Preparing for a tournament in India, her last opportunity to qualify for the London Summer Games and likely her last Olympic pursuit as a player, Stephanie Jameson turned her mind from a significant personal milestone and Canadian record.
Already a veteran defender at 30, Jameson was on track to become the most capped player in Canadian women's field hockey history. A cap is an officially recorded international appearance wearing the maple leaf, and Jameson had 162 before the start of the February tournament in New Delhi.
"As I look back on that, it's pretty special," she said this week. "I'm really lucky that I had the opportunity to represent my country for so long."
Destined to surpass former captain Laurelee Kopeck's 163 caps in a match against host India, Jameson's focus didn't waver from her quest to see the national women's team compete at their first Olympic Games since finishing seventh in Barcelona 20 years ago.
"I didn't really celebrate it a whole lot during the tournament. Being in that particular tournament, I didn't really dwell too much on the number," she said.
Her teammates surprised her with cards and letters, which she wasn't expecting. "That was really special. I had no idea they were doing it," she said.
Team captain Katie Baker said at the time of Jameson, who's known as J, "I have played every one of my games with her. J's constant communication and knowledge of the game have helped the entire team learn so much about the tactical side of the sport."
She now has 168 caps.
Family photographs show Jameson with a hockey stick in her hands as a toddler. Her mother Sue played on the national team for seven years until 1979 and her father played varsity badminton at the University of B.C. The family played just about everything and Jameson was also competitive at gymnastics. Her brother David is on the national men's field hockey team and her younger sister, Katie, is a UBC T-bird.
Her mom remarked on Jameson's strength and her natural inclination to distribute the ball. "You could see very early on that she had vision on the field, knew where to go and where to pass," she said. "The other thing I always notice about her, is she wasn't the sort who wanted to take the ball and go herself. She always tried to use her teammates."
Jameson said both her parents were supportive and post-game conversations often dissected the action and finer strategic decisions.
The skills she showed as a growing player are the ones she continued to develop and master. As a sweeper, Jameson is responsible for the tactical strategy of her team's defense. The last woman back, she organizes, instructs and leads the defense and starts the attack from the back-line.
A three-time Canadian Interuniversity Sport champion with the T-birds field hockey team, Jameson was named the MVP of the national collegiate championships in 2003. She was CIS field hockey player of the year in 2004 and earned the Marilyn Pomfret Award that same year as the best UBC female athlete.
She won't add an Olympic Games to that list-not as a player at least. Canada tied, lost and won their three games in New Delhi and did not qualify for London.
"We're really disappointed. We worked so hard and really, obviously, wanted to get there," said Jameson, who expects to retire before the push to reach the 2016 Rio Summer Games.
"I don't think I'll be playing four years from now," she said. "You never know, but it's been 10 years already for me and I think another four is probably unlikely at this point."
Field Hockey Canada recently adopted a long-term strategy to grow the sport across the country, and Jameson stresses the importance of player development and coach education.
With former teammate, good friend and now co-worker at the Old Barn community centre at UBC, Stephanie Nesbitt, Jameson coached a high performance team this weekend at a U-18 regional tournament. It's a role she wants to continue.
It also challenges her understanding of the game, she said.
"Even this weekend I was saying to Steph that I have a new level of respect for all of our coaches. You can't get out there and do it yourself, so trying to make that impact but realizing that the players are ultimately going to have to do it themselves," she said.
"I definitely can see myself getting much more involved in coaching moving forward. I do enjoy it. It's quite rewarding and inspiring."
For now, 168 caps and counting.