originally from Madison, WI
With strength coach Eric Cressey, I was strong & quick, making it possible to become a handball goalkeeper for Boston Team Handball Club(fka The New England Freeze in 2009) First indoor competition had handball concussion 31Oct 09 & was rear-ended, another concussion 31Dec 09. Developed post-concussion syndrome, wrote Tell Me This: Encouragement and Hope After Brain Injury, pocket guide for those dealing with mTBI. Joined MIT BrainTrust as a survivor. Began speaking for the BIA-MA Ambassador program and advocating for brain injured athletes. With tech support from a MIT BrainTrust buddy, I started a YouTube channel Tell Me This in hopes to break the isolation of athletes struggling with post concussion syndrome and help others with their recovery around the world.
Writing Kempa Cambridge USA is in honor of my amazing experience with handball and my diverse international teammates of BTH. As a former soccer goalkeeper and ice hockey player, handball is my all time sports zenith. I never felt more alive than when I was in the handball goal. It's a fantastic sport & I hope that it catches on like wild fire overtaking American Football. Everywhere else in the world it's handball, as everywhere else soccer is football. The athleticism is phenomenal...you have GOT to see this game! And the goalkeepers.....I love them ALL.
Writing foi&GRACE is in dedication to all who are working to save our planet, save folks with post-concussion syndrome/sequela, save our sanity...a new eSeries about a multiple concussed, disabled female athlete and her MassGeneral Hospital ER Physician's Assistant roommate, navigating their personal/global challenges with humor, faith and grace & engaging all around them to be "All In" to save our glorious planet-NOW!
Photo by Robin Chan
Website by Nader Shaar
YouTube Tech Support by Kelly Yinghua Shen
As an American how did you find out about handball?
When I was a freshman at UW-Madison I played on the varsity women's soccer team. That winter I received a call from an Olympic recruiter wondering if I would be interested in training for the 1984 LA Olympics women's handball goalie. I said I didn't know the sport & they replied that was okay, they would teach me. I said I was focused on going to graduate school early and declined the offer. Biggest regret of my life. From 1981 until March 2009 the regret would rear it's ugly head. I read a book about a guy starting bike racing in his 30's and was very encouraging to start new sports later in life. So I went on line to the US national handball site & found out there was a team in Cambridge. I went to the next practice to watch this sport that I turned down....they would have trained me! A shot at being in the Olympics! What an opportunity missed. But who would have thought 28 years later I would have a chance to play handball after all?
Why do you say the US has third world handball?
Because it is played all over the world and is just developing here in the States even though it's been an Olympic sport for decades. In many countries the handball clubs have financial abilities so that players do not have to pay for jerseys, tournaments, travel & hotel fees, etc. Many Europeans arrive and are shocked that they will have to pay their own way. More clubs are gaining non-profit status and getting some sponsorship to help with gym rental fees, uniforms, etc. In the Northeast travel for tournaments can be as far as West Point, NY, NYC and Washington, DC.
2 roommates, a multiple concussion disabled female athlete & MGH Physician's Assistant work through personal/global issues in real time, with humor, faith & grace, engaging everyone to be 'all in' to save the world.
A quarantine TBI & COVID-19 coping, hilarious yet profound fairy tale, proving ANYTHING is possible when you believe in the magical powers of love, benevolent forces of the universe & twin monogamous Mister Bonds.
International Women's Day on the tail of the MA Presidential Primary, errand running, living sustainable high standards, family dynamic button pushing and crying at the koalas. There is something for everyone in episode 3, Globe Walking Women.
4 women (2 handball goalkeepers: French MIT grad student & American recovering from concussions, a Harvard linguistics PhD candidate & a Cambridge public librarian) The challenge of "third world" handball in the US is quite an adjustment for those arriving to Boston but the diverse international teammates bond as a big family, enjoying being together off & on the court.