Monday, June 27, 2011

Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica

Here comes another random blog post. I have a few things to tell you about. So, here goes...

1. After the girls got back from Montreux, Hugh gave everyone a long weekend (16th-19th) which was much much needed. So, I decided to go back to Lincoln for a few reasons: to get out of Anaheim for a few days, to see my old teammates and friends in Lincoln, and to make some money working the last individual skills camp at Nebraska. It was an amazing weekend! I didn't get much sleep and working camp was exhausting but I got to see all my old teammates and coaches and have a night downtown with one of my best friends, Tara Mueller, and my momma. And even if it was only for a few days, I completely regained my sanity. I definitely needed a break from Anaheim to get out and spend some time away from the gym and the same faces.

2. While I was in Lincoln I did receive something that I've been waiting a long time for! And....drum roll please!
YES! Our Big 12 Championship rings are in! Designed by yours truly along with fellow seniors Lindsey Licht and Tara Mueller! And I think we did a pretty sweet job if I do say so myself! The only sucky thing about it is that it doesn't fit :( So, looks like I'll have to get it resized to fit my fat swollen fingers. But, oh well, at least it's cool to look at!

3. For those of  you who know me, this may come as quite a shocker so brace yourselves....I've started eating salad. AND I LIKE IT NOW! Like if I go to a restaurant, I may actually order a salad as my entree just like I did recently at JT Schmid's:
You got it! This, ladies and gentlemen, is a chicken caesar salad. I ordered it. I ate it. I enjoyed it. Like I actually get cravings for salad now. Even tonight Carli (Lloyd), Gibby (Lauren Gibbemeyer) and I went back to this restaurant (we received gift cards as a meal stipend) and I ordered one of my usual favorites: Chicken Parmesan. I got done eating it and I literally thought to myself, "I should've ordered the salad!" Crazy right? I know what you're thinking..."Why Kayla! Chicken Parmesan is normally one of your absolute favorite meals!" I KNOW! My mind is still boggled by it. But, I'm gonna go with it because salad is like good for you or something right? ;)

4. So, it looks like I won't be making any rosters for the summer. Which is understandable as Team USA needs to qualify for the Olympics this summer and they don't want to send any rookies to try and do that. So, I get it. It just sucks to be stuck training while others get to go and compete. So during tournaments, the traveling roster will go and compete, leaving about 12-14 people in the gym to continue practicing while they are gone. So, it looks like we might have to forget about London in 2012 and look towards Rio in 2016 because I might have set my own expectations a little too high. "Reach for the stars. And if you don't grab 'em, at least you'll fall on top of the world." Nothing wrong with setting big goals for yourself. I'm not sure how long I'll be in Anaheim for, but the team will be gone competing the entire month of August and I'm not sure I want to stay here during that time to train with a small group without our coaches. So, we'll see what happens. I'm trying to figure out where I'm going to go play this upcoming season. Austria is looking pretty good right now (maybe because I don't have any other offers). I think I would like Austria. Maybe because the coach of that team is actually one of my USA assistant coaches, and my USA teammate, Jenna Hagglund, is for sure playing there too. And my USA teammates that have played there before have all told me that it is a great first year experience and a great way to get better. So don't worry Mom and Dad, I'm not signing any contract yet, at least not until we figure out some more details. But, Austria right now is a strong possibility for my first overseas league season.

5. Alright, this may be the most random sentence of this entire post, but I think I'm going to get back into drawing. I know, random. I was in art classes all through high school so I love drawing (and I think I was pretty decent at it too). Not only do I enjoy it, but I think it'll be a good way for me to relax and mentally "get away" now that life has become a little more stressful. Maybe if I do start drawing again I'll post some on here so you can see.

6. Anyways, things have been a little rough here with volleyball and school. It hasn't been the easiest road so far but I gotta keep telling myself it'll all pay off in the end. I miss home and I miss Lincoln and I miss my friends very much! I want you to know I love you all! And Goosey I will call you soon I promise :)

And I know I've been faltering on my "The Office" clips so here is a good one I think you'll get a laugh out of! Enjoy! Identity Theft

Okay that's all I have right now. Goodnight all! DREAM BIG!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Weekend Getaway!

Okay, so far, this week is going really well for me. I passed a 3.27 on Tuesday and defended really well today. We have one more day of practice this week and then we have Friday off! Thank God because I need to get the hell out of here. And guess where I'm going!?!?!?!?! LINCOLN!!!!! Yes ladies and gentlemen, I am going back to the place that has become my home and the place that I have so very deeply missed since being in Anaheim. This Nebraskasickness I think has added to the stress of playing with USA. I realize I'm blessed to be here and I'm gonna play my ass off as long as I am here but damn I'm really really bummed I couldn't spend my last summer of college in Lincoln. It would've been amazing to be there working out, relaxing, and hanging out with my friends. ANYWAYS!! I'm done with my sob story. AAAAND I'm flying back to Lincoln tomorrow afternoon to work the last summer individual camp. I'm excited to see all my friends and former teammates and have a fun relaxing weekend. I've been looking forward to this for weeks! This might be the last time I get back to Lincoln for a long time, and once I get back to Anaheim I'll be back at it working hard to make the next roster for the Pan Am Cup in Mexico.

But for now, I'll be enjoying my time back in Huskerland :)


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Struggle Bus

Welp, I didn't make the first roster. It's in Montreux, Switzerland and the team that did travel is there now. Not gonna lie, it sucks. The past two Saturdays we had morning scrimmages. Little did I know that the people that were going to Montreux were going to be participating in this scrimmage. I went to the gym the first Saturday scrimmage and warmed up like I would for a match. When warm up was over, we all gathered at the white board to find out what exactly was going to happen with the scrimmage. Hugh pointed at a couple of lineups on the board. If you're initials weren't in any of the lineups it meant two things. 1. You weren't going to Montreux. and 2. You could cool down. Wait...didn't I just warm up? So you're telling me that I woke up early this morning and prepared to play, warmed up, only to cool down right away? Really? Wow. I don't feel like a loser or anything. There were maybe five outcasts that didn't get to play. Awesome.

But, looking back on my first month or so here, I can't really say that I'm surprised anymore. I'm super bummed I'm not in Switzerland right now, but I haven't been passing nearly as well as I normally do, especially this past week. I've never been so frustrated with my passing. I don't think I've passed this bad ever. Literally. So, I've started coming back to the gym in the afternoons to get some extra passing reps. Which is really nice because it gives me a chance to work on technique and to get some one on one time with Hugh. AND not only was Hugh there yesterday, Stacy Sykora was there, as well. I've told you all about how I could sit and listen to Tracy Stalls talk forever and never grow bored. Well, Stacy is that kind of person as well. She is full of awesome stories and is super funny and so easy to talk to. Anyways, Stacy was there yesterday to get some easy passing reps as she's still trying to recover from her accident. She was AMAZING to me! She talked me through that entire hour of passing reps. She told me what I was doing right, what I could do better with, what I needed to fix. We would take turns getting reps and literally after every single one of my turns she had some sort of feedback for me. It was so great. She was so helpful and genuinely wanted me to do well and improve my passing. She told me about when she was first learning this style of passing how she would go and cry everyday after practice because she would get so frustrated. So, she understands the position I'm in as I'm trying to make adjustments that will help me become a great passer on a professional level, and she has been so empathic and helpful and wonderful. Even after practice yesterday morning, she talked to me about communicating strategies that she uses with the outside hitters she passes with. Over the past two days she has instantly become a mentor and role model for me. It's like an amateur guitarist that wants to make it big in the music industry getting a jam session with Leonard Skynard. I am so lucky. I can't wait to keep working with her. Needless to say, she gets my vote for teammate of the week.

So, goal for the next week (or I guess forever): PASS BETTER. That's what is going to get me to the Olympics. That's what going to set me apart from my competition. It is essential.

Wish me luck...