December 7, 2006 10:28pm
Wow, in two weeks I’m going to be all packed up to come home for Christmas! Time is moving so quickly. We already are down to only one more game in 2006! Of course, we don’t play a game for a whole month (game break from Dec 10th to Jan 7th)… but to think that we’re approaching the midway point of our regular season is pretty hard for me to believe. Guess it just means I’m enjoying my time here : )
Last night we played at Eskilstuna. The city is about an hour-and-a-half bus ride away. We traveled on a pretty nifty coach bus that had two stories and a neat little (or rather large) lounge area both upstairs and downstairs. We (the players) all hung upstairs, while the coaches were downstairs. I knitted for most of the ride there and also listened to my teammates talk in Swedish. Lol. I try to understand what they’re saying… sometimes I think I understand pretty well, but other times I’m very much clueless. It’s fun to try to figure it out, though. I’m glad they speak in Swedish to each other, cause they will of course speak in English if need be, but it’s more fun for me when they speak their language!
When we arrived… about two hours before game time… Anders sent us on a walk. Going for a walk, outside in the cold, before the game?! That’s what Erin and I thought the first time we heard of this, but it’s quite common here. If teams have a flight or substantial bus ride before a game, once they arrive everyone goes for a pretty good walk (like up to 30 mins) out and around the arena. It sounds kinda strange compared to pregame routines in America, but I really liked it last night. The cool air is refreshing, plus we get a chance to see a bit more of the cities we travel to (than we would otherwise see if we just went from the bus to the gym). Last night, we walked through this old little village – a bunch of small, red, barn-like houses and shops organized into an old-fashioned looking mini-town. I don’t really know the purpose of this collection of small houses, but it was kinda fun to stroll through there and look into the windows. The main street area was very pretty as well because it was all lit up with Christmas lights! All in all, the walk was a very nice pregame warm-up.
Eskilstuna, the team we played, is in the bottom half of the standings, though they do have a very capable American – Cisty Greenwalt (I may have spelled that wrong… but she played with Erin at Texas Tech and then some in the WNBA too). Well, we won 90-60. We didn’t start out great, but grabbed the lead soon enough. Anders played everyone a good chunk of time – everyone scored and everyone played between 12 and 22 minutes. Erin and I started the second half, but never went back in once we were subbed out early in the third quarter … began to remind me a bit of high school… how there were so many games then that some of us only played about a half of the time! Overall, it was a really good game to get everyone’s confidence up and provide “game experience” (as Tara would say) for everyone!
Today I was into lab by 8:30, then had an appointment to have my new orthotics fit into my basketball shoes, went back into lab for the afternoon, and finally had practice tonight at 7pm. Aaron, the American researcher at Smittskyddinstitutet that has generously accommodated me into the lab and taught me so much already, returned today after being gone to Israel with his wife and young son for the past week. Along with some very sweet desserts he brought back to share with the lab from old-town Jerusalem, he shared some very interesting stories about the trip. His mother-in-law is pretty high up in an organization called Seeds of Peace, and she was able to set-up some awesome tours for Aaron’s visit there. I know so little about the history and even current events of the area, but the little I do know just makes me want to learn more about it. As Aaron was sharing some stories, I just kept thinking how blessed we are and wondering how even to imagine the hate, love, and conflict that the different groups of people experience in the Middle East. Hard stuff. Anyway, I was quite interested in hearing the experience of an American just returned from visiting there… made me want to go and see the place for myself. Who knows… maybe I’ll play basketball there next year?!
Time for me to go to bed now because I want to set-up some reactions in lab early tomorrow before Erin and I report to Fryshuset to coach some younger girls in the mid-morning. Those of you who are Grey’s watchers, how was it? Don’t tell me what happened, though. I’ll download it soon! God natt.