About Texas Women's Highland Games

Our Purpose:

To increase awareness and involvement of women in the sport of the Highland Games. Promoting a fun, active, family friendly and competitive sport by providing information and resources to all those interested in joining us in our continuing adventures!

Please see our FAQ page for all those burning questions you have about how you participate, what to do, who to talk to and where to go!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Meet Keli "The Amazon" Glover!

My name is Keli and I am a 34 year old mother of two very busy children. I live a very busy life where I am chauffer, maid, chef, and of course cheerleader for my active 11 year old and 14 year old. I am also an overweight, slightly lazy woman that loves ice cream and a good cheeseburger way more than I should. Not really someone you would look at and think, “Hey she must be an athlete.” Don’t get me wrong. I have pursued many different activities for varying lengths of time including running, weight lifting, boxing, and bike riding, all with varying degrees of intensity and success. I still would much rather sit on the couch and read a book.
About a year ago I met some of the most amazing people I have ever known. Friendly, helpful, down to earth, foul mouthed, funny, caring…I could go on and on. They were athletes of all shapes and sizes, but their one uniting factor: they wanted to teach people all about their sport. They were Highland Gamers. My husband, Jim, had entered a Highland Games just for the fun of it and these awesome folks bent over backwards to help him and to make sure he had a good time. By the end of the day, he had learned so much and had such a great time, he was hooked…and so was I. I decided I just had to try it. You see not only were men involved in this crazy sport, but women were as well. And these women weren’t catty, they didn’t care that I was fat and didn’t have on makeup with every hair in place. They were awesome. And they all wanted me to come outside and play.
Unfortunately that would have to wait. That particular event pretty much marked the end of the Highland Games “season” in these here parts and I would have to wait 3 months for a Games close enough for me to go to. During these three months, Jim and I practiced what we could with what equipment we could piece together; but without someone to show me what I was doing, I didn’t make any forward progress. February rolled around and with it, the Texas “kickoff” games were fast approaching. We of course wanted to enter, but a family conflict would keep us from competition. We heard tell of a seminar being put on by the Vincent Brothers, Matt and Andy Vincent the day before the games and decided we could make it to that if we drove down and back to our eastern Oklahoma home in one day. (let me just interject here and say, if you ever get a chance to do an all day or even half day clinic with one or both of these guys, DO IT!) I learned so much that day! I came home sore from head to toe, hungry as a hippo, and so excited to compete in my first games.
April and the Iron Thistle was my first. Eight women of varying degrees of
experience, a beautiful day, an awesome location, all combined to make a fantastic time. The best thing about your first games, every throw is a PR (personal record) and the “old timers” will tell you It probably will never happen again. I ended the day in 7th place, which was better than I had expected to do by a long shot. Since then I have done 3 more games. A “backyard” games in late July gave me some much needed practice as well as a couple of new PRs and very nearly a heat stroke, but a darn good time none the less. At the Tulsa Scottish Festival in September I really felt like I was getting the hang of some of this stuff and even won two of the events (I must mention that this is only because two seasoned veterans I was competing against decided to bomb out on the height events and handed it to me on a silver platter. Thanks Britt and Terri!) My kids even gave it a whirl in the “lads and lasses” highland games for kids and both of them loved it. Several PRs at Tulsa gave me a much needed ego boost and some footwork drills shown to me by a short bald man I am convinced may be a leprechaun, gave me something extra to work on at home. This all brings me to October and the Texas Celtic Women’s Challenge where I was honored to compete on a team of 5 women against two other 5 women teams. As far as I am concerned, this is the ultimate Women’s highland games event and everyone should give it a try at least once. Each team makes up a cool name, the prizes are sweet, and the swag was outstanding. My team, Blood Bath & Beyond, ended up winning, but it had to be a close one, as the teams were neck and neck all day. I ended the day with 5 PRs out of 8 events, and while my throws are nowhere near as good as several of the women there, I was extremely pleased to have beaten my previous best efforts and I feel that helped my team get the win.
I have had an awesome year. I made a million great memories, met a lot of great new friends, spent some quality time with my husband, and I can’t wait to do it all again. My season is over for now, but I see a lot of work in my future over the winter. Next year I plan to do twice as many games, I want to see some big PRs, and I want to turn that $@#* caber.

As ever photo credits to Larry Ventress at Pioneer Photography. http://pioneerphotography.photoreflect.com/store/store.aspx

Check Keli's Scores here

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