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Started from the Bottom

Hey friends!

I’ve officially been over here for two weeks and change and am all settled in.

I’ve moved into an apartment with one of my American teammates Jamie, and two other Americans on the team live right next door, Amanda and Evyn. Now you would think that as Professional Volleyball Players in Europe we’d be living in the lap of luxury. But this isn’t super close to the truth. Our apartments, I just found out yesterday, are converted garages….picture that for size. They are studio style with two of us living in each of the apartments, before I got here one of the girls (Ev) joked that she broke a glass in the kitchen and in got in her bed, I didn’t get it before…I do now. Although the apartments aren’t overly luxurious, we make it work and I’ve enjoyed getting to know my new roomie. I should probably warn her that 9 out of the 13 previous roommates I’ve had are now married (just call me Good Luck Eege. Eh, maybe at the wedding). Plus the twin towers aka Amanda and Ev are besties and could survive in their apartment for days with no other human interaction, they’re hilarious, and tall.

In the past week I’ve also had my first few shifts working at our sponsor cafe, Cafe Bopa. Home of the infamous 39dkk (danish kroner) morgenbuffet (morning buffet). That is seriously DIRT CHEAP in Copenhagen, and it’s delicious, so if you’re ever in CPH come in Mon-Fri before 11:30, maybe you’ll have the pleasure of sipping on delicious IJ made with love latte.  Bopa is the same cafe I worked at years ago when I came over for the first time and there is a whopping total of 4 familiar faces, 2 of which are management. Anyone in the restaurant industry would understand that. Thankfully the familiar ones are the good ones :). I think the highlight of working this past week was surviving a 8hr shift off of 3 hours of sleep thanks to a late night out with the 5th American on our team “D” aka my twin according to Danish Volleyball referees. The low point of working was biking 6 miles at about 6:30am IN THE RAIN, without a rain coat. Color me wet. In my defense, it didn’t start off raining, but after about 1 mile in, a drizzle began and about 3 miles in I was so soaked I literally had to stop on the side of the road due to the mascara stinging my eyeballs. Needless to say, I left my apartment with a full face of beautiful makeup on singing “I woke up like this” and got to work how I actually woke up.

We also had our first league match with our full roster this past week. We won in three straight sets and played well. We still have a lot of work to do (granted our full team has played together for a whopping 1 week, our libero was gone on a Caribbean Cruise this past week) and have our next league match on Friday against a stronger opponent Amager that should be a real tell of were we actually stand in the league. We are in an 8 team league with two teams that are usually at the top, Holte and Bronby. Both of our losses this year have come from them, Bronby remains undefeated while Holte has one loss vs Bronby. We’ll be facing Holte in the Danish Cup Final 4, Bronby and Amager will be the other semifinal match (not the same as league play). The Final 4 is a big volleyball weekend consisting of six matches, semis for Men’s and Women’s and then finals for both divisions, the weekend will be capped off with a Gala. Now, the people that know me know that my first thought when I hear Gala is shopping trip (YAY). But remember that whole, sacrifice wardrobe, sell all belongings, “live off less” mantra I’ve been spewing? No? Me either, I want a new dress.

As for grad school, I’m currently finishing up my last semester for the year, one year down one to go(God is good!) I also found out, which only makes sense, that we don’t start our next course until January, SO HAPPY, and my wonderful alma mater, ACU is allowing me to keep my tuition discount for a tiny bit longer to help me out financially (praise Jesus!). Another update, my room in Abilene will be occupied starting in January by the new Assistant Coach at ACU…have I mentioned God is good? So many of the financial burdens that held me back from making this decision are being lifted. Which merits me buying a new dress for the Gala that I could potentially meet my volleyball playing future husband right??? Speaking of God, I think I found a new church home as well, Hillsong in Copenhagen central close to Vesterport Station about a 40 minute commute via train from my apartment in Lyngby. It’s nondenominational and in English and it’s awesome. Additionally, the pastor has an Australian accent which is wonderful on the ears but reminds me a little too much of a former Aussie someone (more on that later…maybe). And he’s tall, and has dark hair, and a prominent jawline (girly girls you know who I’m saying). I digress, I’m super excited to plant roots there and to find a community group that I can start going to.

I also had my first Tinder experience (mom, dad, other adults in my life that care about my welfare and emotional being, it’s to make friends I PROMISE). Turns out my Tinder experiences here will be similar to my ones at home. My teammate D and I (remember the late night mentioned above) met with him in the city and he was super nice, and cute, and will make a wonderful 5’7 friend. She deserves a Grammy for the performance she put on as the “distraught girlfriend that had to go home”, I played the part of “caring girlfriend that couldn’t let her leave alone”. WE’RE TERRIBLE PEOPLE, stop judging me. If it makes you feel better I’m convinced God is going to send me a 5’4 husband just to spite me, but I’ll love them both just the same.

The past two weeks have almost seemed like I never left. It was so so bizarre to be back in the same gym, back in the same cafe, riding the same trains, biking down the same streets. It was all a little bit different but oh so the same. It makes me think, did I just put my life in reverse and take about 10 steps back??? I went from having a career that enabled me to build relationships and a program in a place that I love so much (Go Wildcats!!) to living in a tiny apartment, working as a barista, and playing volleyball. Wait….and playing volleyball, AND PLAYING VOLLEYBALL! Even though my life isn’t as luxurious as one would think a pro athlete overseas should have, I’m starting from the bottom and working hard to get to the top.

Always wanderlusting,

IJ

 

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