Sporty girls like fashion too, and WNBA veteran and Olympic gold medalistSwin Cash is no exception. During her off season here in the States, Swin heads off to China to play for an international team. Of course cultural barriers aside, it’s not easy for this leggy lady to find shoes, let alone some chic threads to fit her big city aesthetic OR her tall bod.
Today we’re embarking on the first of many travel journals from this awesomely talented athlete. Check out what Swin has to say as she leaves China and makes her way to Atlanta, her new home. Then peruse her personal pics in the slideshow above.
Well I unfortunately came to the same conclusion that most athletes face every season — only one team can win and this year it wasn’t going to be mine. Like a dagger to the heart, I wanted to scream after the final buzzer went off but if you know anything about Anshan, China in the winter then you know it’s freezing, so the first thing I wanted to do was grab a jacket. Then I screamed and realized I would be heading back to the U.S. in a few days and I hadn’t packed a thing. See the one thing about playing in China, Europe or any other country is the travel distance between the airport and the city you play in. Tomorrow we would have to drive two hours by bus to the airport for a four-hour flight back to Shenzhen, China. Then take another hour ride to our home in Tangxia, Dongguan. Traveling like this gives you time to bond with teammates. Despitethe language barrier with my broken Mandarin (I’m learning!) we found a way. His name is Jason, and he’s my translator.
Saying goodbye is always the hardest part because you build this comradery and mutual respect, but then you have to part. Thanks to technology, (Skype, emails and Weibo) I can keep in touch. I learned so many lessons from traveling through China with this group of ladies. We may be a different ethnicity and have different cultures or lifestyles, but we’re all women at the end of the day. I remember watching as they bought fashion magazines like Vogue in the airport, sang Beyonc with me while we lifted weights and indulged in online shopping. Some even shared the same complaints with designers as I did: “Why aren’t there cuter shoes in bigger sizes. Big feet girls love style too!”
After spending the night of the loss grieving, my brain flipped right into business mode. I called up the key people on my team to start preparing my return to the U.S. and my transition back to reality. By reality I mean business meetings, Cash for Kids Charity work, upcoming NBA All Star appearances … you name it. See, the thing people fail to realize is when you’re in another country and don’t speak the language your only real form of communication is through your translator. So although I love Jason I was ready to carry on a conversation at the grocery store by myself. Jason asking which aisle the tampons were in was awkward, to say the least. Not to mention I had a new place in Atlanta, Georgia that I was moving into, so making plans for that was going to be a task. I’m from outside of Pittsburgh, Pa. I’ve lived in Detroit, Connecticut, Seattle and now Atlanta. So adjusting to the southern hospitality, finding a new trainer and unpacking was going to be a journey in itself.
Unlike most people that move for their job, marriage or school, I was moving for a fresh start. A new place away from a lot of my friends but a place that has everything I need to grow as a woman, entrepreneur and philanthropist. If any of you have suggestions on places to shop, eat or visit please do tell (I’m always on Twitter!). I’m ready to take on the hustle and bustle, glitz and glam, and simple pleasures of becoming an adopted Georgia peach!