Week of October 23rd-30th
First I must say it's Halloween week!!!!!!
Second I have to add that this week we play against Soria which is the spanish youth selection team. They live together and train together throughout the year, playing in Superliga 2 while also attending school at CAEP. Some of the girls on our team are going to take this game much more personally because they haven't been selected or want to be selected for the winter camp during the league break. Whatever their reasons there are going to be a lot of emotions flying high for the younger girls and the four older girls are going to have to be the stable players for us to have success.
Monday was same old same old at coaching and no practice afterwards so we had an English lesson with Carlo and called it a night. Mondays are quickly becoming my favorite day because yes we have a busy morning but the nights are filled with relaxation time and its just nice to come home early and chill out. With all of our practices being later and then having to eat something afterwards, shower, etc bedtime is usually pretty late.
Tuesday...lift was fine but practice...we got kicked out again. Its just becoming normal that the first practice of the week is bad and we get kicked out. When Paolo starts to get quiet we know he is verging on the edge of saying the forbidden word..."CASA" repeatedly until we finally start stretching and then head home early. Most of the time I need to walk around the gym and cool off for a bit before I can physically sit down and stretch without swearing up and down. In a matter of two months I have been kicked out of more practices than ever before in my career. Maybe its helping the younger girls learn though which is what I am here for basically so if thats the case I can suck it up and deal with it.
Side note Halloween isn't a huge deal here but we went to the American store to get some treats for ourselves to have since we don't get to dress up for the first time in 22 years and go out on the town. Mini reeses and then some free gifts with our purchase from the store (they must have over ordered something). The larger holiday here is Day of the Dead which is the day following Halloween where you honor family members and friends that have passed.
Wednesday again normal day of coaching and then straight to practice and it wasn't the greatest practice again. Paolo just keeps getting more and more Italian the longer he is living here in Spain and away from his girlfriend who is playing in Korea. Nothing too exciting this week at all.
Thursday we played great and probably the best practice of the year but untimely indeed. We don't have a game until Saturday and need to be on point then not mid week. Apparently its "planned" though by Paolo with our lifting schedule and training regime that he has planned.
Friday we just serve pass which is becoming more of a hassle just to get to practice and stay focused when all day we do nothing until practice at 8. Plans for Saturday are to leave from the gym at 9 am, car pool to Soria and then head back to Madrid right after the match.
GAME DAY we get to the gym and meet up with everyone, as usual the Spanish girls are late and we wait a little after the time we are supposed to leave top get going. Our car has Pato, myself, Lily, Paolo, Ani and Angela. We played Life and Monopoly on my iPad on the way there, which might I add that Pato and Ani got a kick out of. Otherwise I read my book and listened to music on my iPad and tried to just focus on the match. We are semi lucky because the best player for the youth team got called up to the full national team for a friendly tournament and will be missing our match this weekend. We stop twice on the way there and grab some small snacks and drinks as well as coffee to get ready for the match. When we get there we get ready and head out for warm-ups. I LOVE getting to hit in hitting lines during warm-ups. 50-50 balls are just bounce balls at that point and its like showing off your skill that was hidden for the past 4 years. The best part is that its the only time really that I hit the ball that hard because during the game I can only score when I play smart not strong.
The match was a struggle for us and we could not pass to save our lives. We got aced off the court and just didn't talk well or play together at times of struggle. This team by far serves the best of all the teams that we have played and Paolo says for the league they are the most aggressive servers. I had a good match from the service line and attacking but was disappointed with my passing but mostly because that used to be my specialty for the last four years. I think that for the match I had 27 points and we won 3-1. Lily told me again that I might be MVP which I didn't believe mostly because I was so disappointed in my play from serve reception but I forget that points look great on the stat sheet and passing isn't looked at as much for awards unless you are a libero. I guess I haven't forgotten the libero inside me. The drive back took foreverrrrrrr. We stopped for food which was needed since I was so drained. Then we got back and Angela and I went to our corner store grabbed a few beers and wandered through alcobendas enjoying our win. The next day we went to the American store and bought pancake mix because we wanted something from home and we had some delicious fiber one pancakes then made some goat cheese salad and pizza for our dinner. We have so much more time to spend on meals on sunday that we get to spoil ourselves a little bit. We also had an english lesson with Carlos cousin which is becoming and every sunday deal. I love it though because seeing her exams that we help her with make my mind work in opposite ways thinking about the spanish translation for all the words. Alright I guess thats a week. On to the next one.