Only joking. Really it's shame on me. I have been getting reminders from friends and family that I need an update or two, but it's sheer laziness on my part that has caused this lack of Ben-formation. So I find myself apologizing to followers yet again. It seems as soon as I strayed from giving myself deadlines, my motivation to blog went with it. But no more, the schedule is back. Twice a week. Mondays and Fridays. Even through the off season. Sure it isn't as often as it once was, but it's more often than in recent months, and I don't intend to have to apologize again.
Now that that's been cleared up, it's time to fill you in on what I've been up to since Nationals. This blog will be split up into two major sections: Chilling with my cousin, aunt, and uncle, and being back at home with friends and family.
First I'll give a little background info on my cousin. Thomas Quinet was born with Cystic Fibrosis. CF is an inherited disease which causes a thicker, stickier mucus to build up in the lungs. The buildup of mucus can be the cause of many severe bacterial infections, which in time causes the lungs to be very damaged. Tom was diagnosed with the disease at birth, has already had a double lung transplant, and is currently on the waiting list for his second.
For more info on Tom's condition from the man himself, you can visit his facebook group here. And I know he would be happy to here any words of encouragement you might have for him.
But I won't talk about Tom's CF anymore, because while hanging out with my cousin, that's not what was noticeable. I find it amazing how the people who have been thrown the toughest curveballs in life are the ones who tend to take the biggest swings of the bat and live life to the fullest. Thomas is one of those people who can get knocked down, but always gets back up with a smile on his face. For the whole week I got to hang out with him, he was always positive.
I used a baseball analogy earlier for a reason. The first day back in Toronto, Steve and I were invited to join Thomas, and his parents, Aunt Suzanne and Uncle Marc, at a Jays vs. Yankees game. What was special about this game is we got to experience the grand opening of a new addition to the Rogers Centre: the new Jays Care Box. A booth in the stadium specially made for children with illnesses and disabilities, giving them an opportunity to hang out at the game with other kids, eat and drink for free, and even meet a few of the Blue Jays themselves.
Tom has gotten the chance to hang out with more famous athletes than I have, and I play a sport for a living. He even got a chance to shake hands with my personal favorite NFL player Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts. Here are pictures of a few notables that my cousin has had the chance to hang out with, which I think is pretty cool.
|Ron MacLaen and Don Cherry|
|Forgive me, but I don't really know baseball players|
Intermission - Get up, grab a snack, I know this blog is a long one, I need to make up for lost time. Second half is coming up now.
After Nationals and the tryout camp for next years national team, I had a little bit of downtime where I managed to get home to see some friends and family. First to Edmonton to hang out with the Bears. I even managed to get a practice in with the guys, before a weekend of good old fashioned Golden Bears fun. As well as a lot of Starcraft II, which I promptly bought for myself. If you have it and feel you can pose a challenge, bring it on. You can find me via my e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org
From Edmonton, I went home to Calgary for a little over a week. Since my sisters are both currently living in the U.S., it was just my parents, my brother, me, and a whole lot of relaxation..... for the first evening. Come the next morning, it was off to the Volleydome to put my carpentry skills to the test building new benches to go around the both the new and old courts.
There aren't many people who have seen how the Volleydome came to be. I have not only seen, but contributed to many parts of the dome's development. But there is no one who has put more time and effort into the company's literal and industrial growth than my parents, Don and Mylene Saxton. The Volleydome is essentially their fifth child. They've nurtured and molded it, and continue to do so in order to see both the company, and facility evolve right before they're eyes.
Before my time there was done, my dad took over as coach and my mom took over as personal trainer. With my dad, I got in some much needed blocking work. With my mom, I was put through workout circuits while waiting for new Team Canada trainer Steve Topham to send out our pre tournament exercises. With my brother, I got rides to and from work.
So that's what you missed. Now it's back on the road. Training in Whiterock, BC this week before we take off next weekend for a Challenger in Chennai, India. Then Mexico a couple weeks after that. Hopefully my family doesn't miss me too much. And vice versa.