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!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Our Northern Sister - Alison Tostevin

I launched my first implement 27 years ago, I quit throwing 12 years ago, and I started living again 5 summers ago, on a grassy field 15 miles away from where I had previously ended my throwing career.
Highland Games literally changed my whole outlook on life. I started and had success pretty early on throwing shot puts and discuses all over the place. My travels on the track and field train took me from one corner of the US to the other and then back again. I saw and experienced things that my tiny shipbuilding town in Maine could never have offered me. Track and Field helped to pay my way through college and introduced me to some of my best friends, but in the end it left me physically and mentally defeated. In May of my Sr. year of college at Tufts University I took what I believed to be my last competitive throw, and I couldn’t have been more HAPPY. I left my rotational
shoes on the ground and I didn’t look back.

Fast forward 8 years, I was about to turn 30, my life was, how shall we say this, lacking something? Then I met a gentleman by the name of Bruce Coal, he worked at my mother’s school, and he was the former athletic director for the Maine Highland games and the current executive director of the whole Maine Highland Games festival. He put a bug in my ear in September, “hey Alison, I know you can throw you should come out and train with us.” “Hey Alison, we have never had a local woman compete in the games, you could be the first!” “Hey Alison.”, “Hey Alison.” He was relentless, and at first I wanted nothing to do with it. I was retired, and I hated to throw, Right? But as the snow flew and the buds on the trees grew I started to get that feeling, that itch. Maybe just maybe what my life was lacking was something to throw around. In May of 2008 I decided to sign up for the games. I decided to get back to the gym and start lifting so that I wouldn’t hurt myself throwing. I joined a small group of throwers anchored by Bruce and they taught me all that they could. Within a few weeks I felt like I had been born again. I even decided to do a game prior to the Maine games. In July I competed for the first time at Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival in North Hampton Ma, right down the road from where I went to college at UMass Amherst. It was love at first Braemar; everyone was so welcoming and helpful there was no pressure; it was the complete opposite of track and field.

Last weekend I competed for the second time at the Woman’s Highland Team Challenge put on by the North Texas Heavies. I couldn’t wait to get back there this year, 2011 had been one of my all-time favorite competitions. I mean I bought my plane ticket back in July. It was a bit unfortunate for me this year in that I have been battling some nagging annoying injuries. So I took much of the month of September off to see if I could get pain free again. I was able to throw through the first four events with little to no pain, and a fair amount of success, nearing or exceeding my PR’s for the season. I even had what was described to me and a huge foul in the LWD. A far cry to a few weeks prior when walking hurt. I put together some good distances and was even lucky enough to win a Landrich LWD by getting second in overall distance LW and HW combined. Yah you read that right I WON A FREAKING WEIGHT! Who has prizes like that? The TCAA does that’s who!!!
After the first four events it was kind of downhill for me, but you know what, it doesn’t matter. It actually allowed me to be more of a social butterfly. The past two years the ladies I have met in Ft. Worth have been some of the best people I have met in all of Highland. It’s a cast of characters alright, filled to the brim with sass, crass, and an ass covered in orange bloomers. I am honored to call these ladies from all over the country my friends. Really isn’t that what it’s all about. I encourage anyone and everyone to get their butts to Texas next October. Y’all don’t know what you’re missing. If it’s not enough to talk about the amazing prizes, great goody bags, and southern hospitality, can I interest you in the after party. I know a cowboy from Kansas, and he will teach you how to two step.
On a more personal note I was also floored to be awarded a special month’s personal training with James Bullock of Warrior Sciences out of Joplin MO. This was not by chance, it was because someone took the time to get to know me, understand who I was and where I was coming from, and presented me with a tool to get to where I am going. I cried, I don’t like to admit it, but it happened, the gesture was overwhelming.

So in the end I may have grown up with track and field. I may even forget and call games, "meets", from time to time, but Highland games they are my soul, they chose me to grow old with, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

You can find James Bullock of Warrior ~ http://www.warriorsciences.com/

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