I was nervous to go to practice today because I had strained my hamstring in the game the previous day. I was unsure as to how much I would be able to participate, and was hoping I wouldn't have to sit out on too many drills. On the car ride over Deb was giving our van cryptic hints as to how everyone on the team was going to "play" today. None of us were completely sure what she meant, obviously we were going to play, it was lacrosse, a game.
After finishing up treatment (which consisted of the some what cold and stinging "stim") the team headed down to the field. We did our usual warm up and were then summoned to stand in a circle with the coaches. It was here that I realized that this practice was going to be somewhat unusual. Deb started the first "drill" off with a game where we each has to say what we were "bringing to practice" that day...and then recite what all of our teammates were also bringing (the things we brought had to be in alphabetical order...attitude, belligerence, composure, a dog, elegance, fabulosity etc.). Part of the game was keeping a steady beat as we recited what everyone would bring, needless to say some of us had a harder time doing this than others. As we went through there were some (very) offbeat claps (primarily by Fitz) and whispers to one another to make sure that our catalog would be complete and correct. This was just the start of a practice filled with team building activities which in the end helped us reflect on how we would be a more cohesive team. A favorite among the different exercises was a drill involving balloons. Some girls got more attached to their balloons than others and after the exercise tried to hide them in their stick bags (which clearly led to some mad attempts to pop to balloon while the owners' backs were turned).
On the car ride home we listened to our normal music (comprised primarily of top 40 songs) apart from our brief introduction to Donna Summer by Deb. During a commercial we switched to another station and Donna Summer came on and a rapid sequence of events followed. Deb informed us all of the artist we were about to listen to, and expressed her surprise (and concern) at our (mine in particular) lack of knowledge about her, and then (the most important part of all) proceeded to dance and serenade us. Needless to say the car ride home was kept educational and entertaining.
In the afternoon we had some down time to explore and relax after a tiring game the previous day. Dana and I went on an adventure to explore the landscape surrounding the hotel. We walked to a shopping center and made our way through Marshalls where we managed to pick up some random (but very necessary) items: aluminum water bottles, iHome speakers so we could listen to music on the bus and before games, and of course, lest we forget, some sun glasses (yeah... I forgot to bring sun glasses to Cali). On our returning trip we stopped for refreshments at a smoothie place and then went back to crash before making dinner at 5:30.
After dinner, the entire team made our way to the Griffith Observatory, where we had a beautiful view of the skyline and could see Saturn. After about 30 minutes of actually looking at the sky, some girls broke off to investigate the museum itself. Like with all good museums, this one had a gift shop where Alice and Ariel discovered the NASA space suits (full, bright orange body jump suits). These suits clearly had to be tried on. As Alice and Ariel were attempting to climb into these suits, a crowd of people gathered to watch the spectacle of the girls struggling to get in. After a number of key photo ops, the suits were quickly removed and we left.
We came home to a team meeting where we discussed our plans for tomorrow over the all important ice cream. After a discussion of when we would leave and when we would be able to shower, everyone dispersed to pack up so we could check out tomorrow, which is what I should actually start doing now. Last of the three games tomorrow!