October 28, 2017

8th Season Abroad: Go Dingos!!!

Can you believe it?! I know I can't!

What started as a baby pipe dream in 2008, grew a little bit bigger and real-life in 2010, then actually happened in 2011: I've started my eighth season of playing volleyball in Europe.


As mentioned over the summer, my team was able to move up a division, and we are now in the third level of German volleyball. We worked really hard and were able to get big wins over our first three opponents, until dropping our first match last weekend in Munich.

We are currently in third place and comfortable with the future wins ahead of us!

We have our next home match today, Saturday, October 28, at 17:00 (5:00 p.m.) Germany time (9:00 a.m. PST, 12:00 p.m. EST), and you can track the live score for our match via  updates HERE!

If you'd like to enjoy the totally crazy ambiance from our first home win against Chemnitz, it is on my YouTube channel! Be warned: it's a full five sets of shouting, and I miss a serve on a set point.

As far as diving head-on into another volleyball season at the lovely age of 31, I am feeling pretty good. My shoulder has regained so much of its normal mobility and control, it's like having a dear friend return back into my life. (I am not much for complaining about injuries on the blog; for one, it's not a super fun topic, and, for two, people from my clubs read these posts from time to time and I don't need injury rumors swirling around my already thirty-something reputation.)

About half of my team from last year returned, and most of the new players are girls I have practiced or played with over the past couple of years here. I love having the chance to be a returner on the team again, and it's been a really solid start for me with the offense.

This season will last until the first week of April, so if you're planning on visiting us, volleyball will be until then! I also plan to upload more matches this year to be viewed online, and I am hoping to live stream a home match or two!

There is one overwhelming emotion throughout this entire volleyball abroad journey: gratefulness. No matter how "normal" this life becomes, or how "routine" going to practice gets, or even how tough the games can be - I am so thankful.

We don't get to plan this kind of stuff in our lives. I was thrilled to have my first three months in Belgium. Everything, everything, and I mean everything, has been the kind of blessing and bonus that is so grand I never would have dreamed of asking for it.

But, the best thing about this season? After each point, our team gathers in the middle of the court to scream, "GO DINGOS!!!" at each other. #GoDingos

This is rad. This is my team now.

All photos and videos are courtesy of our ever-generous team manager, Armin. You can see more of his sports photography skills on his Flickr account!