Monday, July 6, 2009

Holding Court: Blogging in from the 18th Maccabiah Games

The 18th Maccabiah Games will open Sunday, July 12. And Heebonics is proud to share with you the thoughts, feelings, observations and reports from our newest blogger: Adina Herbert.

A Toronto native, Adina will be playing for Gold as part of the Canadian Women's Basketball team. She's also kindly offered to blog for us from Israel during the games. We wish her well and can't wait to read her reports. Keep reading this space for her updates throughout the next two weeks.

And so, without further ado, here's Adina in her own words, with a special pre-games introduction.

- Heebonics

Hi and welcome to my new blog!

A few weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to write this blog, documenting my experience as a women’s basketball player at the Maccabi Games in Israel. Since I leave for the games in less than a week, I figured it would be good to talk a little about me, and my feelings about returning to Israel after a two-year hiatus. It has been two years since I’ve been to Israel, longer since I’ve played basketball as a university undergrad.

And so my anticipation of my upcoming trip to Israel is quite deep, for one main reason. (Well, two if you consider the rust that remains from my previous ‘retirement’ from such intense physical exertion; the beer leagues are calling my name.)

Israel seems to change for me every time I visit. I’ve been many times; as a tourist, a volunteer, a fan, and a family member. Every visit I arrive with a grounded sense of how I feel about the place, and I always leave with a slightly altered view. It’s that the country, all it stands for, and all it represents to me as a twenty-something Canadian Jew shifts inside of me with every visit.

I’ve had times in my life where I’ve believed, without question, in my connection to my heritage, my past, and my faith. There are other times when I have not been so sure. But what I’m certain about is that Israel remains for me a place in which I can discover what it all truly means to me. This time I have a unique opportunity to use the Maccabi Games as a way to connect and reconnect yet again with those values that I hold so dear, and even the ones that I have forgotten at times. So for the next few weeks, I will have this in my mind as I compete for Canada in the sport I love more than anything.

Basketball is one of the true loves of my life. It is not often when you can grasp the love of your life in the place that you hold so tightly in your heart. If I have let that opportunity slip once, I wouldn’t again. So when 450 Canadian Maccabi athletes disembark from that plane on Friday (mind you with identical Maccabi Canada-administered luggage), I will be the first to metaphorically kiss the ground I am walking on, and take in every moment.

So stick with me and bear with me. It will be a ride, and I hope that I can take you along in the upcoming weeks.


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