Female Volleyball Players = Expert Wedgie Pickers

A few weeks ago, my roommate, an ice-hockey player, came to my game. The reaction she had to possibly her first volleyball game ever was: “You guys pick your wedgies a lot.” I really didn’t think about it before she had mentioned anything and then I realized, having to wear spandex all the time creates a lot of situations for picking wedgies (your spandex ride up, move around, etc.) I then thought about how routine picking a wedgie has gotten for me in all aspects of life, at any given location: formal or informal, which ultimately made me realize that maybe I should be more private about picking wedgies.

As I write this post, I am feeling like I may be giving you all too much of an inside look into my life, but so far my life has been volleyball and sleeping, so little details become very exciting for me.

The end of regular season is approaching, as we play our last match on Sunday before playoffs begin. It is crazy to me how far I have come from the beginning of the season. I have gotten close, really close, with some of my teammates as I have seen them twice a day almost every single day I have been here. So close that now we all notice even the tiniest, most minuscule changes in each other’s lives. For example, I got new sweatpants for myself for Valentine’s Day (not your basic huge sweats.. classy, sleek, and modern sweats). The first day I wore them, everyone said something about the new sweats. If someone dyes their hair or gets a trim, it really is noticeable. I, for some strange reason, always end up with one sock right-side-out and one sock inside-out. I am a lazy laundry lady, so I never really take the time to change all the socks to their right side, but my teammates have picked up on that. One day a few weeks ago, I must have had both socks inside out and it was like everyone and their mother noticed it. I didn’t even notice it, and that is saying something about how observant my teammates are. I can count on them to notice everything from a new pair of shorts to a new thong, and that is how close I have gotten with all of them.

Not much is new in my life, so I thought I would give you an inside scoop into some of the language barrier situations I face on a daily basis. First, I want to say my coach tries very, very hard to speak English, and I know he is not the most comfortable with the language. Sometimes he mixes things up and it gets confusing, but you learn to just nod your head and try to figure out what he means, sometimes after being yelled at multiple times, but you figure it out nonetheless. Maybe telling you won’t be as entertaining as it is in person, but a few situations stick out in my head. First – when my coach explains a drill that requires a complicated points system, for example, we will play a game where running certain plays get you more than 1 point, so you can work on those specific plays, but also scrimmage normally. I have never been so confused in my life during the explanation of these drills. My coach will start to explain (“one point for this, if this happens, you get 3 more chances to score, if you lose the other team gets two chances to score, etc.”) and we all look around after he explains to see if anyone knows what is going on, and we all have no clue. Second – the mix up between today and tomorrow. My coach tends to mix these two terms up, which makes it challenging to understand when certain events and practices are going to happen. (at morning practice, my coach could say practice tomorrow at 16.00 and that could/probably means practice today at 16.00)  Third – the mix up between yours and theirs. During video, my coach will tell us if the team we are going to play has gotten better or worse since we played them last. He will say things like “your level go very down” which means “the other team hasn’t gotten better since we last played them”, but it sounds like he is telling us we suck. We have figured it out as of late that the your means their level go very down. Fourth – and my all time favourite – my coach says LEX instead of LEGS, which can make me paranoid when I am not paying attention and I hear the word “lex.” A few months ago, the passers were doing a drill where your partner chunks a ball and you have to shuffle backwards, get your body around the ball, and pass it to the target. My coach was yelling “move your lexi’s” and it absolutely made my life.

Finally, I got sick for the first time and I have been surprisingly not soft about it. I figured this is the time I would get all homesick and yes, I really wanted my mom to bring me food to my bed, but without a caretaker, this means you can create your own sick people diet. Today, to make myself feel better I had loads of honey nut cheerios, honey-chili almonds, tiramisu covered almonds, dried coconut, chocolate covered almonds, toffee, 3 loaves of rye bread, carrot soup, and a lot of ibuprofen. I do believe I am the best caretaker I have.

More life updates to come after playoffs begin. Until next time!


Will twerk for new legs

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:

  1. 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!”
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. Santa! We got to see him! The real one! He knows all the languages and is a true leader.

Personal Update:

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!