Well my time and travels in Europe and the States have officially come to an end. I moved back in with mom and dad, living the dream! I’m back at my job at the restaurant in Novato and picking up some shifts at the coffee cart here and there. My plans for the summer include NOT working weekends (for the first time since like before high school :)) and enjoying the warm weather we are supposed to be having, hopefully soon. I have applied for a couple real jobs in the “green” energy/save the planet type fields and will reevaluate everything at the end of summer. I think I am finally going to hang up the spandex and call my volleyball career a great success and finished. The experience I had playing overseas was absolutely fantastic and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I think I am ready to move on and do something new now :)!
I was so lucky to have a huge support system both overseas and back at home, and as I have tried to express so some people, there is really no way to thank you.
Firstly, I want to thank Tom Donahy and Melissa Walker from the NCVA for getting me all set up with this blog and linking it on the NCVA website. I probably never would have set this up on my own because I am a crazy procrastinator. Thanks to Tom also for recommending BringIt Promotions and getting me in contact with Cory Solomon who was my agent. I’d like to thank Cory and Nick at BringIt, thanks for not losing faith and giving me the chance to bounce back from a horrible first few practices on my part!
Next I want to thank Pappa John in Oslo. You were amazing, you did SO much for me and all us foreigners, we would have bee so incredibly lost without you. My favorite memory of you is coming over with your dinosaur headlight at 1am, I will never forget that. But thank you to you and Emse for taking us in and everything you did for us. You guys made us feel like home and I never felt alone with you guys so close. Tusen tusen Takk!
Ole Martin and Dag Inge, you guys made this season so much fun! Dag Inge thank you for taking such good care of me, making sure I was warm with heaters and sweaters and for the Oslo tours, I really appreciate your looking out for me and helping me with my Norwegian. Ole, you were so refreshing as a coach. I have not had a coach teach me how to hit harder in a very, very long time. I really learned a lot from you! Super tusen takk!
To all my teammates! Thank you for making this year so much fun! I already miss going exploring through Oslo with you guys and our Club 50 nights and days. Please please come visit whenever you want, my door is always open for all of you!
Club 50 members….wow you guys made this year what it was. I have never had so much time on my hands to goof off during the day, like playing indoor one handed volleyball with Vitor in the living room, or our “members only parties” with that stupid, violent game of civil war. I miss you guys already, thank god 4 of us are close-ish and Vitor, I’m coming to see you in Rio you better believe it! Nicole, I do NOT know what I would have done with out you up in the arctic to teach me how to walk on ice and through the snow and live in sub zero weather. Or to have a partner in crime doing everything with me. You are the best traveling partner and we need to plan a reunion soon! Every time I see a Canada anything I think of you! I miss you!!!
So now to the people that I wouldn’t have even made it on the plane if it wasn’t for them. My best friend and jet setter Lorel. I still cannot believe you made the trip to Oslo to visit, that meant the world to me. I remember calling you after like 2 or 3 days in Slovenia in tears because I wasn’t playing well. Thank you for all your psychological help in the weeks before I left when I was completely freaking out and for all your advice and friendship while I was gone. I am so happy to be back and get to see you and have adventures all the time again :). Thanks for being a very much needed friendly face in Oslo, and for being such a wonderful friend to have!
John Engstrom, thank you so much for all your lunchtimes you gave up to kick my ass in the gym. Since my freshman year, John has given up his lunches to do one-on-one volleyball practice thoughout the summer. I went to John in the Spring of my senior year and asked for the same, and without hesitation he agreed. These was some of the only practices I got in before I left and it made a HUGE difference. Thank you so so much John. Congratulations on your beautiful new wife, Jodi, who also came in to a few lunchtime practices, and I am so glad I got to be there to celebrate with you guys on Saturday! Thank you both, your help and support means so much!
Konraaaaad!!! Without you, I would not have had the success that I did. You are so much more than a personal trainer and I loved every workout I did with you, even if I did want to puke half the time. You are such a great friend and you have helped me through so much just through our conversations in between reps of all my favorite exercises, dips, plank to push up, and the weighted ropes. You really encouraged and inspired me to go after what I wanted, and I will appreciate that my whole life. I really can’t express how thankful I am to you.
And lastly my family.
Gramma, thank you for sending me like 2 cards a month, every month, I always looked forward to seeing your cards in the mail. I’m so glad I got to talk to you every now and then, I love you and your cards definitely cheered me up on those dreary days!
Sabrina, thank you so much for all your silly facebook posts and emails and waking up at like 3am to wish me a happy birthday. Thank you for your support and understanding when I would miss out on Wednesday Night Drags to go to practice or on lake trips for tournaments. I plan on coming to as many races and doing all your PR for the rest of your life. It really means a lot that you came to all my matches after you moved back home, and how much you brag about me, cause I do the same with you and your racing. Thank you for all your support, emotionally….and financially. Your such a good sugar daddy haha. I love you and thank yous!
Mom, oh mom, I feel like you are always the one I turn to when I am overwhelmed or stressed out and you always get an earful but make me feel better. I know this happened a lot at first when I left, so thank you for being there and helping me through it. Sorry about then near heart attack I gave you when I was in London….my bad. Thank you for all your homemade goodies you sent me, along with the warm clothes, christmas presents and surprises. Thank you for all your support, for waking up at 6am to watch the cup final online, always reading my blog (I think you and dad account for like 500 of my views), and for being such a supportive friend while I was away. Without yours and dads support my entire volleyball career (my parents NEVER missed one match in my entire career, that includes 5-8th grade, 8th-12th club seasons, high school seasons and 4 years of university) none of this is at all possible, so thank you for giving me the opportunity and encouragement to pursue something I love. I’m sorry I missed out on all the holidays, I know that tough, it was sure tough for me to miss out on you and all your tasty treats! I love you mom and thank you so much.
Ok daddio, thanks for kicking me out of the car at the curb at the airport last August. I was barely holding it together, then when you started tearing up, game over for me. I’ll never forget what you said when I left, that you had prepared me 22 years for this, and you were right, but at the time I was like “oh god, come on dad, I can’t handle this right now”. But you were right, I was as ready as I was ever gonna be, so thanks for giving me the boot out of the car. The same as I said to mom, thank you for all your support with volleyball, traveling to all the beautiful places in california at 5am like Alameda or Turloc or something for club tournaments. Having you and mom at every match really kept me going a lot of the times. Thanks for the sticky nickname you gave me back in 6th grade, I think most people I have ever played against or ever sat in the same vicinity as you at any match know me by “gaboooooou”. I love it! Thank you for all the sporty beans you sent to me in Norway and for always being available when I called. I love you dad, molto grazie!
To everyone else that has helped me out, inspired and encouraged me, thank you tons!