Wednesday, August 17, 2011
As the team returned to the US early this week from Europe, I also returned home from the beach. Although I had a great time with my family, it definitely was not the easiest task to follow my team while they were away. No, not because we didn't have internet or because I was too busy (although I was pretty busy!), but because I'm not used to being at home while the team if off playing.
With that being said, I am not bitter or upset about not going on tour. It was in my best interest to be at home, staying fit and resting in preparation for the our upcoming schedule, including the Pan Am Games. I just wasn't used to it, so it was a weird feeling for me supporting my team from afar. BUT, I cannot wait to get back out to California next week and hear all about their travels as well as how the games were in more depth. I know some it was a good opportunity for some other players to get some experience internationally and it will only strengthen our team and training's to come.
With as much as we train and travel throughout the year, we often don't get to see our friends and family back at home very often. I definitely took full advantage of that opportunity this past week! My aunt drove up from Florida, my cousin, his wife, and their daughter (Makaela, shes 7), as well as my parents and my brother all made the trip to Arapahoe, North Carolina to spend the week at the "beach". (The house is actually on a creek off of the Neuse River, so it's not really the beach- but it's on the coast of NC so I still call it the beach!)
Anyways, it was a fun-filled week of jet-skiing, boat riding, tubing, water skiing, wakeboarding, rowing, kayaking, hot tubbing, pick up soccer, darts, swimming, and crabbing. Not to mention all the amazing food my dad cooked up! We had shish kabobs, pork ribs, rotisserie chicken, chicken wings, and of course crab! Thanks dad for all the delicious food! Good thing I worked it all off on my early morning runs and all-day water sports!
Although I don't get to go to the creek house very often, I love it there. Most days consist of a little sleep in (which I didn't get this trip because I had to wake up early to do my workouts, but that's ok), a morning on the water (kayaking, jetskiing, or boating), a break for lunch, an afternoon nap, some more water time (always boating!), then dinner and a movie. If that doesn't sound like a great day to you, then I think you're crazy! :)
I would say the absolute best part of the trip, besides spending so much time with my family, occurred on the last morning. Everyone was a little slow getting ready to go Sunday morning because all the activities of the week had finally caught up. But it was my last day there for the summer and probably the rest of the year, so I wanted to make the most of it. I jumped on the jetski (my favorite toy there by far!) and took it out for a ride. The water was so calm and there were no boats in sight (well, besides my mom out on the row boat!). I soon found out that my mom had been following a dolphin around, so I went to check it out. I came in close and I almost ran over it! Don't worry, he was fine and just kept on swimming. At this point, I had to go get my little cousin Makaela because she loves dolphins and had been wanting to see them all week. She hoped on the jetski and we set off to find them! At first, I didn't think we would see them since they could have gone any direction, but she spotted them out of no where and there was a pod of around 10 dolphins all swimming together. We followed them along the river for about a mile, just watching them come up out of the water and swim along. It was a pretty amazing sight. One dolphin even took a liking to us. He kept swimming towards us, swimming under us, and circling us. Now I know dolphins are friendly and I think he just wanted to play, but after Shark Week just airing, there being a whole pod, and I almost ran over one minutes earlier, I wasn't too sure what his intentions were! So we just kept moving a little away, but so where we could still watch them swim. Every time though, the one dolphin seemed to keep finding us! It was the funniest thing. I really think he just wanted to play! Silly little dolphin! Although I have seen the dolphins before at the creek and I have swam with them in captivity, this was a completely different experience. They are amazing creatures and I have a new interest in them! Let's have a DOLPHIN WEEK instead (or maybe as well as) Shark Week! Come on Discovery Channel!
Well, this is my last week at home for a while and I am definitely going to enjoy it! Especially since training is going to really pick up when we get back- Pan Ams are right around the corner! :) Check back in a few days for another update on what I am up to!