Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Oct 3rd through Sunday Oct 9th

10/3/2011 - 10/9/2011           1:40am Alcobendas

Monday 3rd-

Today was our first official day with the little Spanish kids at the International College of Spain.  We knew that the place was within walking distance (which by the way here means something completely different than in most US cities) and that it would take us about 40 minutes to get there.  I went shopping for some necessities that we were running low on, fabric softener (much needed since there aren't dryers here in Spain and without it the hang to dry technique turns clothes into cardboard), dish soap, dish sponges, toilet paper, and paper towels...oh wait there was coffee too (always a requirement).  I got back early just to make sure that I was ready for whenever Ang got back from her workout at the gym so we could head on our adventure to coach little 10 and 11 year olds Spanish kids in Volleyball of course.  Well surprise surprise, we got lost :) haha so entertaining trying to run with our back packs in directions that we did not know at all.  Well in typical fashion we made it 10 minutes early somehow with my handy dandy gps on my phone that I previously have refused to use since I like to wander.  This was an emergency and needed to use my data for gps tracker help.  The coaching went really well since we only had about 30 minutes of our hour to actually teach them volleyball. Of course the first thing that Angela and I taught them guessed it passing. So spotlight was on me and I threw them three basic keys of which they had a few laughs at step two lunch tray and the icing on the cake, pretending we were pregnant with little niño.  The girls picked it up quite fast and it was awesome to be able to coach in english and have them understand us.  The school in case I didn't say it before is an all English speaking school.  After we got done we went home and I did some minor workout things with our new exercise ball at the apt.  It was fun and just relaxing on our day off.  Not much happens usually on Monday's but now that we coach its going to be an eventful day. Oh and did I mention that its a 2.2 mile walk to the gym and back to coach.  Oh wait and add that on to the 1.25 miles it is to our practice facility from our apartment and we are talking about 5/6 miles on Wednesday of walking.  Yesss calves might finally appear on the one part of my leg that seems to have nonexistent muscle definition haha. :) Alright well Hasta Mañana I guess since not much else happened today!

Tuesday 4th-

Today started out as just a weird strange not so great day.  Lift was not the best ever then we just hung out in between that and practice.  Well then we went to practice and Paolo got a little bit more upset than usual and went on a rant in spanish and italian that I only caught one word of really and that was casa.  That translates to house.  So I was a bit thrown off and confused but it was the exact translation that I thought it meant and that was go home practice is over.  Because of this we now have two practices for Saturday one in the morning and one at night with a lift also.  Sweet right.  Angela and I were a bit too pleased because we knew that the team deserved it and were happy that some consequences were finally being laid down.  That was about the sum of the day though. 

Wednesday 5th- 

Today we have our second day of coaching the little rug rats at the International College of Spain as well as a scrimmage with the permanent selection of Spain (youth volleyball team that stays together and trains all year round/plays in the same league as us to compete together).  A few of our teammates were there during the summer and a couple of them were offered to train there permanently but said no because of Feel Volley and other commitments.  So we walked the 2.2 miles to the practice with the little kiddies and then busted our tail to get to the gym for our scrimmage.  We got there right on time basically to find out that we had more time than we thought. Well lets just say the speed walking that Angela and I had to do made us a little bit hungry so we went upstairs and grabbed a pasta salad before our scrimmage. It was delicious and needed indeed since we played 5 games in the friendly match. I played in the first 3 then sat the fourth and then went in the end of the 5th.  We lost but it was basically for the purposes of having the older girls play less and let the younger girls play against people their age.  Since Audra has been hurt with her wrist she couldnt play and Estel sat along with Angela and I on and off for all 5 games.  Needless to say none of the 3 of us were pleased with this decision especially since we lost.  Oh well.  Think its just a maturity and age thing after a practice that we get kicked out of etc.  Angela and I walked home again after the scrimmage which we have done an awful lot of lately but its been enjoyable walks back to the apt.  We made this rule where we are only allowed to talk negatively and vent until we get to the apt and nothing bad is allowed to come upstairs into the apt with us. Its a great rule to go by. Well anyways bed time for me it was a pretty crazy busy day with lots of walking and exercising for me so I am exhausted.  More to come tomorrow!

Thursday 6th-

TODAY WAS BORING.  I want that to be all that I write but I will at least list the details of the day.  Lift in the morning.  Burger King for some television show watching and practice at night where we got screamed at a little bit more since we just havent had very good practices in the past few.  Audra still cant play because of her wrist injury and they think it will be a while before she does...sometime close to our first match would be my guess. Oh and we did have an English lesson today before practice also which was nice as usual to just talk in English and help someone learn our language. Thats about it for today though.  Sorry its so short. Nighty night. Hasta Mañana

Friday 7th- 

Hmm what to say about this day....well we got invited to go out in Alcobendas with Carlo who we teach English to in our lessons but we had to say no because tomorrow we have lift at 9:45 am then practice afterwards and then another practice at night from 5-7.  That was a bummer since we have not gone out in Alcobendas once yet nor do we know where we should actually go if we were to go out here, but oh well.  We did not have practice until about oh 8 tonight which is always our practice time fridays just today stunk.  Waiting that long all day for practice to come around just isnt fun. So we went to Starbucks and passed some time before practice came.  Just wanted to ya know mess around on the internet and do something to pass the time.  Especially since tonight I have a skype date with Jim, Wendy, Mom and Dad...jealous that they are all in state college without me but thats life.  Practice went smoothly.  We did what we typically do on Fridays, serve receive by rotation with serving and then also some tactical attacking off of free balls and sets from Ang/Maria.  I was supposed to work on my deep line shot and then my 4 to 4 smash as Paolo likes to say.  Let me say that 4 to 4 is the hardest shot to hit when the sets are not consistent and when you have one setter one time then the setter that knows you the next. It screws with your timing then with the setters heads and just tough to judge on both sides. Oh well it was much needed to work on the kinks of Maria setting fast balls to me and then to have Ang experiment with a few different things for my sets.  All in all it was a pretty good practice but we still had the dreaded two practices the next day.  Oh wait I almost forgot two of the girls on the team arent going to be at the morning practice on Saturday even though Paolo said that everyone had to be at the practices regardless of what was going on that day.  We got a big lecture, luckily in spanish, about how its the teams problem to deal with and how Paolo can set the best example he can by being there everyday and working for us everyday.  It was a great speech even though I only understood bits and pieces of it from the Spanish and Italian blurbs.  He wasnt happy thats for sure though.  The best part was while we were stretching and running Estel tried to talk to one of the girls that was missing and asked if she could change her appt since thats what she should do. Having an older knowledgable person on the team that is Spanish helps so much in situations like this where you want to be the example and lead but dont know the language well enough to do so. Alright thats about it. So goodnight for now since we have early practice/lift.  :) yippie

Saturday 8th- 

Lift in the morning was nothing. Lifts here in general are nothing. So light and so easy compared to the killer workouts I used to have to endure at Penn State.  Practice after was also a bit of a joke and literally Ang and I struggled to not laugh for most of it. We did a lot of technical stuff which was not taxing at all on our bodies (as in I didnt break a sweat at all).  The best was when with our partners we had to pass back and forth with one arm and Ang and  I literally were laughing so hard we could not focus at all.  It seemed so dumb to have punishment practices when they werent even hard. To me an extra practice when we are being punished means sprints, hard drills and something that makes you not want to have it happen again.  But no, we did self toss hit to our partners who were supposed to move.  Partner control drills with passing and setting.  Outlet setting drills for time.  Just typical easy warm-up things. Then we ended with a game of 5 on 5 where you can use all skills except jumping.  The goal was to see the court and score from a standing position based on what you saw as being open on the other side of the court.  My team won and the other team ran our "rounds" in a certain time.  That was the end of our practice for the morning, 3 hours of the day spent doing what seemed like rec league workouts but it was at least an early start to the day.  Ang and I went back to the apt and napped then woke up and adventured out to the new facility that we were having our second practice of the day at.  It was on the other side of town that we had never walked to so we wandered and followed my phone map to get there.  Probably took the long way to get there but we still managed to find our way there. It is a brand new facility all for the juvenil teams of Feel Volley. The facility was just opened last February so it still smelled of new materials.  Quite a nice little gym to play in although the floor was so so slippery. Yet again we did technical work with partners for time and then after that we warmed up with pepper and played doubles half court for the rest of the time.  The goal was to score points as an individual/group and see what pair won.  I came in second place behind Estel and Maria.  Of course I didnt love that but hey it happens. If we didnt score as many points as we did in the last game we would have come out dead last so second place was better. After the practice Audra drove us back to the apt and we went shopping for dinner supplies as we decided we wanted to make dinner for ourselves.  We went and found some steaks and asparagus with our guacamole chip appetizer. Then we made mashed potatoes also. All so delicious and Kirk joined us for dinner also even though his first game was the next afternoon.  After Audra and Kirk left Angela and I went to grab a beer at one of the little restaurant places near us to relax and just hang out together.  The next day was our adventure in Toledo so we wanted to make sure that we had plenty of rest that night also because we had an english lesson in the morning before Toledo. SOOOO goodnight for now. 

Sunday 9th-

Bright and early english lesson.  Still in our pajamas we walked the block and a half to Carlo's cousins family apartment to give our lesson at 10.  She was the only one awake since its a weekend and still early for many spanish families to be awake on a saturday.  It was a nice hour of going over some grammar and looking at her books etc that she needs for her university English exam.  We also decided that next week we could go over some old exams that she has taken so that we know what we are supposed to be preparing her for.  All I know is that english lessons are a gift since its 15 euros an hour (angela and I split it) just for sitting there and talking to the person in our native tongue.  I love it. Today is our big adventure to Toledo so we have it all planned out that we will take the Metro and switch from line 10 to line 6 which will take us to Plaza de Elipitica where the bus station is connected with the metro stop.  We get off and found a ticket booth to buy the bus ticket for Toledo which was only 8 euros ida y vuelta (going and return) so it was a great deal.  In the bus station there was a Dunkin Donuts and I had a coffee (although very different from US Dunkin Coffee) that was delicious and way cheaper than starbucks coffee.  We went to our gate to wait for the bus then got on and took the hour bus trip to Toledo, half of which I read and the other half I slept.  When we arrived to Toledo it was beautiful, the city rests on a risen mountainous area and the cathedrals, walls etc can be seen from the bus station down below.  Thankfully we only had to walk up a few hilly roads before reaching escalators that take you the rest of the way up into the mid-century town.  The streets were so small and alley like with little shops and vendors selling Toledo souvenirs.  We took tons of pictures of which I need to upload on to Facebook (sorry for the delay in everything its been a little bit of a wild few weeks).  The place that we stopped for lunch/dinner was delicious as we got an appetizer a meal and a dessert with a beverage for only 10 euros. Quite a deal if you ask me with the regular prices that we see over here.  So I had a salad with some salmon then a chocolate (flan like) cake for dessert with a beer.  If I had to choose wine of beer my choice will always be beer.  The day went by seemingly fast and Angela and I headed for the bus station.  When we arrived there to my surprise (I guarantee no one else will be surpised) I lost my return ticket for the bus. SOOOO that great deal turned out to be a waste and I had to buy a return ticket for another 4.98 euros.  Yep thats typical Nummy for anyone that knows me haha.  When we got off the bus at the terminal and went to the Metro I couldn't resist grabbing another small Dunkin Coffee since we have no Dunkin near us.  Then we headed for the metro and on our ride we decided to start the Paleo Diet Monday.  Since the upcoming week was our first week of regular season we wanted to start eating and physically preparing for the season.  Monday and Wednesday were going to be sprint days from old PSU workouts with a somewhat strict eating diet but something we quickly fell in LOVE with.  Alright that is about the end of our Sunday and it was a glorious Sunday indeed. Nighty Night

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