Something that is different here than in the states: you can wear yoga pants in practice. I resisted for a long time because I love spandex, they are like a comfy pair of underwear that covers your love handles. However, my legs get cold in practice now that it is snowing here, and today I tried the yoga pant trend. The problem is I tried a pair that were not exactly the skin tight material you need for ultimate coverage in all situations. I am warming up like normal, and then we start to do this drill where you stand on the court with the coach and he just throws a ball barely off of the ground wherever his heart desires and you have to just kind of dive and somehow manage to get the ball back to him. (Apologies for the run-on.) Well, I dive and realize that my ass is way out, only because I hear tons of laughing. Think twice before following the crowd and stay unique people.
Last weekend the team flew back up to Santa Claus Village and this time I got to meet up with an old friend from Michigan Volleyball camp, Joe. It just so happened we didn’t fly home until Friday afternoon and were done Thursday, so my teammate and I met some of their team at karaoke. It was a blast, and now that I think about it, Joe and I were the only ones who actually sang any of the songs. I was really nervous to sing at first, I guess it has been a while, the last time I “sang” was The Jug in June when Sabol and I rapped Candy Shop. So, naturally, Under The Bridge was a song that hit the low notes, the super high notes, and got the good singing vibes going. (Maybe some shots of whiskey, too). There even was a cougar who dedicated her song to one of the guys and had some very sexy words for him after the song, thank goodness for the Finnish guys who could translate! It was a really fun trip altogether, and I am glad we got to meet up!
Another big thing: Noppi and I are going to see Usher on February 23. I am beyond pumped because I honestly haven’t been to that many concerts in my life. My grandma works for a Christian Radio station, so I grew up at Reliant K and Switchfoot concerts, which are great no doubt, but a chocolate R&B concert?!?! It is a beautiful thing. We have a countdown going. I am also trying to convice Noppi to go to a nude beach with me (sorry Mom). I am not going for the naked people, but I think you should say yes to new experiences at least one time (not everything… but most things), and I have heard it is freeing to just completely put yourself out there. Maybe we should make a bucket list.
I started off this blog about differences, and I am gonna keep rolling with that so you can get a taste of the new life I live. So, before I came to Finland, at Michigan, we had this thing called a strike policy. If you do something bad, if you forget something, if you are late (I tried all of those one time, too!), you get a strike. At practice, we run a certain amount of sprints for one strike and you all have to make it in the time the coaches say. I thank Olivia for passing out that one time we had to run so many because I don’t know how I was going to make that last one. I honestly don’t think anyone was going to make it. A true team player that Olive. In Finland, things are very, very different. If you do something bad, forget something, or are late, you owe 5 euros. Anytime someone forgets something everyone cheers, because we joke and say this money is going to pay for our end of the season trip to Carribea! A girl wore the wrong pants to travel in, and everyone yelled “OH CARRIBEA! YAY!” I cannot for the life of me imagine what Leisa would have done had we cheered for people who wore the wrong travel gear. I was late one time in college, and it took me all of warmups to stop hyperventilating, now, I get cheered for! Also, we have a rule that if you serve under the net without hitting it in any way, you have to bring the entire team candies. Today, myself, along with 3 other girls, missed the entire net, and now owe kilos of candies. You think, there is no way this will happen to me, how can you miss the entire net? Well, I thought that too before I got cocky, tried to serve short, and didn’t make it past the 10 foot line. So many people owe candies and money right now, we joke that once we have enough money to make it to Carribea, we are going to be the fattest girls on vacation. (I swear, these sneaky bitches set people up to owe money!)
Random things: I am becoming amazing at belting “My Heart Will Go On.” I get into these phases where I want to take up cool hobbies so I can have random talents later in life, I am now working on a five minute plank. It is really hard. Next, I want to learn the splits. This weekend, I walked into a hair salon and just decided to dye some of my hair blonder. I really almost had a heart attack when he put the bleach in my hair. He saw me freak out and told me that this is what happens when you dye your hair, I just didn’t really think I would actually do it and the reality kicked in a little later than I expected. I am trying to convert my coach from a Cowboys fan to a Texans fan. I hate the Cowboys. On my bike ride home I saw a man who had pulled his bike over to pee on the side of the street.. It makes me wonder if girl can do that too? I got taught (on a 3 hour bus ride, I am slower) how to say: “I only speak English, sorry” (it sounds like: meena poohoon vine englantia, andexi)
Aside from the funny stuff, this might seem weird, but I am putting a ton of effort into appreciating this phase of my life. There are some days where I would really love to be back at home, especially alumni weekend and what looks to have been the sickest night game of all time, but I like to make note of all of the things here that I really enjoy and will miss when I go back home. I hope that I can do this for the rest of my life and never get too caught up with planning all of these great things for my future, because I don’t want to overlook any fun experience in the present.