Barker's Bites: My Last Preseason
Madeline Barker

Madeline Barker
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Aug. 12, 2013

The following is the first of a biweekly blog that senior Madeline (Maddy) Barker will write for the Georgia soccer team during the 2013 season.The blogs will be published exclusively on Georgiadogs.com.

By Maddy Barker

Have you ever heard the warning, “It goes by way too fast”?

Well, I have. And I am here to tell you that those people were right. Here I am, a senior, entering my last season as a Georgia Bulldog and the experience I have had is incomparable to anything I ever imagined. This is the first entry of a blog I will be writing to update our fans about what life is like as a Soccer Dawg. I will save a sappy tear-jerker entry for after we win the national title. As for this entry, I will give you a little insight as to what preseason has been like this past week.

Monday morning came, just like we expected, with a 6:30 a.m. alarm clock buzzer and we were off to breakfast at the complex. Shortly after an anxious digestion, the 2013 Bulldogs found themselves on the touch line responding swiftly as Coach Holeman yelled “Go!” -- beginning the fitness test we all know and love – ManU. As for me and the rest of the seniors, this was familiar territory as we have kicked off the previous three preseasons in this exact manner. We all got through it together and thus began what I pray will be an amazing season. For the first time since I have been at UGA, all 16 of the wide-eyed freshmen, along with the returners, willingly reported to school in early July to have captain-run practices and morning workouts with our strength trainer, Katrin. This was an opportunity for the newcomers to mesh with the returners before we actually had to compete against one another in the hype of what preseason practices entail. It has been an excellent improvement to our program, and we can already see our team reaping the benefits of coming in a few weeks early.

Eat, Practice, Ice, Eat, Sleep, Practice, Ice, Eat, Practice, Ice, and Sleep.

That is preseason in a nutshell, in case anyone was curious. Our day begins by waking up to refuel our bodies, giving everything we have at practice, and then going off to nap until it is time to report back at the fields. It’s grueling, and in previous years I would be the first to admit it, but this year is different. This is my last preseason. It is my last chance to absorb everything this program, these girls, these coaches and staff has to offer me, and I will be taking advantage of every single moment of it. I find myself dreading the end of practice even when I am exhausted. I know my days are limited, and with each practice I am one day closer to no longer being affiliated with this program. And that terrifies me.

Saying that I love this game is an understatement, and saying that I love these girls is an even bigger one. These people have been my soccer family for the past three years. If I make one point today, it is that I know in my heart I am not ready for this chapter in my life to be over. I will do everything in my power to extend this season for as long as possible. Our goal is to win the SEC and the national championship. And the best part is that every person on this roster is on board with that plan.

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