Saturday, May 7, 2011

San Diego and SEALs

As our time here in California comes to a close (well, for this block anyways) we all get ready to head back to our regional sites for National Championships. It has been a busy couple of weeks, with the conclusion of our series against Japan. Although it did not end exactly how we would have hoped, we learned some things about ourselves as a team and individuals, as well as what works (and what doesn't) against Japan. This should serves us well down the road, particularly in the Champions Challenge in June.

After two weeks of non-stop training and games, we finally had 2 days off after the seres conclusion. This felt like ages, as we never have this much time off! Especially after weeks without a break. Friday night we had a BBQ at the beach which was just what the doctor ordered. Time to sit and relax, with the waves in the background, great food, and even better company! :) Saturday was a day to catch up on rest. I did quite a bit of sleeping and catching up on some TV shows I'd missed! Sunday morning, bright and early, a bunch of us met at the Lung Cancer Walk down by the bay. It was such a great cause to take part in! We took the stage to warm everyone up, then took park in the 5k walk with survivors and families who had lost loved ones. The walk raised over $100,000 for the cause. From there, we spent the rest of the day relaxing at the beach (actually Mission Bay which is quieter), getting away from the hockey world. I love the beach- playing card, reading, napping, watching the boats, taking the kayaks out, and just people watching. It never gets old! And that's why I love that we live in San Diego!!!

Finally, I thought that this week of practice would go back to normal. I should have known better. That rarely happens!! So Tuesday rolls around, when we were told practice would be pushed up an hour and a half to 7am (instead of 8:30), and we knew something was up. Our coach ran our warm-up (which never happens- we always run it ourselves) and our sports psychologist was coming in just for the day. We knew something was up, and we had already figured it out: the Navy SEALs were coming to OUR HOUSE. Without warning, the SEALs popped out from their hiding spots and took over.... needless to say, it was a long day!! From pushups to crawling to running, we did it all. We did countless log carries up on the Archery field (yes, they brought their logs with them), then we carried to boats (they brought those too!) down to the lake for hours of rowing and competitions. Personally, my favorite part of the day was when we got to Dump Boat (aka flip it over) when we were on the water. :) We finally pulled the boats out of the water around 11am, 4 hours later. We were then told to hop in the vans... I knew there was no way we could be just heading back to the training center. No way this day was over. As we drove through the local neighborhoods, we realized we were going to running/hiking one of the mountains that is the beautiful backdrop to the lake we look at everyday. After close to 3 miles of up-hill battling, and almost an hour later, we all made it to the top of Mt. Miguel. On one of the hottest days of the year in San Diego, after 4 hours of training, the SEALs told us we made it in the same time if not faster than some of their guys, who do it in shorts and a t-shirt (we were in camo pants long sleeves) and without training beforehand. I would say it was a pretty successful day. The view from up there was amazing too! You could see downtown San Diego, Coronado, Mexico... if only we had our cameras!

So as this final week comes to a close and we head to our regional sites for training, we know that when we return to San Diego, the team could very well take a different look. A new team will be named for the coming year and anything can happen. I wish all my teammates the best! I can't wait to see you on the field in DC! And GO SOUTH!!! :)

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