First, this is a picture with my teammates Nopi (on the left) and Riika (on the right). We just got out of our second practice and are taking advantage of the largest cold tub in Finland! It is about 14C (I gotta get with the culture) so about 57F here, and the water is probably at Tim’s (my old trainer) perfect temperature that I always managed to destroy and add too much ice, preventing the cross country girls to not be able to cold tub and also make Tim really, really mad at me.
Second, Kristina (my roommate) and I have wifi in the apartment. It is not the fastest, but we have a good feeling that soon it will be up and running full speed, and I won’t have an 8 second FaceTime delay 🙂 Kristina is an ice hockey player who played at BC for 4 years and then last year in Salzburg. She is an excellent chef and made vanilla coconut cake in mugs to celebrate the wifi reception. The wifi problem has given us a lot of time to bond whether it was traveling to McDonalds and downloading episodes of TV shows and calling our families (while the locals give us some seriously weird looks), or touring the city of Hameenlinna trying to find a store that would sell us a new SIM card. All failed attempts, but we had a lot of heart and way too much hope.
Third, the title of this post is no joke. This week of practice (shit, it’s only Tuesday) has been a little more of a struggle than last week. I have said in previous posts that everything is new for me here AND my coach speaks a little English, so I have come to this theory that Trial and Error is the best method to achieving success. It may get you yelled at a little bit more than the average girl, but you don’t have to stop practice to ask what the hell is going on every 5 minutes. To add to the struggle, the outsides have only done serve receive so far in practice, so you volleyball girls (unless you are some psycho who loves getting served at billions of times) can feel the pain of standing back there and getting smoked for 2 hours at the beginning of each and every day. Before I explain how the day went yesterday, I want to preface it with a lesson I learned when I was 16 years old playing for Jeff Ham at Texas Tornados. He told the me that he didn’t want me performing badly, so if I wasn’t going to have a good day, it was better to be invisible than be horrible and welcome visibility for the wrong reasons. Yesterday, I failed at this, and was not invisible, but painfully visible. I used the trial and error method only to hear “Lexi, bague (pass) the ball to the net! No Lexi! STOP THE DRILL! I SAID MOVE DIAGONAL! Not your ball Lexi!” But let me tell you, it makes the sweet, sweet Italian word “brava” paired with my name a smile-inducing sound. Today, it went 100 percent better. I didn’t have to trial and error as much, as I did that all of yesterday, and after many, many errors, I guess I have found the secret to the bague. I woke up this morning and vowed that Omar, the serving master, would not steal my soul today.
Fourth and final point, we have a new staff member Omar. He is the strength coach that is going to be working with the team, and he is a hoot. He is bald (I am starting to think all of the greatest strength coaches are bald), but he has a sick goatee. He is a jokester and likes to talk smack. Today, (I was doing a lot better than yesterday and he didn’t want to pour salt in the wound at the time, but today it was ok) he told me he was going to start serving balloons at me, so I could have a chance against him. Luckily, I dig that stuff, so I was dishing it right back. Tomorrow, Omar starts our fitness training (weights and cardio), so I can give you a better idea about how I feel about him then!
P.S. – I FOUND PEANUT BUTTER! You gotta enjoy the tiny things in life, people.