The Rookie Point Of View| From College To Pro…

Before coming to Europe I had a lot to learn about professional volleyball, and I’m still learning more and more every day. However, already being over here for about eight months, I can definitely shed some light on the differences I’ve noticed in my transition from collegiate to professional volleyball…


 

Your mind and body are your job…treat them well.

When volleyball is the only thing you have to focus on, you need to take care of two major things that can affect many aspects of your performance.

 

BODY…LISTEN TO IT! Aches and pains are normal with the amount of training and games you have, so you need to make sure you’re doing all you can to keep yourself fit during the season. I definitely learned the importance of this when coming back from injury.

In college, most players are accustomed to walking into the athletic training room before or after practice and having any pain tended to by the team trainer. However, that’s not always the case when you play overseas. Thankfully our team has physical therapists and doctors that help us maintain our bodies the whole season, but it’s still the player’s responsibility to be smart about their own recovery. As a result you need to make sure you’re doing all the stretching, biking and rolling before practice, to get your body ready, and after practice to cool your body down. There are times where I’ve stayed in the gym a little longer or laid out a yoga mat in my apartment to do extra stretching and rolling when I feel like my body needs it, and there are times where I’ve felt a huge different the next morning. Of course after heavy lifting days, or long practice weeks, your body will be more tired and sore, but keeping it loose and mobile is beneficial in the long run.

Another thing I personally had to get accustomed to was letting our coach know if there was pain that would prevent me from practicing. In my opinion this stemmed from two different things:

1) It’s been engrained in my mind to “play through pain” or just be tough. I guarantee I’m not the only athlete with this mindset at times, and I now know that this isn’t the best mindset to have when your pain becomes serious. It’s okay to not be okay, that’s the natural of sports and that’s the price you’ll pay sometimes.

2) I felt guilty for being injured or hurting at times. Even when you do all you can do, your body will still heal at its own pace. You may get frustrated because you’re not able to be as explosive as you want, or may feel restricted when moving, but you’ll actually make it worse for yourself if you continue to sweep pain under the rug when it actually becomes serious. So communicate how you feel!

Staying hydrated and eating healthy is extremely important as well. My mom has told me this all my life so now she can officially say, “I told you so”. The way you eat and the amount of water you drink can make a drastic difference in the way your body feels. My body tells me immediately when I haven’t downed enough water in between trainings, before/after games, etc. It also tells me when I’ve eaten too much, too little, or not the right things!

The food you eat can transform your body and also give you more energy. As I’ve started learning more and more about nutrition I definitely make an effort to incorporate a lot of whole foods and super foods into my diet. Of course I have my cheat days, and anyone who knows me well knows that I have a weakness for potatoes, mac and cheese, and Reese’s, so I definitely won’t sit her and claim I have the most perfect diet in the world, but trust me I try!

(If you’re interested in any meals I’ve made this season, I’ll be posting a section soon!)

PLEASE REMEMBER your nutrition is very important whether or not you’re an athlete. You only have one body, treat it well!

MIND…CENTER IT AND KEEP IT SHARP! Volleyball will definitely consume you during the season…because that’s all you’re here to do haha. So you need to find ways to escape and re-center your mind when you may get a bit stressed or fatigued. I struggled with this midway through the season when my mind and body had been so accustomed to a four-month collegiate season for five years. So to help me get through it, I received advice from my agent, friends and teammates, I read more books, did more bible study, wrote more, experimented with different recipes, and did everything to disengage when I didn’t have to be fully engaged.

(Check out this video session hosted by Ryan Owens for more advice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijICfTXhlGs)

Trust me, you’re not always going to feel 100 percent mentally and physically, but taking the steps to stay close to it are definitely beneficial. Every day you go into your training sessions, accept it as a challenge to be as focused as you can, practice hard, learn from mistakes and still remember to enjoy playing the game.SSC photo #3

Training schedule.

Your training schedule will more than likely consist of two practices and day. The morning session will be some sort of individual position practice with weights, while the night session will be a full-team practice (and in some cases the two training sessions will be switched). Depending on the point of season you’re in and the amount of games you have, there may even be weekends, full weeks and afternoons off. Of course every team and league is different, so wherever you play, you will probably need some time to adjust to the schedule. After that, you’ll have your own daily routine that will allow you to get into your rhythm as the season goes on.

Season Length.

In Europe your season will last about 9 months (essentially like playing two college seasons in a row), while in a few other countries you only play 4-6 months.

Distance from home.

While in college, it’s one thing to be across the country or a few states away, but when you have to be an entire ocean plus a major time difference away, it makes it a bit more difficult. As a result I’ve sacrificed some sleep to talk to people from home, or some of my off days consist of catching up on a backlog of FaceTime calls. As the season progresses and as you get more and more busy with volleyball, you get used to the distance.

New culture.

While in college you get used to being around a lot of newness and a mixture of different people. However, the game changes when you move to a country where you don’t speak the language or have to live a different lifestyle. Yes, you may experience culture shock, have awkward moments, and even have translation/communication issues. But eventually you’ll learn how to embrace all the newness and laugh at the awkward situations that may even happen on the daily. Thinking back to when I first arrived, I’m proud to say that I adjusted well and can speak German better than before. Even though I still don’t fully understand it and sometimes just have to smile and laugh or look at my teammates to help me translate, I’ve tried to embrace everything I possibly can while I’ve been over here.

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I encourage any athlete who has the desire to play overseas to do it! You’ll be uncomfortable at times and challenged in ways you may have never imagined both on and off the court, but the experience is very fulfilling. Like I said earlier, I’m still working on many aspects of my life as a pro athlete from how well I take care of my body to being more and more mentally tough. I don’t know if this will be my profession for years to come, or for only this year, but I do know that I will continue to learn all that I can about myself and face every situation that will help me grow while living this lifestyle.

Feel free to reach out to me on social media , ask questions or share your experiences about playing overseas. I hope this finds anyone who needed to gain more insight!

 

E.

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My Essentials in Germany

I’m back…after an unintentional two month break! So on this very beautiful, snowy day in Vilsbiburg, I finally decided to organize my thoughts and write a 3-part update, so make sure to keep reading!

 

Since being here I’ve learned a lot about myself from admitting that I actually may like Justin Bieber’s music to learning the things I need in life that truly make me happy.

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Compliments of Instagam’s memes that always strangely sum up my life.

 

So here we go, my essentials while living abroad. Some may resonate with you, others may seem strange to you, some you may want to try out yourself!


 

Netflix 

Yes I admit it, I may have sat and watched 5-6 back to back episodes of prison break at one point since I’ve been here…but I’m not the only one who’s done it ok?! Lol.

Some days after a long day of training it’s nice to make a good dinner, relax and watch your favorite shows or movies on Netflix. Maybe in between practices as well.

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Books

So after I went through what felt like a very long Netflix phase, my mind needed more stimulation than pressing the “next episode” button on my IMG_2841screen. I love to read but developed the bad habit of starting a book then finishing it months later.

So I made a resolution to finish every single book I read while I’m here for the season…and so far it’s two down and about four more to go.

 

 

Journal

So I already shared that I love to write. Whenever I’m not blogging I’m journaling or jotting down thoughts on my phone. I love being able to go back and see where my mind was at a certain point in time, capturing memories through writing when I can’t do so in pictures and having keepsakes for the future.

I also learned about a cool website (https://www.lulu.com/) where you can self-publish your own books! Sorry if I’m late but I think it’s a cool way to publish your thoughts, novels, poetry books, etc.

Wireless Speaker

Whether you need music to wake you up in the morning or transform the movie on your laptop into a surround sound experience, a wireless speaker is definitely a must-have.

Video Calls

After my sister and I got my parents over the slight learning curve of video calling…we finally figured it out! LOL. (Love you ma and daddy sorry I had to call you out). Being able to talk to loved one’s while overseas isn’t always the easiest with busy schedules and time differences, so when I do get a chance to talk to everyone it’s so relieving…even if it’s a 2-hour FaceTime session or a 10-second Snapchat video. From my friends in L.A. and Hawaii who are 9 and 12 hours behind, to family on the East Coast who are 6-hours behind I love being able to catch up with them all…even if it means sacrificing sleep some days.

Coconut Oil

IMG_2837Coconut oil is great for your face, body, hair and cooking! Before I get in the shower I’ll rub coconut oil all over to soothe and moisturize my skin before cleansing. On top of making your skin feel amazing, it also smells great. All you have to do is Google coconut oil and you’ll see thousands of results on it’s benefits and uses!

 

Mentors

I learned quickly from my agent Ryan that looking to people for advice is essential while you’re overseas. Especially if you’re new to it and they’ve been through it! I love being able to learn from people and be inspired by others. You never know how good it feels to connect with people until you realize how much you have in common and even learn things you never knew before.

 

New Recipes 

It’s really easy to constantly make the same thing over and over because you know it’s good and some days you’re just way too tired to make anything that requires too much energy. My go-to’s are usually…fish, chicken or turkey steak with vegetables and some type of carb (brown rice, pasta, etc.). Luckily I have a few girls on my team that love to cook, so I love stealing recipes from them.

Candles

IMG_2838I can already count six candles in my apartment that I’ve burned through since I’ve been here because I love them so much. I’m really big on relaxation, so comfy clothes, warm sheets, soothing music, yoga and much more make my day.

Not only are candles relaxing but I also read that candle aromatherapy helps boost your mood.

Bible

Put quite simply it makes me feel centered mediating on scriptures and getting extra motivation every day. In addition I’ll also listen to watch podcasts and live streams of church services from home. All those together keep me encouraged.


That about sums up everything I need while here in Germany and life in general! I challenge you all to think about what brings you happiness, balance, or comfort and instill it more and more into your life everyday…unless it’s Netflix, I don’t think anyone needs it that bad. Lol.

Please feel free to share some of your essentials! Like I said you never know how much you have in common with other people until you share.

Look out for the next update on…

The differences between college and pro sports!

E.

My First Month in Deutschland!

…Well it’s been a little over a month so I’m way overdue for an update of my time since I’ve been here! There’s been so much going on since I’ve arrived that I haven’t had time to actually post my thoughts because I’ve definitely been writing every day!


The Journey Over Here

Once I landed in Munich on July 23 after an 8.5 hour journey it was nice to see a familiar face (I guess you could say?) of a woman who volunteers for the club who was holding a sign with my name on it in the arrivals area. Already jet lagged and delirious it was nice to finally arrive at my destination. Once we loaded my bags into the car it took us about an hour to drive to Vilsbiburg. My German wasn’t the best since I had only learned really simple words from my crash course on Duolingo lol but we were still able to have some good convo in the car before I was knocked out sleeping.

When we made it to Vilsbiburg she took me to the office to take care of some paperwork. The office team was extremely welcoming and organized upon my arrival so I already felt like I was in good hands! I was also able to meet my head coach for the first time who was also very nice, the first thing he asked me was if I knew his name lol I was just hoping I pronounced it right…and I did haha.

After leaving the office I was able to go to the grocery store to buy a few things for breakfast and dinner then head to my apartment for the season. Once I was dropped off, one of the office team members showed me around, double-checked that everything was in working order, explained the recycling system to me (which I’m still getting used to) and made sure I had everything I needed. Once he left I plopped down on the couch in the quiet apartment and let everything settle in for two minutes. I felt like I had been going and going for so long that I didn’t even have time to soak in the fact that I was actually in another country.

As soon as the silence in my apartment started to pierce my ears I quickly turned on some music and started unpacking my things to avoid the possibility of feeling alone or maybe even sad. Once I unpacked everything I started to feel more settled. Next step cooking something for dinner. Chicken sausage and spaghetti with veggies (fancy I know). After eating dinner my upstairs neighbor knocked on my door to give me all the wifi information so I could finally connect with everyone from back home to let them know I made it safely.

For the rest of the week/weekend I attempted to beat my jet lag, hangout with a few of my teammates, walk around and get familiar with the town before the days got too busy with different doctors appointments, getting my visa, etc.

Once the next week began we started workouts to get in shape for the season. Straight lifting and running! I knew I would have to adapt to change and that definitely came true with some of the workouts and testing. I thought I had been through some tough workouts at Miami until one Friday we had hill sprints…yep. We even used the tree roots like agility ladders as we were sprinting up the hill. Even though it was a challenging workout I wasn’t used to I pushed myself with the help of one of my teammates and did well! After all our hard work during the week our coaches took us to the pool for a cool down. I’m still learning how to swim so my cool down was both swimming (or taking a few good strokes then switching to doggy paddling) then holding on to the side of the pool with my arms up LOL!!

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Day Trips to Landshut and Regensburg 

After our first week of hard work I went to a city about 30 minutes from Vilsbiburg called Landshut with some of my teammates. While there we explored, walked through St. Martin’s church, shopped (no I didn’t go overboard) and ate lunch. It was definitely a nice break.

This past weekend I took another day trip to Regensburg with two of my teammates from Holland! It was such a cute city with shops and restaurants galore. Even little side streets that appeared to be desolate were filled with tucked away shops. After parking we walked through the very beautiful St. Peter Cathedral then found a nice bakery to get Cappuccinos. After relaxing we walked around to a few of the shops then stopped for lunch at a really good vegan restaurant my teammate discovered called TaraCafe. Both full and a little tired from walking so much we made our way back to the car and headed back to Vilsbiburg. Definitely another great mini-trip to explore another part of the country.

High School Reunions in Munich

Once I found out I would be playing in Germany this season I connected with my high school friend and club teammate who had been living in Germany for almost a year now. Super random but it was so cool to meet up in Germany having gone so many years without seeing one another. So, for our second weekend off I decided to take a trip to Munich to visit her!

The morning commute started at 10:00 with two of my teammates. We first took the train to Landshut so one of them could show me to a local African shop to get my hair braided and get me familiarized with the trains in Germany. Once we arrived  they walked me to the shop, said hi to the owners and waited around for about 20 minutes before they made their way to Munich since my hair was going to take about 3-4 hours.

After I was all briaded up I made my way back to the station and waited for the next train to Munich! Once I got off the train I stepped into a swarm of people racing around me…definitely a very different pace from Vilsbiburg. I texted Meredith as soon as I had some idea of where I was after walking around aimlessly then finally found her!!

Once we took the train to her side of town we grabbed a bite to eat at the Chinese Tower Biergarten in the English Garden.  It was a beautiful night out (before it started raining) to hangout and catch up with one another after getting our food and drinks from the food court area.

The next morning we woke up and got brunch at Arts ‘n’ Boards, a really cute restaurant with 20 euro brunch buffet (Sonntagsbrunch=Sunday Brunch in German). After we were full we headed back to the English Garden, I thought I had already seen most of it the day before but I was definitely wrong lol, the English Garden is like Central Park on steroids! While there we relaxed and stuck our feet in the stream while watching the stream surfers…yes surfers. I was so fascinated we probably stayed there longer than we expected lol. To finish up the trip we headed to Marienplatz (downtown area) to see the Glockenspiel and walk around. After she dropped me off at the train station I was on my way back “home” and was pretty exhausted from the packed weekend. Even though it was a quick trip I was so glad I got to see her and also see another part of Germany 🙂

A Team Trip to Wolfsburg and Driving a Stick Shift

This is by far the most adventurous thing I’ve done since I’ve been here lol. My mom told me a while back that I would need to learn how to drive a stick shift one day…and that day finally came. She attempted to teach me once, I failed miserably, got discouraged and hadn’t practiced since lol. So when we found out I’d be coming to Germany she gave me another crash course on everything I needed to know. Then once I got to Vilsbiburg I had two teammates continue to teach me and even took me to practice a few times (thank God!!).

By the time we took our trip to Wolfsburg as a team to spend the weekend and pick up our cars I felt prepared! 🙂

Wolfsburg is where Volkswagon is headquartered, so it made for a fun trip! After a seven hour bus ride with the team, staff and office team we finally arrived at our hotel on the Autostadt campus, pretty much like an autocity with Volkswagon attractions and museums (click on the link to get a better idea of what it is…my description wasn’t the best). Once we dropped our bags off we had the option of going to the outlet mall that was right next to the Volkswagon car factory or relaxing at the pool/sauna…can you guess which option I chose? Yes…shopping it was 🙂 I headed there with a few of my teammates and showed very good self-control. After we had a bit of free time to explore we headed to dinner with our sponsors at an amazing tapas restaurant then made it back in time for the water show on the Autostadt campus.

The next day it was time to pick up our cars! After eating breakfast at the hotel we walked around the campus one more time then headed to the Volkswagon dealership. Once we walked down the stairs to the main garage all our cars were lined up ready to be driven off the lot…then the anxiety started to sink in… was I going to be able to drive off the lot without embarrassing myself??

Once we got into our cars I feel like everything started going really fast to the point where I was always a step behind lol. The dealership employees were walking around helping us get settled into our cars while our sponsors were helping hand out lunch boxes for the road trip. Next thing I know I hear people honking, waving and pulling off as I’m trying to get my music hooked up to the car (because you know a good playlist is essential for a long road trip). By the time it was my turn to pull off the lot … I didn’t embarrass myself!! I pulled off the lot with ease…but unfortunately couldn’t find anyone to follow once I found my way to the main road lol. Like I said I was a few steps behind. My hands were shaking because there was so much to think about in the moment: not stalling my car, shifting gears properly, entering my address into the car’s GPS to lead me home, attempting to find someone to follow, how to pump gas in Germany (which I hadn’t even thought about until it was time to get gas), and just driving on the Autobahn in general.

In all, I handled the whole situation well and I’m actually really proud of myself! I was freaking out for no reason because I had enough practice on the road already, I guess just thinking about the length of the drive was daunting. I did stall my car out a few times but I remembered what one of my teammates told me before leaving, “if you stall out don’t freak out, we’ve all done it a thousand times”. So, the times I stalled my car out in bumper to bumper traffic I calmly restarted my car and got a better feeling for lifting my foot off the clutch and giving the car a little gas and so on. Then, the two times I had to stop for gas were  a little different from what I was used to, instead of paying before pumping your gas (whether inside or at the pump) you pump your gas first then go inside to pay, get food, use the bathroom or anything else you may need to do.

Once I finally arrived in Vilsbiburg I made good time and got there around the same time as most of my other teammates. I was physically and mentally drained from focusing not only on the road but driving a manual car by myself for that long…I barely like driving that long in an automatic car lol so this felt like a HUGE triumph.

When Simple Tasks Feel Like Major Accomplishments

Moving miles away from your loved ones and everything you’re familiar with isn’t the easiest but it’s taught me a lot about myself. I was already used to living on my own having done it in college but it’s a little different when you’re in another country not as familiar with the language and even the way of live. Simple things like doing laundry, reading your mail, learning that almost everything is closed on Sundays (tragic for American’s who only know Chik-fil-A to be closed on Sundays lol), picking up/receiving packages, and even going grocery shopping seem like daunting tasks at first. Laundry out of all things right? Figuring out what Pflegeleicht and Koch-/Bunt- Waesche meant for the first time wasn’t as easy as you might think. Trust me Google Translate has become a staple since I’ve been here and of course my teammates have been helping me!

Becoming a Better Athlete and Individual

With our practice schedule some days are tougher than others but I can feel myself improving and finally playing like myself again. Everyday I step in the gym I have to remind myself that nothing will be perfect, mistakes will be made, frustration may occur and I’ll be pushed out of my comfort zone…but hey that’s sports for you, you can’t grow as an athlete without it. I also have to remind myself to not be so hard on myself when I’m trying to strengthen a weak point in my game. Yea I may not get the first, second, third or heck even eighth rep perfect, but when those good reps finally reveal themselves I need to acknowledge them and feel some sort of satisfaction. Whether or not a certain movement feels foreign the first time I do it, soon my body will naturally react to the constant training it’s been put through…that’s the beauty of sports. Patience is key and in a fast-paced, momentum-based sport like volleyball having a short-term memory of your mistakes is important.

Learning the Language 

Just a few weeks ago myself and a few other girls who play for the club who needed to learn German were asked to take classes three times a week. So far my German has definitely gotten better and I’m able to pick up a few things here and there when my coaches or teammates speak. However, I’m definitely lucky to be on a team where everyone speaks English, because I know that’s not always the case. Yes there are a few translation issues from time to time but it’s actually funny. As my teammates keep helping me practice my German, I help them with their English (which is so much better than my German lol) and I’ve even been able to brush up on my Spanish. Learning a new language can be both exciting and daunting when trying to communicate, but when you finally start to understand and pick up a few things it feels great!


WOW that was an overload of information. It honestly took me forever to write this post because attempting to sum up everything that’s been going on here was harder than I thought…But I think I skimmed the surface! Overall, coming from home and becoming a foreigner in this case has continued to give me a better understanding of people in general and it’s helped me grow as an individual by opening my eyes and mind to how other’s live. I’m excited to see what the rest of my time here in Germany will hold 🙂

E.

Welcome!

Individual

For my first post it’s probably not a bad idea to give a quick intro!

Be prepared for a long post…or skim through it if your not a big reader haha. I love to write, so once I start it’s hard to stop (unless its one of the 20+ page papers I had to write for my master’s courses then writing isn’t as fun).

The name of this blog name has a double meaning…

1. As individuals it’s really important for us “To be determined…” when it comes to everything along our life path. This determination can go into making a team, landing a job or even getting a degree. Everything you want in life doesn’t always come easy. However, if you have the determination to do it, absolutely nothing can stand in your way.

2. Sometimes many of us tend to plan every aspect of our lives or hit certain accomplishments by a certain age and think it will go planned (especially me), however, many things in life come unexpectedly! Pretty much like the two sayings, “We plan, God laughs”or “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans”, because he has a lot of things in store for us we don’t know about! So, “To be determined…” in this sense means that life can be very unexpected at times, and situations (both good and bad) will be thrown at us when we least expect it. So life in a way is always being determined.

For me personally, I’ve had an interesting and unexpected volleyball journey. Long story short I’ve played sports ever since I can remember, dabbled in ice skating and dance, moved onto basketball, fell in love with track then stumbled over volleyball my sophomore year of high school (thanks to a couple good friends). I wasn’t expecting volleyball to go any further than high school until I was recruited by the University of Miami by the end of my junior year, what a blessing!

Throwback picture of my official visit. Where did the time go??
Throwback picture of our (class of 2014) official visit. Where did the time go?? Sidetone I had an Adidas Miami shirt…clearly I’m psychic. Also please notice the fact that I had on leggings in 70-80 degree weather at a football game. Yea I’m not 100% sure what I was thinking.

Fast forward to five years later (after redshirting my freshman year) I was able to accomplish a lot more at Miami than I ever thought possible and I’m so proud and honored to have represented The U.

Once I was done at Miami I never had plans to play professional until the idea was brought up by my coaches. Speaking from first-hand experience they said it was something I should definitely consider. At first I was really against it because it was never in my plans to do it…period. Especially not having the senior season I wanted to have nor feeling 100% confident in my skills anymore. I was just going to graduate, get a public relations job in Chicago, DC or New York, then go from there. Once the season was over and December hit, I ended up getting connected with an agent to make volleyball another career path, I realized how much I missed playing the sport, bonding with teammates, and being an athlete in general. So after going through the process of being picked up by a team, I got word from my agent that he got an offer from a team called Rote Raben in Germany!

*Cue God’s laugh now*

Immediately after I found this out I didn’t know how to feel. No doubt I was excited but then there was the anxiety of leaving my family, wondering what the town would be like, how I would adjust to the different training, if my new team would like me, etc. Even irrelevant thoughts that had nothing to do with the experience like how I was going to watch Empire, Real Housewives or Buffalo Bills games…that’s just the control freak in me, I always have to tell myself that it’s impossible to control every aspect in life…so let go! *Elsa voice*

Never in my life did I think I would have the opportunity to play a professional sport (even though I used to imagine myself running the 200 in the Olympics), but to play volleyball in Germany? No way. Especially after calling my mom crying one day after a frustrating spring practice my sophomore year at Miami feeling so discouraged and defeated (and she’ll never let me forget that conversation and brings the story up all the time), telling her that I didn’t think volleyball was for me. However, after her encouraging words I was able to make it through lol.

Thinking back to moments like that help motivate me. I’ve already made it this far so I wonder what else I can accomplish. I also think to myself, “look how far you’ve made it, there have been plenty of obstacles but you’ve got over them, so what exactly can stop you other than yourself?…”

I’ve had so many people to look up to and get advice and encouragement from about professional volleyball and professional sports in general. I know there will for sure be times that will make or break me as an athlete, and there will be tough practices, workouts and games, but at the end of the day it’s all about growth and playing the sport I’ve been trained to played for seven or eight years.

Lastly, I also know there will be new adjustments I have to make. A six to seven hour time difference means I can’t unlock my apartment door in Miami and interrupt my roommate (who was more than likely sitting on the couch watching Love & Hip-Hop) to have a long vent session about our frustrating and indecisive life plans lol. It means I have to be thousands of miles away from the comfort of my family and friends; missing the very familiar sound of footsteps creeping down my Grama’s steps, family parties, watching sports with my dad, car rides through Rock Creek Park with my mom, missing my baby cousin’s milestones and much more. But then again, thinking about 10 months out of all the minutes, hours, months and years I have left to live gives me no excuse but to make it the best experience possible. In all, life has a funny way of presenting itself.

Every morning we have the chance to wake up and make ourselves better. So, although this is a major diversion from my original life path, it’s a very exciting one. I’m excited to see how much I can grow, mature, reach new volleyball milestones and personal goals, and learn about myself while here.

To be determined…

E.