Fowles Diary: Getting ready for my final season

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — I admit, I was close to retiring this offseason.

I have been blessed with the career I’ve had playing in the WNBA and would have been content to hang it up after last season. I was saying to myself that 2021 was going to be my last year.

That said, I didn’t like how we lost in the playoffs to Chicago at home. It was tough, so I said I’d give myself until the middle of November to see where I was at mentally and physically. Whether I wanted to come back for one more year.

I had to fake myself out at the start. Say I was going for a leisurely bike ride for 30 minutes and see how far I would get. The next day try to go a little farther. Run on the beach and see how far I could go. I was tricking myself.

I kept pushing from there. I felt good afterward and as we got closer to training camp, the small challenges got bigger. Got my lungs to feel good and my body to feel good. Mentally I tapped back into that space that you need to be in to be a professional athlete.

I got back to Minnesota around the time of the Final Four and it was great to see so many of my friends at USA Basketball training camp. Those days are definitely done.

Now I’m here for my 15th and final season. I’ll be honest, I came in with the same emotions that I had at the other ones. Just give it your all. You can’t pace yourself.

As one of the leaders of this team, I’ve always led by example as I hate talking about what you have to do. Just do it.

If it was up to me, this season would be like the 14 other ones and not a farewell tour. I just wanted to release a letter to the fans thanking them, but Cheryl Reeve thought otherwise and who am I to argue with coach. She said I deserved the best which is weird to think about. I don’t feel that I need to be praised for doing my job.

I’ve had a great career and just want to thank the fans. We’ll see how this all plays out over the course of the season.

I still plan on writing something to the fans. I try not to think too much about it and I don’t sit and ponder what I want to say as that will just get me emotional through the process. I’ve just been doing it little by little.

Stay tuned.

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Minnesota Lynx star Sylvia Fowles is checking in periodically during her final season in the WNBA

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