The Captain has Turned on the Seatbelt Sign

Airports and travel, we did not miss you, though we are quickly becoming reacquainted. Especially with consecutive legs of the tour in Brasil, Poland, and China. Even with the increase in mileage requirements, I think we'll still get our Aeroplan Gold Status for next year. Especially after all the connections through Toronto we have this year.
Christian catches some z's in the airport

For instance, just this last weekend between Brasilia and Poland:
Brasilia -> Sao Paolo: 1.5 Hours
Layover in Sao Paolo: 2 Hours
Sao Paolo -> Toronto: 10 Hours
Layover in Toronto: 12 Hours
Toronto -> Frankfurt: 6 Hours
Layover in Frankfurt: 4 Hours
Frankfurt ->Katowice: 1.5 Hours
Katowice - Airport -> Hotel: .5 Hours
Grand Total: 37.5 Hours

That's a full day and a half. And for a relatively big guy like myself, (I say relatively, because on tour it's more like average) airplanes are not the most comfortable of places to be, unless i can snag an upgrade to first class, which so far this year has not been very easy. Add a little jetlag to the whole mix, and it reminds me why travel is just so gosh darn fun (I shouldn't need to, but I'm going to go ahead confirm that that was in fact sarcasm.)

If only we had an airline sponsor....(hint hint wink wink nudge nudge)

But after all that, here we are in Poland a few days later, mostly recovered from the trip, and ready to qualify for another main draw tomorrow. Another two wins will do it, and hopefully this time we can get a few more after that.

To close, here's a picture from games in Brasilia that I thought was funny. Kids at home, see if you can replicate this one.

Ben Jammin


And So It Begins... Again

Another winter ended, another season begun. Time to see where this year's off season has taken us. After spending the last two weeks in Huntington Beach, California for some outdoor training, we've now dropped even further south, and a few time zones east to Brasilia, Brazil for the real deal. It's first FIVB Open of the year, and not a moment too soon. Women's Country quota matches start today, and the first men's matches will be played on Tuesday, with a couple Canadian teams going toe to toe for a spot in the qualifier on Wednesday (Van Huizen/May vs. Schalk/Zbyszewski).

It's been as long a wait as with every year before, and I personally am itching to get back into action. Training has been going really well both on the sand at North Beach and in the gym at FITS Toronto this year. But the reason we train so hard is to improve, and to point of improving is to win. So lets see just how much better we've gotten, shall we?

Last year, Christian and I started off well by qualifying in our first Open event in Shanghai, now let's see if we can repeat that here in Brasil. We'll have a top 8 seed in the qualifier, meaning a spot in the main draw is there for the taking. All that's left to do is win.

Mental Checklist:

  • Do I feel stronger/fitter/more in shape? Check
  • Have my skills improved from last year? Check
  • Am I motivated to win? Check
  • Am I confident in my preseason preparation? Check
  • Am I ready? Absolutely
Ain't nothing left to it but to do it

Ben jammin