a win, we lost!

Caroline: [00:04:56] So then you really focused on soccer. Did your high school have a team or you were just playing club at that point?

Hannah: [00:05:03] I played high school because I felt like I had to, not because I wanted to be doing it necessarily. It was fun ish. I actually went to two different high schools. So my freshman year I went to La Guardia, which is like a very large high school in New York. So LaGuardia is like four thousand students and seventy five percent are female. So the women’s soccer team was actually really good because there was like a very large population to draw from. And that was the most fun I ever had playing on a school team. But then I went back to my small little school and soccer is like fun there. But it was just always focusing on like getting on the right club team to put me in showcases that kind of thing. So.

Caroline: [00:05:48] So I know you’ve had five knee surgeries. I just wanted you to talk about that timeline of playing and just your injury timeline.

Hannah: [00:06:00] That’s why it is also interesting when people ask me about my childhood experiences in sport, too, because I started dealing with my ACLs when I was fifteen, so I stopped really being just a totally soccer player focused person by the end of 14, early 15 years old, which is pretty young. It’s funny I kind of remember all the dates and everything, too. So my sophomore spring in high school, it was the first practice of that spring season and we were just playing a scrimmage and I went up for a header and I landed and my knee snapped. I like, blacked out and take to the emergency room. And so that was my first ACL. So I rehab from that. And I wanted to be back to try to do camps the summer before my junior year of high school, because I was very anxious about getting recruited because I missed all of sophomore season in the spring and summer before junior year. And so I wanted to try to get the tail end, like I really wanted to meet the nine month mark, which is the kind of standard if you do the quick process, if you rehab everything, you can get back to playing around nine months. That never really happened for me with any of my injuries. I think I’ve learned a lot about pushing your body to try to meet these arbitrary timelines that we set in place. I think the other thing that I’ve learned a lot about through this process, there’s rehabbing to be able to be on the field and then there’s rehabbing to recovery. And those are two different things. Your timeline is so affected by who your coaches, too. I actually did have a really good coach in high school. So basically my coach had had knee surgeries himself. And when I was nine months out, which was I think the winter of my junior year, he didn’t let me play still. That was kind of a big thing with him. He would put me on for five minutes and then he would start putting me on for ten minutes and then he’d start putting me on for 15. But he just wasn’t giving me time. That was like enough for anyone to see how I could play. But as a coach, he was doing the right thing. He was definitely doing the right thing. Whereas later my coach in college, she was basically like, “if you can’t go on for forty five minutes, then you’re useless to me and I’m not going to play you.” There was a different mindset about how to bring someone back from injury. So after my first I was able to do camps, I started to play again in the spring of my junior year and I was able to do camps the summer before my senior year. Now, if you’re not recruited for DI, the summer for your senior year, there’s a very slim possibility and you’re probably going to be a walk-on. But I was like, let’s try the slim possibility. So I did eight Back-To-Back recruitment camps that summer and I tore my right knee ACL again, the same one I had to learn the first time for the second time at the last camp. Wow. Yeah. And then so I emailed all the coaches, let them know I still haven’t heard back from some people. I was like starting to hear back. I got a few walk on offers, but the only standing like you are on the team offer I got was DIII with Carlton. I kind of said no at first. I was like very focused on trying to see what else could happen. Then, like the winter of my senior year, like a week before the second ED (early decision) deadline, I decided to do it. Carlton was a great fit for me academically and socially. It was a lot of things that I wanted. I wanted a different environment from New York City. And Minnesota is definitely a different environment.

Caroline: [00:09:43] Wow.

Hannah: [00:09:44] So I went to college and I wasn’t quite rehabbed yet, which was part of the reason I decided to go DIII, I knew that I wasn’t going to be ready. I didn’t get played much at all. My freshman year, I failed all the fitness tests miserably. So I failed the beep test very badly first day freshman year. And then we go into one on ones and I’m like, OK, I got it. This is my moment. We’re going to try to actually show that I came to try to be an asset to this team and I went up against someone and I got headbutted and I split my eye open so I had to go get stitches. My first day, literally the first time I touched the ball. So then I got stitches and I couldn’t play for three days. Then I didn’t start playing my freshman year until like a week into camp. And so that really just set me back for the whole season. But also I wasn’t ready if I’m being totally honest. And then sophomore year I played most of the year and my coach was playing a senior over me in my position. So I was going in a lot to her to ask what I could do. What can I do to get more minutes?

Caroline: [00:10:54] To get on the field right.

Hannah: [00:10:54] I’m beating her in practice. I’m going head-to-head with her all the time. I’m showing you that I’m capable. Like, what can I do to get some minutes? I’m not sure what I’m not doing. Like, is there footwork? Is there shot stuff you want me to work on? What do you want? And so she told me that I was out of shape. I said, OK. She goes, you know what a really good idea would be? Why don’t you do a spin class before practice every day? So I would go to the rec center at my school and I did thirty to forty five minutes of biking before practice every day, and I started to feel it for sure, like I was like, oh there’s like two weeks of the season. We got to try to make it like there’s a bit left. Let’s do this and then the second to last game of the season I got put in, which I was, like, really happy because she was literally not putting me in the games at all. Just like five minutes into when she put me in, I just tore my left ACL.

Caroline: [00:11:46] That was the third time you had torn ACL.

Hannah: [00:11:48] It was the first time my left knee, but my third ACL tear. And then so I just finished out the semester at school and I went home for break. I got surgery, came back, went abroad that spring and while I was abroad and I was like going to a gym and doing all my rehab and everything. I tore my meniscus in a pool.

Caroline: [00:12:12] So not soccer related.

Hannah: [00:12:13] Well, isn’t it isn’t because I tore it when I tore my ACL, but it was such a small tear that my surgeon hoped that it would repair during the rehab process. But what ended up happening is I just tore it. So I went home that summer before my junior season and I had to get knee surgery and I decided not to play my junior college. I was called the Stats Master I kept the book for the team. I didn’t redshirt because I knew with my injuries I was never going to use that year. So I just was on the team and I was like a sideline player technically. But I never I never put on shin guards. I would like put on my cleats and I just looked at the stats book on the side. Then I was like, I just want my senior season. So I came back. I did my senior season halfway through my senior season. I was like, yeah, my knees bothering me more than usual. I think I’m might have torn my meniscus a little bit more. But I just waited out my senior year and I got surgery after I graduated.

Caroline: [00:13:16] Five total knee surgeries. Definitely takes a toll on your body.

Hannah: [00:13:20] Yeah, I can’t run anymore. That’s like the biggest thing. I really love running. I’m also sorry that was such a long and rambling way of telling you the timeline.

Caroline: [00:13:29] No, no.

Hannah: [00:13:32] When you know that your body is capable of doing something mentally but it can’t physically react or it reacts in a way that’s painful, that you know, that it’s going to be bad in the long term. There’s this very frustrating dialogue that’s going on in your head because it’s like I can run and I do not appear to be injured, but I am. It took me a while to accept that I was basically always going to be physically impaired, and that didn’t mean that I wasn’t tough enough. I think that there’s a narrative a lot of the time that you rehab. And I think rehab means different things, not only with different injuries, but at different parts in your life. Right now I have rehabbed, but I can’t run. Running’s going to cause me to develop a cyst, which it has, and I need another surgery or it’s going to tear my meniscus more or it’s going to strain my joints, but I’m in pain and I can’t walk around. There’s just like constant adjusting. How much like when I go hang out with a friend, I need to know what we’re going to do so that I can work out a certain way earlier in the day and make sure that I’m not in pain. If we’re like go on an hour long walk because a certain level of activity is going to affect what I’m able to do just in my day to day life side jobs that I could have in college or stuff. I could bartend. It would be really hard for my knees to do something like that where you’re standing all the time. So there’s just a constant analysis of where I’m at physically,

Caroline: [00:15:13] What you can and cannot do with your body

Hannah: [00:15:15] Yeah, exactly.

Caroline: [00:15:18] Forward Progress is sponsored by Hi-Viz Safety Wear. They’re a leading provider of high visibility apparel. So if you need safety vests or hoodies and jackets in the wintertime to keep your crews safe and warm, give them a call at 888-554-4849 or visit their website at wearitforsafety.com. They also offer in-house logo printing. That’s 888-554-4849. Or wearitforsafety.com. Nobody does Hi-Viz better.

Caroline: [00:15:50] Talking a little bit more about self-reflection, body and identity. Your blog H.R.H. blog. You share a lot of personal stories of, you know, reflecting on your sporting experiences, on your injuries and just kind of the identity that you have now as a retired athlete. So what made you want to share those stories?

Hannah: [00:16:14] I think I just accepted how much of my life it is. I mean, it is not only a major part of my childhood, my high school and college experiences, but also just who I am. And it’s going to affect my life for the rest of my life. I think that’s definitely something that I think about a lot, is if this is where my knees are at at twenty-three, I’m terrified to know what my body is going to feel like at 30. And I think I was just kind of sitting with that and I was like, why do I like I don’t think I was suppressing it in a way that I was emotionally ignoring how much it impacted my life. But I just have never felt like I really had anyone to talk to about it. And so I think I just kind of was like I’m not the only person who’s experienced this. And there are tons of other people who have and I love writing and I really like creating visual stimuli and just being creatively active. That’s a big part of who I am. And I was like, why can’t I morph that I’m an athlete and I’m a creative and just create a platform to have that synthesis because I don’t feel like I get to do that a lot. And that might be really inspiring. And I feel like it’s inspiring to me, which is I keep writing for it. But I mean, I.

Caroline: [00:17:33] Definitely.

Hannah: [00:17:34] I don’t know what the reception is, but yeah, that’s my long winded answer is just to talk.

Sophia: [00:17:42] Do you ever talk about your injuries or that process with anyone in college? Like did you ever see a sports psychologist or do you talk about it with trainers that are in the athletic training room and they’re helping you along with the process? Or was it this super lonely and isolating thing because none of your teammates were going through it and you were just kind of on your own and didn’t seek out that support?

Hannah: [00:18:03] So in high school, I had a sports trainer at my school. He honestly became like my best friend in high school, like I really did isolate myself socially. I do not speak to anyone I went to high school with really at all. I don’t really feel like I have friends from high school and I’m OK with that. I really felt in high school like no one knew what was going on. Not that like this is the biggest thing that anyone’s ever had to go through. I’m fine. But teenagers don’t get the idea of not being able to go on a walk. So I think I just got tired of having to explain to people why I couldn’t do things all the time, that I was just like, you know what, soccer is what I care about anyway. So I’m just going to focus on that. I went to the gym every single day after high school and I just did PT (physical therapy). And then I went home and I did my homework or did PT and then I went to practice. And then in college, I really did not have a very good relationship with my coach. So I did not talk to her about it. I once tried to open up about it and she told me I was emotionally unstable. I don’t think that she would view it that way, but that was how I received it. The weight room coach who came in junior and senior year I talk to about it, but I was pretty far down the process of knowing how to handle it and deal with it. At that point, I was already five years into dealing with ACLs by the time I was a junior in college. So I think honestly, I can be a very clinical about how I talk about it and just how I come off dealing with it, because I definitely have a sense of, well, there’s no other option than to deal with it, not to minimize that it’s difficult and it is an emotional journey. But I think I decided by the time I was seventeen that I would be unhappy if I didn’t sacrifice myself to have some kind of sports career. So I think after I made that decision, it was like, well, I made this choice. I chose to do this. I chose to deal with this injury. I didn’t know that I was going to tear it for a third time. I didn’t know that I was going to ruin my meniscus. But I also wouldn’t take away soccer from my life.

Sophia: [00:20:17] No doubt. No, I hear what you’re saying. But that’s also the importance about having a community and a support system around you that if you feel supported by certain people and even having one coach that cares about you, it makes all the difference. And not just someone that asks you, how are you dealing with an injury like everyone’s going to ask you when you have crutches, like, how are you doing? But someone that’s really going to ask you about school or family life or how you’re adjusting and things like that. So it’s really important to have people that check up on you. And then also just understanding when you’re dedicating yourself to a sport or some kind of sporting environment is that you don’t want to let anyone down. And there’s this sense of commitment that you said, OK, well, I’m going to put myself through this. And I said I was going to put myself through this. So don’t feel sorry for me when I go through the tough parts about it, whether it’s physical or mental or emotional. Don’t feel sorry because I chose this. But at the same time, it’s really important that our sport experiences are healthy, whether we choose them or not. And I’m glad that you have found the blog, something that you feel comfortable with sharing, not just the bad stuff, but also how you found community with it. And I think there are certainly people out there that are going to be able to relate to the isolating feelings of having injuries and maybe not being able to have that support system as strong in certain moments. But then also understanding this is an incredible commitment to sport, I think some people are going to hear you say I wouldn’t be happy without soccer, and they’re going to be like, OK, she’s crazy. But same time, it says a lot about the capacity that sports holds to make people feel valued. And I think that’s really important.

Hannah: [00:21:50] Part of the blog journey that I realized since diving in is how much I did honestly isolate myself and just deal with it on my own. And I think the other thing is that I really love soccer and I think that’s a very true thing. And I have never felt as happy as when I’m an athlete. And that’s something I struggle with, like trying to find a professional field that I find engaging in like a job that I like because nothing has ever satisfied me the way sports have.

Caroline: [00:22:16] What do you think is the biggest thing that you’ve learned through sharing your own personal stories on the blog and talking to other athletes?

Sophia: [00:22:25] Honey, that’s a book.

Hannah: [00:22:26] I think honestly, like how many people don’t necessarily feel like they have a support system to talk about this with? There’s a reason why there are so many people out there like trying to talk about what being a female athlete is like, because I think I’m not going to say female. I’m just an athlete that feels undervalued a lot. I think that there’s a lot with that experience in our society where it is almost inherently isolating because of how little acknowledgement you get a lot during your career. You do really need to push and prove yourself, show that you’re tough enough all the time. I think a lot of this process has made me really reflect about all the different things that have affected my life I didn’t realize affected my life. Know, you get guys coming up to you who are like Hot Shots on the soccer team or football players like, well, soccer is not a real sport. Like, come on, it’s not contact. Like, there’s just constant narrative, but somehow.

Caroline: [00:23:22] It’s not quite as tough or something.

Hannah: [00:23:24] Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I think that that in and of itself is inherently isolating because you feel constantly like you have to prove yourself. And I think a lot of people just shut down. It’s just like, all right, I’m just going to show you, like I think that’s a lot of my attitude to even was like my knees is it’s like I’m going to rehab, I’m just going to come back. There’s no other option was never I never really thought about that decision. It was like, that’s what’s happening.

Sophia: [00:23:49] And I hope the narrative is changing, by the way. I mean, yeah, I love what you said and I think, you know, I love what Najee Harris, the running back for Alabama, said about Rapinoe and how he emulated her famous World Cup pose. And he said, you know, what she’s doing for women on and off the field is inspiring to me. And she’s the top of her sport. And so I think the more we just show women as athletes, as leaders, as human beings, then everyone has an opportunity to acknowledge them as full human beings. And it doesn’t have to be about the struggle. It could just be about what they really mean. So.

Hannah: [00:24:21] One hundred percent. Yeah, I love that.

Caroline: [00:24:23] Ok, you know, you said that you really like to get kind of crafty and you had mentioned before that you want to get into design if you were a designer for Nike or something. And we know you love sneakers. So we are curious to know if you could design your own sneaker, what would it look like?

Hannah: [00:24:40] Oh, my God! That’s such a hard question!

Caroline: [00:24:41] Okay! i know

Hannah: [00:24:47] Honestly, I want to do a custom. Jordan, to myself.

Caroline: [00:24:55] Those are really cool. We saw like Kate Fagan made one. So cool

Hannah: [00:25:00] Yeah, I might also do an Air Force One, like I like an all-white high top with Velcro Classic but make an off-White White one where it’s kind of like a ton of different tones of white. So it looks like a classic, but it’s like a little different. Do you mean like little Yankee Sign or like a Brooklyn on the back then. My name. That’s my answer for now.

Caroline: [00:25:24] I like it. That’s good. That’s good.

Sophia: [00:25:26] Off the cuff, that was detailed.

Caroline: [00:25:28] Ok, growing up, what is a sport that you wish you saw more of or knew about?

Hannah: [00:25:33] Ok, low key. I think I would have so much fun as a hockey player. I would love like it’s so physical.

Caroline: [00:25:44] Yeah. You would love the contact. Oh my God.

Hannah: [00:25:47] Oh my god

Sophia: [00:25:49] You’d be a goon. Like send her out there to fight people.

Hannah: [00:25:53] I loved skating as a kid too I, I was literally a recipe for disaster at all points in my life. I would like try to do flips and sh** flips and stuff on the ice and.

Sophia: [00:26:06] We edit this, it’s OK.

Caroline: [00:26:08] I’m leaving that in there.

Hannah: [00:26:13] You know, I can do like the ballerina, I’m going to do it. This thing.

Sophia: [00:26:18] She’s going to tear her ACL for the sixth time-

Caroline: [00:26:19] Oh my God, stop. Why would you? ooo That was good.

Sophia: [00:26:23] Last question.

Caroline: [00:26:24] What is your ideal ice cream sandwich?

Hannah: [00:26:26] OK, I’ve been thinking about this a lot. OK, I have three.

Caroline: [00:26:31] OK, let us know,

Hannah: [00:26:33] Very different. Ok, so Ben and Jerry’s is my go to. So I would say tonight dough is like and always in the freezer situation. If I’m home in Brooklyn Van Lewen, their thing is that they’re vegan, but they also have non vegan flavors. And it’s actually some of the best ice cream I’ve ever eaten in my entire life.

Sophia: [00:26:55] We love vegan ice cream. You don’t have to convince us.

Caroline: [00:26:58] Yeah, we’re here for it.

Hannah: [00:27:01] Okay. Like, the salted caramel is shockingly good. And then I have a nostalgic ice cream, which is I grew up going to summer camp my entire life. Total summer camp kid, by the way, like I love summer camp. And by my camp, there’s this tiny little dairy farm that they would take us to as like a special occasion. And it’s like this little hut and they have one flavor. And so you get whatever they make and it’s soft serve. And I kid you not. It’s the best soft serve I’ve ever had. It’s called Donneley’s and it’s by Lake Placid, New York.

Caroline: [00:27:37] Oh, I love Lake Placid.

Hannah: [00:27:40] And I’m not a fruit person like I’m a very chocolate caramel. Give me all the goods type of ice creamer. I also still put sprinkles on my ice cream. I feel that they’re necessary.

Caroline: [00:27:53] Totally acceptable.

Hannah: [00:27:53] Everyone makes fun of me for it. Yeah, Donley’s like the vanilla and raspberry swirl chefs kiss.

Sophia: [00:28:01] Do you call them sprinkles or jimmies?

Hannah: [00:28:02] Sprinkles.

Caroline: [00:28:04] Jimmies is weird. Do you call them Jimmies, Sophia?

Sophia: [00:28:07] No I-

Hannah: [00:28:07] Sophia would.

Caroline: [00:28:08] She would you know why. Because instead of Four-Square she calls it box ball.

Sophia: [00:28:13] Is it box ball or Four-Square. Do you call it something.

Hannah: [00:28:16] Four square. When I saw that I was like what

Sophia: [00:28:18] By the way, everyone in New Jersey calls it box ball.

Caroline: [00:28:21] That’s a lie not everybody.

Sophia: [00:28:22] OK, everyone outside of New Jersey was texting me like I lost my credibility. What the heck are you talking about? My friend who grew up in Australia, who now coaches college football, Heather was like called it something way different.

Caroline: [00:28:38] Yeah, but their weird was the Australian stuff completely different. Ok, but you didn’t say what you would use as your kids.

Sophia: [00:28:46] Oh, yes. We got the ice cream ice cream sandwich. Just an ice cream sandwich. What do you have ice cream had. What do you have as the sandwich?

Hannah: [00:28:55] As the sandwich. I would do my mother’s homemade chocolate chip cookies, which I know every mom makes the best. My mom makes the best chocolate chip cookies.

Caroline: [00:29:06] Ok, ok.

Hannah: [00:29:09] Do you guys watch friends. Remember when that episode when Phoebe… It’s like I’m trying to figure out my mom, my grandmother’s chocolate cookie recipe and I can’t figure out and it’s an entire- ugh Caroline.

Caroline: [00:29:20] I’m sorry. OK, you continue with the story.

Hannah: [00:29:27] Does this whole recipes to get different chocolate chips and then it turns out that it was just the recipe on the back of the Nes Lee chocolate chip. I think I’ve heard about this. That is the recipe indeed. But my mother just spices up with some all different sugar combinations and also the amount that she puts into a cookie.

Caroline: [00:29:47] I like chocolate chip cookies that have nuts in them.

Hannah: [00:29:49] She puts pecans in

Caroline: [00:29:51] oo pecans. We normally put walnuts, but I like the pecans that she walnuts.

Sophia: [00:29:57] Anyway.

Caroline: [00:30:00] Well, thank you so much for talking with us again. I know we’ve talked a few times and have spent hours on the telephone.

Hannah: [00:30:10] I’m sorry. But I feel like my answers are so rambling, but thank you so much for having me. I honestly was so delighted to get the invite.

Caroline: [00:30:20] Thank you.

Sophia: [00:30:22] Thanks, Hannah. And we’re also going to put all the links and stuff so people can follow you and follow H.R.H. blog and hopefully interact with all your stuff.

Hannah: [00:30:31] Amazing! Thank you so much.

Sophia: [00:30:32] No problem.

Hannah: [00:30:34] You guys are the best.

Sophia: [00:30:35] Well (shrugs)

Hannah: [00:30:36] Love you guys.

Caroline: [00:30:37] Well (laughter)

Caroline: [00:30:43] We hope you enjoyed our conversation with Hannah. Follow H.R.H. blog on Instagram. Check out the website and tune in to the weekly Instagram lives. Sophia, I’m curious to know what your biggest takeaway was from our conversation with Hannah.

Sophia: [00:30:58] You know, for me as a coach, which is how I kind of perceive, you know, how she was talking about being a soccer player was that coaches can kind of play a huge role even when you’re not on the field and not healthy. You know, you’re playing a huge role in your athletes’ lives, whether they’re playing or they’re injured. And so while she was talking about her relationship with her coach and even relationship with herself, and how connected could you be with the team when you’re injured and all those sorts of things? I just thought of it as we always have an important role, whether the athletes are healthy or not. And that’s kind of what I took away in terms of what my job is and how can I be better when guys are hurt and how can I value them at all times, even when they’re not able to perform maybe at the highest level or perform at all on the field. People are human and, you know, sometimes we can forget that. So just a person in general, my takeaway was how strong she is. You go through five surgeries and she says she has to go for another six one at some point. And that takes a toll on you mentally and physically. And so I think just kind of the resilience that she has, she’s a lot stronger than she thinks she is. It’s really cool to meet someone like that who’s so resilient, strong and is open enough to talk about those things.

Caroline: [00:32:04] I just admire how much I love Hannah has for the game, especially now, even when she can’t play it and she’s not playing it competitively. But just throughout her whole sporting career and throughout her journey of those five knee injuries, she never lost love for the game. She didn’t hate it or feel like it owed her anything. She just gave it her all every single time because that was what she wanted to do. She wanted to play soccer and she did it.

Sophia: [00:32:33] Very well said. I like that.

Caroline: [00:32:40] Forward Progress is produced by Caroline Mattise with a little help from Sophia Lewin.

Sophia: [00:32:44] True.

Caroline: [00:32:45] And is brought to you by best available player. Find more podcasts, articles and video content related to sports and entertainment on bestavailableplayer.com. All the music in this podcast is by James Barrett, a good friend and an even better musician. Be sure to check him out on your favorite music streaming platform. And because we’re all about inclusivity and accessibility, each podcast of Forward Progress will be transcribed and available on bestavailableplayer.com.

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