I wanted to start by just sharing who loved I have felt these past couple weeks. It has been a challenging, new experience being here, yes, but I am so thankful for the people in my life who have reached out, sent funny jokes, encouragement, life updates, etc! It makes my day being able to connect back home. With that being said, I am finally finding my place on the team, getting to know the girls, and have people to hang out with! This also makes things a lot easier and fun being far away from home.
This past weekend, we had a training trip in Rovaniemi, which is where Santa Claus Village is located! It was an absolute blast, we had practice in the mornings and a game each night! The food was amazing and I think we enjoyed eating too much because every meal we would all talk about how excited we were for the next one. We stayed in two houses with six beds each, so it was a nice bonding experience. I stayed with the 2 Belorussians, Noppi, Riikka, and Marina (the team manager who played at LSU). Things we did while at home: watched the Anaconda music video too many times, went in the sauna, made jokes about how we have messed up practice, girl talked, NAPPED, and walked around in underwear because it was so hot in that house.
Some fun highlights:
- After practice, we were stretching and Noppi and I were joking around and cussing when she stopped me to tell me she had to stop cussing. The quote was: “I have to stop cussing, I am polite like a cool bitch.” We died laughing and that whole weekend (after I told them in the states, sometimes girls greet each other by saying “hey bitch!”) they used bitch after everything. We were strong bitches when we lifted, we were crazy bitches when we made jokes, we were sleepy bitches at night. I don’t know why, but this was hilarious to me. Tuesday morning when we had lifting, Riikka saw me walking and yelled “Good morning bitch!”
- Americans! A guy I know through coaching camps at Michigan in the summer plays in Rovaniemi. He came to watch the games because the girls we played were the girls from his club. It was really cool to briefly chat and speak English at a fast pace. It is weird though, because I have a feeling my English is getting worse. The american on the other team introduced herself to me too, so it was kind of like a bonding moment, how cute.
- I made a bet with my assistant coach, Luca, and won a beer out of it. Six girls passed around 1 beer in the sauna to make quite a loco party!
- LANGUAGE BARRIERS! These can be frustrating at times, but this weekend they were particularly funny. My teammate was describing a cook to me, but she kept calling it cock. “Lexi, the cock who makes food. The cock in the kitchen!” We had a lesson about the difference between cock the rooster and cock the other cock.
- Santa! We got to see him! The real one! He knows all the languages and is a true leader.
I miss compliance limiting practice hours every week and regulating off days, but I don’t miss being statted every single practice. My coaches are so so so cool. They aren’t easy or nice by any means, but they are fair and hold every player to the same standard. My coach is harsh at times, but you can tell he loves what he does and cares about every one of us. When we do defense drills, he loves making you mess up so he can yell “MY BOINT GIRLS!” and “MOZARELLA!” The other day he was serving at the passers and we passed one of his harder serves perfect. He stopped practice and told us that if we ever passed his hard serves perfect again we could tell him to fuck off. I am constantly laughing in practice because the way he explains things, corrects our mistakes, congratulates us, are some of the funniest things I have experienced in a while.
We had a talk with our coaches today about what we eat. The coaches weren’t rude at all, they never told us we were fat, but they said they noticed our eating habits were not the best for pre game. They said: “It is difficult to have this conversation with girls, but we noticed you all took too many trips to the bread basket in the buffet this weekend.” We all laughed, because it was totally true. The bread here is amazing and even my coach said “I know how hard it is to resist girls.”
Last update: I get weighed every Tuesday. It is sometimes a little stressful on the mind, but my roommate and I have started a tradition that every Tuesday is now “Fat Tuesday” and we go get tons of candy Tuesday night to binge on. Last night we walked in a monsoon to multiple candy stores (because some were closed at 9) to find our candy. It is an amazing tradition. We also held our candy in our pockets on the way home in the rain, and both stopped talking simultaneously to take out the candy when we walked under the dry bridge. It was an unreal connection.
I am going on week 5 of two a days and seem to not be slowing down any time soon! Pray for my legs!