When I came to Istres. It was SO HOT all summer and even in the 70s into late October and early November. After asking one of the local girls, I found out it is super rare to have snow, and when we do, everything shuts down. I found this out much to my dismay because I was hoping for a snowy winter after having an extreme lack of precipitation in my life since I left for California after graduation in May. It doesn’t even rain much here. But I am actually grateful for the sunshine because the girls from the States who play up north get rain all the time! And that would definitely not be fun. But I do enjoy a good thunderstorm every now and then, and we have only had two so far, the climate here is definitely very Mediterranean. Anyways, the point is, this morning we woke up to SNOW!!!
This past weekend we drove through some snowy areas but where we stayed it was about the same weather we had in Istres, waking up this morning to everything covered in magnificent white powder could not have made me happier.
The past two weeks have flown by surprisingly fast. This past weekend we trekked up to as far north as France goes (and actually stayed at a B&B in Belgium) for our match against Le Hainaut. We bused 13 hours one way, and 13 hours back right after the match overnight. Including travel from the hotel to the gym we were on the bus for about 30 hours of our total 50-hour trip. Business as usual. Haha. It was good to see a familiar face, as a girl I used to play against was on Le Hainaut. She played in the states at Iowa State, and we had been seeing each other across the net since high school.
We were very evenly matched going in, but expected to come out with a win. The first set we were up by 7 points and ended up losing the set. It was very frustrating. We went into the break 1-1 and then lost the third set, where our libero, and my roommate took a really hard hit to the head, but like a champ, stayed in the match. I was in and out the last 3 sets, taking advantage of opportunities I had, and trying to work my way back into the lineup. In the fourth set our setter went down with a sprained ankle. So things really got crazy. We ended up squeezing by with a win despite the chaos of the fourth set, and ended up losing 12-15 with our middles and libero setting.
The weekend before that we beat Quimper, which was a match that we definitely needed to win. It was awesome to get a win at home for all of our fans and the people that help out in the club. We also bet a girl who played at BYU. It’s always fun to meet Americans over here because we are few and far and in between.
On another positive note, I found out we have access to a gym with Barre and Yoga classes, among cardio machines and other things. I’m super excited to get my membership card and starting to go over there. I definitely miss the daily workouts outside of volleyball I get with crossfit.
Tomorrow is Thanksigiving, and I am thinking about all my family at home. It is sort of weird not being in the states, let along at home. You would think I would be used to it right now after being immersed in volleyball season at Tennessee. But I have always found some way to have a nice meal with good people if it isn’t my family. The American girls are going to work to put a nice dinner together tomorrow night, but it will just be another regular day in France. But it is also a reminder to continue to be thankful for this opportunity, and my health and the health of my family and friends on the other side of the pond, who I will definitely be thinking of tomorrow.
After this week of practice, we have one match this Saturday, one match next week, and then a 4 day training camp and I am home! Less than 3 weeks, and it is flying by.