All Request Saturday #3

I won't waste any time this week. Let's get right to some questions, shall we?

So, in all honesty, does being a sports star get you women? - Anonymous

Those who know me, are aware of my lack of detail about my love life. So to answer your question (as evasively as possible of course):
If I ever become a sports star, I'll let you know. For now I'm just an athlete, to be a star you've got to have recognition. And I wouldn't really consider a weekly blog the source of stardom. Maybe the next time I have a chat with Dalhauser and Rogers I'll ask them about it.

As I write this, 4 Brazilian teams are the last undefeated teams in the tournament. Obviously the Brazilians are ahead at the start of the season after their pre FIVB tournament schedule. Next year will you go to Brazil in March or can the NORCECA tournaments prepare you just as well? - Don Saxton

I've been asking this same question to myself. As of right this moment, it's a little too early to tell. There are several options for next preseason. Brazil, with their strong National tour, and constant good weather is obviously in the running. California, with it's constant sunshine, strong teams to compete against, and feel-at-home atmosphere is also a strong candidate. There is also the option of remaining in Toronto for another winter, to stay near the full time coaching and all the strength & conditioning staff and facilities available to us here. But like I said, that won't be decided until after this season is coming to a close. We need to focus on catching the Brazilians on tour right now, we'll save the rest for next preseason.

Are you a natural flier? What are the 3 main things you do to make yourself as comfortable and rested as possible on international flights? -Jay Nuttall

At 2 meters tall, the answer is simple. No, I am not a natural flier. It's hard to be, when you don't even fit in the seats. And I haven't yet perfected the Rich Van Huizen method of guaranteeing himself a good seat, so sometimes I just have to settle for the window, the aisle, or even the dreaded middle seat. The 3 things aren't things I do every time I fly, but when I think about them, they usually help an awful lot.

1 - Ask for the emergency exit row
This is a must. Exit rows provide that extra foot of leg room, and I will take as much space as I can possibly get. If they're already taken, or cost extra I'll then ask for a window seat. I prefer window to aisle. With the wall of the plane there, I'm guaranteed a place to rest my head, just in case the head rest don't quite make it.

2 - Make friends with the flight attendants
By making a point of laughing with the flight attendants about how I don't fit through the door, or under the emergency exit signs, or just don't fit in the seats in general, I single myself out. They notice the big guy with the big smile and can't help but take notice. Once I've caught their eye, I'm way more likely to get an extra snack, or meal, or free headset. Anything they can do to make my flight enjoyable. As long as the flight attendants know I exist, they're bound to be generous (or pity me, either works).

3 - Try to get an empty row
At the very least, an empty seat next to me. That way there's not need to sit at right angles for the entire flight. Sure it might be good for my posture, but it's only comfortable for so long. Plus, there's nothing worse than having to sit crammed next to a stranger. Always afraid to use the armrest, because they might want to. Never wanting to bother them if I have a window seat and have to pee. Dreading them having to pee if I have the aisle.

That's it for the questions this week. But I'd like to address a comment that I've received from a few people since I began this blog. It might be because it's true, but for all I know people are just saying things to make me happy. For now I'll feign ignorance and thank everyone for complimenting my on my writing style.
I can't take all the credit though. Some recognition needs to go to books. I love to read. Any genre works, I usually choose reading material by recommendation from friends and family. So to respond to the praise, whether you meant it or not, I'm going to start Benny's Book Club. Basically, I'll post whatever I'm reading, why I'm reading it, what I just finished reading, and what I thought about it. You'll be able to find it in a little sidebar to the right. I'm doing this both to recommend books to everyone who's interested, and so that people will approach me with new reading material to keep myself entertained during my rare moments of non volleyball.
Hopefully I'll have Benny's Book Club up and running by tomorrow. I may get made fun of for it, but I love to read, and if this gets me a few more books this summer, then make fun all you like.


Ben Jammin

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