Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Day 12 - I Had a Dream

I awoke in a wet warmth on the pavement outside a Target store. When I came to, there were workers spraying psychedelic graffiti art of targets all over the walls outside, turning doors into walls, and covering up secret compartments… A sliding glass door opened nearby so I wrapped myself in a thick, rough white cotton blanket and ran deep into the hospital-white hallway. I sensed some movement behind me, so I dodged into a women’s bathroom. There I found a locker room and a shower where many women of all ages, shapes, and sizes were engaging in what looked like post-game clean up. I joined them and nobody noticed that I didn’t belong (including me). When we were ready, the owner of Strauss Carpets called us into an adjacent room to talk to us. As we entered the room I noticed the girls’ faces more… Some were plump with darker skin and hair, some were very young and skinny, some were older with wrinkled leathery skin and light hair. The owner of Strauss carpets, a short, fit older man with tanned skin and white hair, looked at us through wire glasses and spoke in a confident tone. The team had a tentative, scrutinizing air... I forget what he said, but he was looking right at me and I was immediately overwhelmed with the thought “I’m here because of his generosity”. My eyes welled up with joy and shame and fear and I couldn’t help it – the tears just flowed…

I woke up in the spare room where I slept last night - sunlight pouring in through the window. My whole upper body was covered in sweat and the deep sense of gratitude from my dream was still strongly present in my mind and body. The generosity of others has brought me this far. I wouldn’t be here without my incredible friends and family. I can’t believe this is happening… I tryout tonight. Wish me luck!


I ate breakfast at the house and then spent the day sight seeing in Tours. It really is beautiful here and there is so much that reminds me of home... Seriously, don't laugh, but I was super stoked every time I saw a gay couple (like absurdly glad that people are out here). Haha! I walked to the City Hall where there was an exhibition on the new tramway they've built here. Cool artist, Daniel Buren, conceptualized the whole project and he has some amazing ideas. You can read about it here:

I checked out the town, the shops, the markets, and the churches. At 8pm, I met six girls on the current team and started working out with them. Everyone is white, which bums me out a little, but at least we're all different ages (13-36!!!!)... And, yes, you probably guessed it already, but I was, in fact, aced by that thirteen-year-old!

Seriously though, I hit well, showed off my fitness and my attitude, but didn't exactly give them the best example of my serve-receive passing and serving. The coach is SO AMAZING. She's perhaps the fittest fifty year old I've ever met. Very even keel. Knows her shit... I know I would be so so lucky to be coached by her. After practice, I shared a snack and a drink with the leadership and gave them my terms: an apartment, a bike, health insurance, visas, USA Volleyball fees, a salary, and possibly a ticket home. They seem interested in my ability to coach. The work required would be two practices and one game a week until May of next year. Obviously, I would have to put the extra work in to improve my game. They are going to counter offer tomorrow before the last train back to Amsterdam...

Very exciting! More later...


  1. Life is so amazing sometimes! Just when we think its over it really has just begun! Congratulations on the offer! You can only improve and gain an experience of a life time time! One of my favorite quotes by Theodore Roosevelt : " It is not the critic who counts, or how the strong man stumbled and fell, or where the doer of the deed could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who actually in the arena, whose face is marred by sweat and dust and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion and spends himself in a worthy cause, and if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that he'll never be with those timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.

  2. CRYING!! Thanks Mom. I love you and I can't wait to see you again!