The Calm.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

[THE PITCH] You are enjoying fine food and fine company at a spring picnic when suddenly you realize the wind has stopped blowing. It’s eerily quiet… As if someone has turned off the soundtrack of whistling winds, chirping birds, and even rustling leaves. It’s calm… And in that moment of silence all that exists is a collective consciousness among cohorts…Not a cloud in the sky above…Hmmm…Instinctively you gather your belongings…A storm is coming.

The old adage “the calm before the storm” has been used for decades. Many believe it’s merely a wives tale or a myth, stemming from a sailor’s fabricated sixth sense. But we know now that under the right conditions, an unnerving calm can indeed befall the scene just before a system moves in. And the pressure from this storm-precursor is as real as it is perceivable. 

Two weeks ago after our 1-1 draw with Mallbackens IF (a team lingering on the bottom half of the Damallsvenskan table), a few players from our team stayed behind after the game. Caught deep in thoughts…It was quiet. The soundtrack of whistling referees, chirping coaches , and even the rustling crowd…stifled. It was calm… And in that moment of silence all that existed was a unanimous feeling of frustration made visible on the faces of my ‘coworkers.’ I look up to check for clouds. Clear skies. That’s strange… because I feel the storm coming.

As far as Mother Nature goes, a storm’s upward drafts suck up a tremendous amount of vapor and heat. The air swoops upward, compresses, and then cycles back down from above, but warmer and drier. The now more stable air forms a blanket over the lower troposphere, acting as a temporary shield, preventing more air from entering the storm clouds, and producing what we know as “the calm before the storm.”

What is more curious to me, however, is that if not for this cyclical and counter-intuitive process, the clouds would not have enough energy to storm at all.  And that much I can understand. If you’re an athlete, you are probably familiar with the feeling of anxious restlessness after a loss. Not every loss is like this, as sometimes you leave the field feeling flat. However in this case, the “loss” actually came in the form of an unacceptable tie; and as we stepped off the pitch after the Mallbacken debacle knowing we can do better, we were of collective consciousness and our mind was already at the next game: our chance for redemption.

The result both emotionally and physically exhausted us… sucking up our vapor and heat… I used one shaking hand to steady the other as my teammate clenched her jaw to suppress her anger… the air swoops up and compresses… and yet our hearts pumped and our muscles tensed…cycling back down…Regardless of its many and varied manifestations, the forecast was clear. A new energy was among us…a force …a disturbance of sorts. For then, we made it rain…



  1. I love this post Christen. Absolutely loved it. This was the best part: "For then, we made it rain…"

  2. Christen, you are not only skilled in soccer but also as a writer ! you do not cease to impress me ! you are an amazing woman... a role model to many.