Carleton Moving Forward After A Tumultuous Year
By Gabby Glasier
Bridget Carleton is all for winning. As the WNBA season steadily approaches, the Minnesota Lynx history of high standards and winning is on her mind – but this year, it’s a bit more complicated.
Between an ongoing pandemic and societal injustices, this Chatham-born athlete has had to pivot from a conventional athlete’s regime.
Like everyone else, Carleton found refuge with her family in this year of unknowns. “I’m taking it one day at a time and trying to just enjoy going at a little bit of a slower pace in terms of my lifestyle,” she says.
Of course, this lifestyle still includes basketball, just a bit differently than normal. A large part of training for Carleton was running – a lot of it. “I’ve never run so much in my life,” she says. But in the absence of gyms she’s found a silver lining: more time for mental training, which entails watching films and reiterating the basics of skill work.
Beyond coronavirus restrictions, this year has also called for individuals and groups to speak out against injustices – a call that the WNBA answered.
In 2020, the organization dedicated their entire season to promoting the Black Lives Matter movement and the #SayHerName campaign. “People are watching and listening to what we have to say,” Carleton says. “There’s a lot of responsibility that comes with that but we take pride in using that platform for change.”
Similar to the WNBA, Carleton has something the average individual does not: a platform. These last few months more than ever before, she’s had to leverage her platform for good.
“I’ve been trying to focus on education,” she says. “I want to encourage people to be open-minded and willing to have tough conversations that could be very educational.”
So yes, this seasoned veteran is ready to win this time around – but she wants a lot more than a championship too.