If you haven't heard of the Iowa Phoenix they are Iowa's only women's full tackle football team. When I was asked to attend the Iowa Phoenix Football Clinic I was equally excited and apprehensive.
Sure, I have watched many friends play throughout the years and even have colleagues that played at college and NFL levels. I can tell you that I love watching football. I feel like have a fairly above average grasp and every fall you can see me cheering on the Hawkeyes! But, actually playing is a whole different ball game.
The women who are members of the Iowa Phoenix are some incredibly athletic individuals. I thought I was up for the challenge. I'm rarely one to miss out on fun and always need something to burn off some extra energy. For 3 hours I learned how to pass, catch, tackle, run routes, and the clinic ended with a scrimmage compiled of Phoenix players and football camp attendees. The quarterback had it out for me. She cut me off in the end zone but I got her back with a chair route. I did pretty well and it was extremely fun.
Following was a week I could not walk or squat properly from "over doing it". Even locking the door to the clothing store I worked at part-time required help from an associate. The chuckles in the office were reminders that I'm not as fit I should be and the stories that ensued are priceless; both at my expense and their stories of football past. I hands down will never give players (current or former) grief for what they put their bodies through. They have conditioning coaches for a reason! Oh, and Epsom salt baths are amazing.
About a week or two went by and the friend of mine who invited me to the clinic invited me out for drinks with her and to my surprise another Iowa Phoenix teammate. They asked me if I was going to try out. I'm not small but let me tell you; they said that I was too small to be on the line and I'm fast. They kept throwing out the position Strong Safety. I seriously thought about it. My family and agents in the office said they'd even travel to Des Moines to watch me play. At the end I kindly declined. Living in that moment my lifetime childhood dream of being *Ice Box was fulfilled. I did agree to be the unofficial Iowa Phoenix Woman Football Fan Club President for the 2019 season.
*Ice Box was the nickname given to the girl football player from the motion picture Little Giants, circa 1994.