After yesterday's let down of not making the top 14, I woke up determined to play my best today... I was so jazzed that at 6am I was lacing up my shoes to go for a jog through the hilly paths just south of Hotel Dras. The forest here is dense, but the early morning light was cutting through the trees in fabulous shades of pink and gold. I actually stopped and stared - no, not to catch my breath! wink wink - to admire many of the little details about this place... The wildflowers are in full bloom. I spotted two deer and whole duck family (they "kvak" here - ahah!)...
In addition to the ski runs here (which double as mountain biking paths in the summer time), there is a ropes course, a golf course, a slide down the mountainside, two gondolas, a soccer field, an outdoor bounce house, a resort with yoga, swimming pools, a spa, and bike rentals... Oh my gosh - this town has so much to offer! Blah blah blah - Maribor is great!
After doing some yoga on the edge of a little reservoir outside our hotel, I went into the hotel restaurant for an early breakfast. (Have I mentioned how amazing the food is here??) I knew this would be my first morning that required coffee because I was up SO LATE and then woke up SO EARLY last night - I think my brain just needed to process the reality of hanging out at the bottom of this incredibly impressive lineup of skillful players/leaders, and thinking about how I've got to be ready for my close up today! :)
Right after breakfast, we said goodbye to two of our roomies - and five became three. Such mixed feelings!! I'm so excited for them and the adventures they are about to embark upon, I'm jealous of their success, I'm so so sad to see them go... Ahhh! It's so confusing... One second we're picking a girl up off the floor and telling her she has the next ball - the next second you're fantasizing about breaking her legs - haha!
ANYWAY - got ready really really carefully just to be sure my pre-game routine was done to a tee. It was. Unfortunately, we arrived in the gym to some bad news - that is - no more coaches are coming here to watch us... The bright side??
1. We are going to get some much needed down time tomorrow
2. We will receive more personalized attention from our agents/coaches at trainings
3. While we continue to improve, we buy time for the agents to drum up the best jobs that are still out there
4. We might be embarking on a little road trip of our own to visit them
Even with this disappointing news, I felt good as soon as I stepped on the court. No joke - I played the best volleyball of my whole entire life for the next two hours! I know the other girls noticed, and of course, ha! I could barely recognize myself, so I noticed, but it's really hard to say if anyone else noticed... My mission over the next week is to just keep doing things that get attention for the right reasons, and to continue to forge bonds with this incredible group of women... Oh man, I am impatient for the fulfillment of all of our dreams of making a team.
In the afternoon, we practiced again and after lunch, I rented a bike and ventured into Maribor on my own. It felt so so great to be on the bike... (More on this later - hehe!)
It's only the fourth day here and I already feel like I have truly experienced a lifetime range of emotions. I have laughed till my face is sore... I've shouted "let's go" more times than I can count... Sang "Climb Every Mountain", sat quietly, meditated, sobbed like a baby, and screamed YAY! like, well, like a school girl - which is how young I feel to be playing the highest level volleyball I've ever played right now. This experience is like a roller coaster off the tracks...
It's very late, so I must be going to bed now... More tomorrow! Good night!