Posted in Life Abroad

Villlage People

In the words of a wise friend aka D aka best ex roommate ever we have officially become, “zombies in real life, beasts on the court”.

I’ve been in Lindesberg for almost a full month now and I really couldn’t think of a better way to describe myself well okay maybe “aspiring beast on the court” would be more appropriate after shaking of the summer rust. I’ve finished COUNTLESS TV series and have become hooked on the “Married At First Sight” phenomenon. Once I ran out of the US version of the show I happily began to work through the AU version of the show and since I’ve run out of both (5 seasons total) I’ve started “Married At First Sight: The First Year”. Um you can see where the zombie in life thing comes into affect and that is definitely not the only TV series I’ve worked through. Getting motivated to focus on my grad school work and fixing up my blog has been more of a struggle than expected but I feel a tide turning.

The past few weeks here have been great, I’m living my dream of playing volleyball professionally practicing at least once a day and doing an additional practice or lift depending on the day. I have a quaint little apartment all to myself and although it’s about the size of my previous closet in Abilene, it’s become my little oasis after some decorating aka plastering motivational sayings from a coloring book and pictures of loved ones to the walls with washi tape. The town is super small as I’ve mentioned only 9000 people so getting around is easy with my bike that was stolen on Saturday night. Let me rephrase, getting around town was easy when I had a bike which was stolen on Saturday night, we’ll see how I feel about footing it for the next 6 months once the winter season begins.

The first weekend I was lucky enough to have my new boyfriend come visit, he made a small appearance in my blog this past year as Topher Grace and it is absolutely insane how big of a part he will now play in my real life life. He was feeling a little under the weather when he came so we didn’t to too much but eat pizza (literally three days in a row) and watch movies. This little binger of a weekend really got me motivated however to lose the 6kgs (please don’t look that up in pounds) that I’ve put on since moving to Europe last November. You would think the opposite would’ve happened with all the added volleyball practices and games but not having my healthy living partner Ricky Bobby by my side has really been a struggle plus let’s be honest the temptation of kebab is really irresistible. I’ve refocused however and I am so ready to start working hard on and off the court, physically and mentally, to make this my best professional season yet.

We played our first few matches last weekend in the tiny town of Kohila, Estonia. It was a very cool experience getting to play against two National teams, the Estonian National Team and the Latvian National Team (accidentally said Lithuanian in my previous blog) as well as the local Kohila Team that competes in the top division in Estonia. We ended up getting second which was really nice and I think will give us more confidence going into future games. Competing in the matches and playing sixes was definitely enjoyable and needed but I think the extended time with teammates was just as beneficial.

This was really the first significant amount of time I’ve spent with my new teammates aka the village people and it was so great getting to know them. Our first little adventure came when we were told to follow one of the Kohila players in a car to our “hotel”. When we left the gym we talked about walking back since the town was so small but 10km later we finally made it to our home for the weekend. It ended up being a log cabin in the middle of nowhere. All the other girls thought it was relatively normal since the majority of them are LITERALLY FROM VILLAGES. But I felt as though I was in the twilight zone. There was a garden with like lettuce, and carrots, and other vegetables that people apparently grow in their backyards equipped with scarecrows and CDs hanging (all the cool villagers are doing it) to frighten the birds away. There was also a sheep chained up a few meters away from our cabin that the girls would go out to pet and feed. Literally all I could think is where am I and what am I doing here. However by the end of the weekend I felt hopeful and excited about the upcoming season and the time I’ll get to spend with my new village people aka teammates.

We had this past weekend off from games so we got to do a team sauna after two-a-days on Saturday. So when I, or any of my Americaner friends, envision a sauna we would typically imagine a big square room inside a locker room or some sort of spa facility with a controlled temperature and a lot of steam. Well this was a different type of experience. This sauna was, first of all outdoors and second of all run by like a fireplace or something? We walk outside of the gym in our swimsuits and tennis shoes (quite the fashion show) towards a little blue hut sitting on a creek leading into Lindesberg lake, apparently you can detach the sauna and float it in the middle of the lake. We go inside of the sauna and in the corner is a big dutch oven contraption with burning logs inside of it and hot stones on top of it. To control the temperature you manually pour water over the stones to make it hotter inside the sauna. I don’t want to say this was my first sauna experience but now that I think back on my life I don’t ever remember feeling so uncomfortably hot and sweaty while being unable to breathe due to the burning hot air that would singe the inside of my nostrils and throat. One of the girls asked me to rank my experience afterwards and I surprisingly gave it a 7 due to the whole, I constantly do things that make me uncomfortable thing I have going (reference Thailand adventure aka cliff diving and trekking through jungles or Australia adventure when I sky dove? sky dived…).

All in all my first few weeks here have been so great. This was the first year in a long time I celebrated my birthday away from my close girl friends and family. Topher Grace, his family, and my village people all did such a great job of making me feel just as special as I would’ve back home. I even got a surprise visit from two of the girls on the team Freja and Rebecka aka Milky aka Milky Milky Fresh Fresh, with presents in hand which were a map of Lindesberg so I could get around the bustling city and a Swedish reading and writing book for 6 year olds. The perfect gifts. I’m excited to get started with the upcoming season and do some very necessary work to spiffy up my blog and to finish up grad school. There is so much in store for this year and my goal and aim will be to live in the moment and to be intentional, a word I used as a coach numerous times with my baby wild cats.

Ever Wanderlusting,