Family and Friends


An off month from the sand, but there was still plenty that went on. After finally receiving cancellation confirmation a couple days before the last NORCECA event in Nicaragua (as organized as ever, I know) It was finally time for my first break from sand training in about a year. So where does someone who travels year round go for a vacation? Why, back home of course, to visit friends and family.

I only managed to get out west for a couple of weeks, my longest home visit since Christmas last year, but it was long overdue. After months in airplanes, foreign countries and hotel rooms, it's such a relief to be some place comfortable, among loved ones. As enjoyable as life is playing volleyball, I've gotta take a few moments away every now and again otherwise my brain will turn to mush. Like watching too much TV or eating a lot of candy. Problems that are easily solvable by taking a little time off and letting mom take care of me for a little while.

Following my break, I came back out east to Mississauga for the Olympic Excellence Seminar. An event to help hype up many of the Canadian 2012 Olympic hopefuls. Headed by our enthusiastic Chef-de-Mission Mark Tewksberry, we were led through a series of workshops to promote teamwork and Olympic Spirit.
It worked. Surrounded by past, present, and future Olympians, my desire to join their ranks, as strong a desire as that is, was further strengthened. Though our qualification process will last up until about a week before the actual event, the opportunity seems even more real and even more attainable.

I spent my birthday being filmed and interviewed, something I'm really not yet comfortable with, but I had a bunch of new friends helping me stay composed through it all. Beach Volleyball isn't exactly high profile in Canada, yet, but with time and future success, we'll start to get more support. These media days organized by CTV are a good way to get a little bit of exposure, and good practice for when that exposure starts coming more frequently.

To summarize, I spent November seeing old friends and making new ones, I experienced the comforts of home, and I upped my motivation to keep dreaming the Olympic dream. Such an exotic vacation, it was exactly the break I needed.

Ben Jammin

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