I knew Pat Burris as a really fierce coach and former competitor. He used to run the US Open training camps and yell, “Let’s get ready to rumble,” in almost the same exact voice as Michael Buffer of boxing fame. The very first year that I started making junior teams I got sent to Norway for a tournament. I was cutting weight on that trip so I had to wash some clothes out. I realized our hotel room had windows that opened onto the roof and when I was out there Pat was down on the dock that looked out onto the fjord. I waved to him, and he looked up and said something like, “What the &(%&^^ are you doing up there?” Of course this was in this big old Michael Buffer voice.
About a minute later I hear this big, heavy knock on the hotel door. I just hid under the bed and told my roommate to tell him I wasn’t there. Well, that didn’t work so well. He came in the room and started thundering around, saying, “I know you’re in here.” But we got over that and had a great trip and good adventures. I don’t remember whether or not I won that tournament.
Then about five years later at the Senior Nationals I was fighting one of Pat Burris’ athletes in the earlier rounds. I came in for a shoulder throw and the other woman ended up on top of me. I had good defense and blocked whatever she tried to do to take advantage of the opening.
I ended up right over by the coaches side of the mat and I heard Pat yell to his athlete, “Keep going, she’s about to tap.” Since my defenses were locked in tight, I looked right at Pat and rolled my eyes. He got a big smile on his face, and winked at me, and kept right on yelling at his athlete. We got back up and I ended up pinning or arm locking her and eventually went on to win that tournament. But that was a funny moment.