Friday, September 28, 2018

Chelsea Zara Visits Section 36!

Section 36 has another visitor! As I’m sure you’re aware, with
Section 36 occupying a spot in the centerfield bleachers in Fenway you get a nice view into the Red Sox bullpen. I imagine Chelsea Zara would like that vantage point...after all, her fiancé, Matt Barnes, spends a lot of time in there. Chelsea is a frequent traveler, and a newly certified Doctor of Physical Therapy. I’m flattered she was willing to take some time out of her schedule to visit with us and discuss those topics, along with a few more. I know you’ll enjoy reading everything she had to say!

So, let’s see what happens when Chelsea Zara visits Section 36!

You recently became a licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy. (Congrats!) What interested you most about that field? 
Thank you! It has been a long, challenging seven years, but it was definitely worth it! Ever since I was a little girl, I had always been interested in the medical field and fascinated with the idea of helping people. After I graduated from UConn as a biology major, I took a year off before applying to PT School. During this time I spent 3 months in Cape Town, South Africa as a medical volunteer where I worked at an inpatient facility for disabled and abandoned children. It was truly the most rewarding and humbling experience ever and solidified my love for physical therapy & medicine. My favorite part about PT is that I have the ability and the opportunity to work with people of all ages and all levels. From children and school-based therapy, to elderly, to sports rehab and more— it’s reassuring to know I will never be bored at work!

You got your undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut. What did you especially like about UConn? 
I absolutely loved UConn! My favorite part about being there was
that it was away from any big city. Anyone in Storrs, Connecticut is pretty much between the ages of 18-22 which made everything about being there — restaurants, bars, apartments, parties, classrooms — so much more fun. It’s a beautiful campus with great education, great people, and great sports.

Not long ago, you participated in the “From Fenway to the Runway” charity event. What is your favorite part about the many activities the “Red Sox Wives” are involved in? 
Chelsea and Chelsea
The entire Red Sox organization is so much more than just baseball. It’s amazing, honestly, to see how they take such a renowned platform and transform it into so many philanthropic events. For example —in just 36 hours of the Jimmy-Fund Radio telethon, $4.4 million was raised by donors. I mean — I can’t even wrap my head around how incredible that is! The entire organization is all about doing things to make Boston greater than it already is and I am so grateful to be a part of it.

You’ve been able to do a lot of traveling, all over the globe. What is your favorite place to visit? Why? 
Cape Town, South Africa has got to be #1 on my list. I loved going
to safaris, surfing, hiking, camping. Next on my list would definitely be Italy — I studied abroad there during college and fell in love with the culture and of course, the food!

How did you and Matt meet? 
Romantically, Matt and I met at UConn at our local college bar! Definitely a story to tell the kids.

You’ll be getting married this winter. (Congrats again!) How is the wedding planning coming along, especially with Matt on the road so much? 
Wedding planning has been going well, but of course stressful at times. The most stressful part is that we are getting married down in Florida, so we’re both unfamiliar with the vendors/DJ’s/florists in that area. Matt has been the most supportive groom ever — his response to everything is, “Whatever you like, I like!”

How often do you get to see Matt pitch in person? 
As often as I can! I have notifications on my phone for every pitching change during every game - so I think I have only missed maybe 3-4 of his outings this entire season. Once I graduated in May, I was finally (for once!) able to spend much more time in Boston than usual and I was also able to travel to some cool new cities like Seattle and Houston.

Other than Section 36, what is your favorite feature or experience at Fenway Park?
I may be bias, but I truly think that Fenway has the most homey,
historic feel to it unlike many of the other commercialized ballparks. And, of course, my favorite experiences at Fenway are whenever I get to see Matt pitch. As a relief pitcher, you have no idea when he may go in. Sometimes I go to 3-4 games in a row and he doesn’t pitch, yet the one game I miss - he does! It’s surreal to see him out there, living his dream like that, with all 40,000 people in the stands cheering for him. He’s come a long way from when I saw him pitch during the UConn baseball days!

Being in the bullpen seems to automatically mean a pitcher will see some criticism during the season. How do you deal with the negative side of Red Sox fan social media? 
It’s tough for pitchers because if they ever give up a run of lose a lead, the fans really take it all out on them. Thankfully I don't have a Twitter because that is where some of the worst comments come from. I do my best to not let it get under my skin. I guess it just all comes with the territory! 


Not having Twitter is probably a real good idea.

Of course, I want to thank Chelsea for taking the time to do this interview. She has a lot on her plate with bridal showers and baseball games taking up a lot of her time, so I appreciate the effort to carve out some time for us. I also want to thank her for allowing me to use the pictures that go along with the post. They always help tell the story better.

Chelsea might not have Twitter, but she does have Instagram. I recommend you go give her a follow so you can keep up to date on her new career, and wedding planning. You won't regret it! And I'm sure you'll all join me in hoping she'll get to see Matt pitch in a lot more games this October!

Thanks again Chelsea!

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