Back to the Blast

After a week in paradise, I've made my way back to the slightly less beautiful city of Toronto. Thursday was spent tying up loose ends, but it always seems as soon as I get something done, something else pops up. Put a rush on a visa for Brazil, and now I need to figure out my visa for China. It's either going to have to get done with a one day rush once I get my passport back Wednesday, or it'll get done if and when I get back from Brazil for 4 days. Though we might try to get a flight straight from Brasilia to Shanghai.

For those of you who knew my plans this coming summer, they've been completely changed around. After getting back to T-dot, I managed to talk Jessi into going to play in China, because it's likely to be one of the weaker tournaments of the summer. We decided we'd have a good shot at getting a solid result, and by doing so, we should be able to get into the Grand Slams later in the summer. The more we play, the better we'll get, and hopefully by the end of the summer, we'll have a few more main draws under our belt. I've listed our summer plans in a list on the right of this page as well as the fivb website, so everyone at home can follow along.

On to the subject line of today's blog, I am back to training at Beach Blast. After my week on Grand Cayman, I can't say that excited me too much, and with National team head coach, Lennard Krapp, gone to Ottawa for the week, we have to coach ourselves for a bit. Also its a bit of a struggle to breathe in the confined space of the Blast, I don't know whether I should get used to it or not. We're all just waiting for the weekend, where it's supposed to reach 20+ degrees so we can finally play outside. But since I need to be indoors for a the next week, I intend to make the most of it. All touches are good touches as long as the focus is there. Jessi and I train a few times this week with Canada's highest ranked team, Rich Van Huizen and Christian Redmann, and their coach, 3 time Olympian, and one time Bronze medalist, John Child. Indoor training or not, we will be ready to play come Guatemala, April 9-11.

Friday night at Beach Blast saw a little extra action. Hernan Humana hosted an adult clinic followed by a party on the sand. Lately I've been running a lot of the Friday clinics, along with my roomates Chaim Schalk and Maverick Hatch, and fellow National team athletes, Jamie Broder and Ray Sewell, which put us all first on the list to guest coach this weekend. This Friday was a little different, with a third of all the proceeds going to victims of the earthquakes that are ravaging Hernan's hometown in Chile.

The part of the fundraiser that stands out the most in my mind, though I risk sounding like a little kid for saying so, was when the event asked participants to play against the pros. Teams of 4 were asked to challenge myself and Mark Heese. Heese being Canada's other bronze medalist, as well as a 10 time National Champion, making him Canada's most succesful beach volleyball player of all time. It was my chance to play with a childhood hero, so I had to impress. Though I might have tried too hard, because I just ended up making myself tired. Fortunately Mark didn't seem to mind too much. I only hope I did a good job of hiding how excited I was. I can only imagine that some day, the roles will be reversed, and I won't be the punk kid anymore, so I hope I can make as good an impression as Mark did last weekend.


Ben Jammin

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