12 October 2009

I'm sorry!

I realise I haven't updated this in a while, but I'm very good at leaving things til the next day, and so forth. I promise I will fill you in soon on the end of the NWBL and WNWBL seasons as well as the 'for shits and giggles' tournament im flying to tomorrow, being held in Melbourne.

Until then: Create. Inspire. Dream. :)

05 August 2009

Canada, part 2

Right now I am back in Australia, and sitting on the floor with Dori's laptop on the coffee table. We are having a pretty lazy day so I thought I would write up the rest of the Canada blog :) Unfortunately the pictures aren't uploading at this point in time so will add them when I get home on Sunday.. You can see all pics on FB though (if your lucky enough to be a friend :P )

29 July 2009

Today was our day off but we did so much it hardly felt like a recovery day at all. I didn't go to bed til 2am last night typing up this and uploading the photo's onto FB. Breakfast this morning wasnt until 10am so I was able to have a bit of a sleep in. We had breakfast at Chances R. The french toast was pretty good, and I love french toast so thats a pretty big call. The tea was shite though.

At 11.30am we all piled into 3 ParaTranspo taxis and went into the heart of Ottowa. It is such a beautiful city. Very green with huge beautiful buildings and a canal (which freezes over in the winter and people ice skate on). There are markets surrounded by little shops and shopping centres. When we were in Roots it started pouring down with rain so we stayed in there for a while. Kat was even given an exclusive Roots raincoat, made by the Roots manager himself!

After 5 hours of wandering around, the Gliders all met up for dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. By this time I was completely exhausted and very sore in the shoulders. I was actually sore when I woke up but I dont think the pushing around helped.

At 7.30pm the taxis picked us up and took us back to the Residence. During the ride our taxi driver told us the various parts of Ottowa or near Ottowa we could find bears and moose.

Since being back I have had my shoulder rubbed and am now sitting in bed. Will be an early night I think.


30 July 2009

Today we had a training sesion in the morning and then a game against the Netherlands at 5pm. In between those two sessions, I had accupuncture on my shoudler to hep relieve the tightness and pain. I like accupuncture despite my fear for needles. It works. It fixed my pinched nerve at the AIS camp earlier in the year and I felt an improvement in the tightness after having it today. I just dont like it when Miranda has a bit of a poke around every few minutes.

We won our game against the Netherlands. They hit a few clutch shots throughout the game to keep them on our tail but our shooting and defence were better.

After dinner we watched the 2nd half of that game on the projector with AC Ben O stopping it every so often to show us where we went really well and what we need to work on. We play them again tomorrow is the cross overs and I am feeling pretty confident.


31 July 2009

I'm not in the best frame of mind while writing this so don't expect anything long. We had our game against the Netherlands today. We lost. This was the game to win to get us in the grand final and we lost by 9 points. It was the game in Beijing against the USA all over again, except minus the mass crying session after. I still feel crap though.

So tomorrow we play Canada for the 3rd spot. We have to win. Losing is not an option. Going from 2nd spot on the ladder to last is not an option. Its a very long flight home and I dont want to spend it moping. My job now is to get my head together, forget todays game, and concentrate on being physically and mentally prepared for tomorrow.

Goodnight.


1 August 2009

Pinch and a punch for the first day of the month. One of the nicest months of the year: my birth month :)

Today it was the finals. We played Canada at 3pm for the third play-off. We won!

Our defence was really good, causing loads of turn-overs and shot clock violations. We got alot of our baskets through transistions but also pulled it out and ran a few of our half court plays successfully as well. There was a point where they came a but too close for comfort but even though I managed to foul a Canadian shooting a 3 during the last few seconds (after being told not too, woops! sorry guys!), she didn't make all her free throws so we won by 4 points.

Afterwards we went back to shower and change into civvies before going back to watch the end of the final game. It was awesome to see the Netherlands give the Germans a run for their money, even being up at some stages. But the Germans got their act together and won the "gold". I put gold in " because yes they came first but all they gold was one small clear glass/plastic (not sure) trophy for the team. The Netherlands and us Aussies received nothing. Hardly even a mention in the thanks for coming speech.

All the teams then had dinner at Chances R. Everyone was treated to garlic bread and caesar salad as the entree and a rib eye and veggies as the main (except for our two food diva's who were able to order their respective vegan or vegetarian meals). It was either apple crumble or a fudge brownie for dessert.

A highlight of the night was after the dinner when us Aussies taught the Netherlander's how to play cricket, except the hotel hallway version. It pretty much consisted of a dining chair as the wicket , a water bottle as the bat, and a soft ball as the cricket ball. No innings or running. Just trying to catch or wicket someone out. The Netherlands were really funny, they wanted more rules so that there could be a distinguishable winner.

After a while, everyone had had enough and it dwindled down to just chatter in the hallways. I had packed sometime earlier in the day so I went to bed a bit before the other girls.


2 August 2009
Ottowa, Canada

Travel day!

It was schedualled that taxis take us to the airport at 9am which meant waking up at 8am to be ready and have breakfast. But because Kat was leaving with the Canadians to make her flight back home to Atlanta, I got up earlier to give her a big hug goodbye (not knowing I would see her later at the airport because her flight was delayed). The taxis were a but late but eventually we were at the Ottowa airport. Check in was a nightmare. Instead of adding the weight of the bags up as a team, each individual bag couldnt be more than 23kgs. So it took a while for there to be some re-packing, with the overweight bagged people puting stuff in the underweight bags.

Then at customs they couldn't find me in the VISA waiver system so had to be escourted into another room where I gave them my receipt number to prove that I had actually done the right thing. Even though it didn't take that long for them to sort it all out, for that small amount of time I felt like a criminal. In the "naughty" room.

Finally we were boarded on our flights (we were split onto 2 different flights to Chicago). We were able to choose which seats we wanted to sit in so I chose the first 2 seater to have to myself. It was one of the small planes where there is one seat, an isle, and then 2 seats.

Chicago, USA

I slept the entire flight so to me it felt like we were hardly up in the air before the announcement was made that we were soon landing so please turn off all electrical devices and put away your tray tables. In reality the flight was no more than 2 hours long.

Once we were in Chicago we didn't need to collect any bags because everyone had theirs checked into their own final destination. We had time to go get some food and meet some really rude Americans befor ewe had to go to our gate for our next flight. This time they put us all down the back in a 3 seat, isle, 3 seat plane. The Gliders were put together (except for me, I had 2 randoms next to me) and thankfully no one needed the loo because there were lows/mids next to each other with no way of stepping over each other. Again, I pretty much slept the whole way.
Los Angeles, USA

3 to 4 hours later we touched down on the west coast of USA and into one of the most disappointing international airports I've seen in the world. I'm disappointed because you would expect that an airport that is one of the main flight hubs of the world would be pretty good yeah? Like Singapore airport. Well in LA, in the terminal we landed at, there is only a Burger King, Starbucks and a Chili's. In the Tom Bradley terminal, the one we left from, there is a Maccas, a mexican place, a sushi place and a coffee place (thats not Starbucks, which was disappointing in itself because I really wanted to try what Kat had the other day: a banana and choc slush thing made with soy milk and a shot of espresso). So there isnt much to choose from if your like me and dont want to eat chili or seafood before a long flight.

Oh, and there is nothing to do once past security. But enough complaining. Once past security, the Melbourne bound Gliders dropped the Sydney bound Gliders off at their gate before going to our own gate in the opposite direction.

Tina, Dori and I went to sit on the floor by a wall and nearly didnt get to pre-board the plane because we didnt see the others leave to board and no one had came to get us. Matt had already organised for our tickets to be re-done to make sure we didnt have the same problem as we did on the Chicago to LA flight where lows/mids were sitting next to each other. So we ended up being upgraded to premium economy.

On the airbus I had so much leg room that I didn't need but so much elbow room that I did. I had Dori next to me so she had plenty of room to step around me even though the floor at my feet became a playground of spare blankets, pillows and what not. This flight was the mother of all flights being 14 to 15 hours long. I slept for a good portion of it, being an over night flight, but I was also awake long enough to have meals, watch the new Fast and Furious movie and read my latest Picoult (Plain Truth).

Melbourne, Australia

We landed in Melbourne around 7.50am on the Tuesday (4 August 2009). Somewhere in the air I lost a day. Good thing I (or any of the other Gliders for that matter) wasnt born on the 3rd of August. It didnt take Qantas that long to get us all off but duty free shopping (a huge Toblerone bar, and 50ml Chloe eau de parfum) and Customs took a while. Boarder Control was being filmed that day but I didn't see any cameras. Then again, I didn't try to smuggle in drugs or fruit either.
It was nice to have a shower in a proper shower and have a nice home cooked meal at Dori's. I'll be staying here until WNWBL on the friday. Dori and I haven't done anything but mope around the rumpus room and play on FB and I love it. Doing nothing is great after such a long time away.

29 July 2009

Canada, part 1

Ok just so you all know, I’m actually typing up something that I have been handwriting at the end of every night. I don’t have my own laptop with me so have waited for a night where I could type up what I’ve written so far.

So lets go back to the start..

21 July 2009
Perth, Australia

Today started out with me getting up earlier than usual so that I could get to the shops as they opened to get my hair done. I like to get a trim and have a straightening iron run through my hair before I go away for big trips. Makes it more manageable for the first couple of days.

I then went home to spend the remaining time packing the last few things. The house was a huge mess but will just have to stay like that until I get home. I checked that I had my passport about 10 times and double checked my list of needed things at least twice.

Otto, the trusted taxi driver, picked me up around 130pm to take me to the airport to meet up with fellow Glider Amber and HC John T. Even though there was only the three of us, check in was a nightmare. My name was spelt wrong so it took them a while to find me on the system. Thankfully the actual flight was uneventful.

We arrived into Melbourne at night and Maz, Gliders Manager, was there waiting to take us to the Mantra to meet up with the rest of the Gliders. After checking into out individual rooms (each got out own rooms, except for Amber and Cobi, who had to share) we went back down to the foyer to meet with Hops rep Natalie Porter to try on the new team shoe. Because Hops normally only go down to a mens US 6, a few of us are getting ours especially made to fit our fun size feet. The other girls were lucky enough to be able to take their shoes there and then. Thanks Hops!

It was then time for bed. Thank you Mantra for having beds and pillows that feel like your sleeping on clouds!

 

22 July 2009
Melbourne, Australia

The next morning we were up early for a 630am breakfast followed by a 7am shuttle to the airport. Once at Melbourne International Airport we had the task of waiting around while everything was slowly checked in. Eventually everything was tagged and we said goodbye to our bags and sports chairs.

We then had a short amount of time before we had to go to our gate. I picked up my brand new Lumix camera from duty free as well as going halves with Maz in a 2 for $20 (or one for $19.95) neck pillow deal. I then went to the gate, had a quick play around with the Lumix, called Lee to say hi for the last time in a while, and then transferred onto a normal seat while they took my own away. I was second last to Sarah S. to be taken onboard and we had a bit of a giggle when one of the stewards told me I can now walk on board. Really? Yay for looking normal!

We had one of the new huge planes and I sat in 72D, an isle seat in the middle. I had Dori behind me and 3 randoms to the right of me. Thankfully they weren’t the kind to ask too many questions. On flights I usually like to be left alone.

The flight was approximately 14 hours long and I spent most of my time sleeping. The remaining amount of time on the plane I spent reading, eating crappy plane food, being taken to the loo or watching movies. There was a huge list to choose from with the Movies on Demand but I ended up watching Adventureland, the latest Kirsten Stewart film, and Chicago. A highlight was the seat to seat messaging system. Qantas’ version of MSN. You were also able to send and receive txt messages from phones on the ground but at just under $2 a pop I thought better of it. Especially when my txting usually turns into a full blown conversation.

(Whats green and looks like a bucket? A green bucket.)

We finally landed in LA around 8am their time. We were about an hour late which meant we didn’t have much time to get to our connecting flight. By the time we were all off the plane, go through customs, get new tickets issued and get to the right gate, the plane had just finished boarding its regular passengers. This meant that my neighbour was already there when I arrived. I offered him my window seat to make it easier for me but he declined. Which in hinesight was the better option because he was a bit larger than average (with huge thick black rimmed glasses and liked to have orange juice with no ice and hot tea with 3 sweeteners, no milk). He was nice though. He went to find the stewardess when I needed the isle chair to go to the loo.

About 4 hours later we were in Chicago and it had just turned the morning of the 22nd. Lucky me I got to have the 22nd of July 2009 twice. However, it did make me think twice before writing stuff down in my training diary (I ended up squashing it all on the one page). In Chicago we weren’t as rushed as in LA. We had a decent amount of time to freshen up and get some food.

The plane to Ottowa was a small one, with only 1 seat of the left side of the isle and 2 seats on the right. I was next to Bridie but she ended up moving to the spare row behind me. I tried so hard not to fall asleep in this flight but I couldn’t help it. Sleeping made the already short flight faster.

While waiting to get off the plane in Canada a whisper went around that they didn’t have our day chairs. That would have to be the worst thing to have had left behind. But when we got off we realized we did have all our chairs. We got to baggage claim and then realized it was our clothes bags that were left behind. So not as bad as day chairs but after traveling for all those hours all we wanted was a nice hot shower, a fresh pair of clothes and bed. But no. It wasn’t going to happen. Not until after midday the next day when our bags would be delivered to us.

Air Canada were nice enough to give us overnight kits but still, it only contained a toothbrush/paste, a shaver with shaving cream, a folding hairbrush, some laundry powder, a stick of mens deodorant and a tent of a shirt. I still wasn’t going to get a pair of clean knickers.

(Air Canada gave me this, Chicago left my bags behind!)

Algonquin College, the place we are playing and staying at was only 15 minutes from the airport. So we went there via a 24 hour food store and were able to check in. Bagless. Each room is more like an apartment. 2 rooms with one double bed and desk in them connected by a small kitchenette/eating area and a bathroom attached. Dori is my flat mate for the tournament. Woo!

We were finally able to de-fuzz ourselves in the shower but I must admit that going to bed in a shirt way too big for me with my one pair of undies handwashed and drying over the lamp was quite odd. I’m glad I had the room to myself.

 

23 July 2009
Ottowa, Canada

Today started pretty lazy. 9am breakfast (philly bagel and cuppa tea) followed by a 10am wander over to the basketball court. We then went food shopping for lunch. We decided to get a whole bunch of hot chickens with salad. I was determined to have hot gravy, so I went on a mission. They don’t have already made gravy that you snip the corner of and zap in a microwave, but I found a tin of ready made and bought a can opener and small microwavable jug. Mission complete J

By the time we got back it was lunch time and we had a feast. My chicken and gravy sanger was awesome. Nearly as good as Bucking Beef back home.

We then had free time until 5.30pm when we had a players only meeting followed by a team meeting run by JT. It was then time for our first training session. It felt good to be shooting around again but did take a few goes to get the cobwebs out. I only feel a slight twang in my elbow when trying long, hard, 2 handed passes but other than that, it felt good.

After a quick clean up we went to Chances R Restaurant for dinner. It was really good. I had the BBQ pork ribs with mash.

Before I knew it, it was tme to head back, shower, and then bed.

I showered, but at the moment I am sitting at the desk by the bed writing this before I forget. Bed now though J

 

24 July 2009
Ottowa, Canada

Today was the cruisiest day. We had breakfast at 8am and then had a 2 hour training session at 9. JT said that if we have a really good morning session, like the one we had yesterday, then we wont do the afternoon session. So after lunch we were able to de-badge and do whatever we wanted. The weather here is a little disappointing cloudy and raining. So no one felt like catching a cab to go explore Ottowa city. Instead Dori and I did our laundry and then watched the Proposal on Tina’s laptop with a few of the other girls.

I then took the chance to have my first internet session since leaving Australia. 22 new emails and 33 facebook notifications (unfortunately most of them being junk). So by the time I caught up with all that it was time to get changed back into uniform for a team meeting and dinner.

In the team meeting we talked about the game we will be playing tomorrow evening against Canada. The Gliders were split into halves with team green, consisting of Tina, Cobi, Sarah, Katie, Dori and I, and the rest of the Gliders in team gold. Basically each team has their own defensive and offensive goals and strategies for tomorrows game. We then shared each teams goals and strategies with each other. I wont say what those goals or strategies are but will let you know if they work J

Afterwards we went back to Chances R for dinner for a nice meal out on the rain proof patio. I had salmon fillet. Very nice!

We then went to watch Germany beat Canada in a scratch against each other. Afterwards, the German coach had them doing ramp sprints despite the fact they had won the game. It got me thinking. Germany came 2nd at the Paralympics and are getting cained even after winning a scratch. Australia came 3rd and did one 2 hour training session and had the rest of the day off. I understand the importance of recovery and I admit that it did well for by mentally and physically fatigued body, but watching those Germans push up and down a ramp did made me think.

After the game, Dori, Kat and I had a much needed girl chat session. Shower, blogging and bed followed.

 (Kat, Dori and I)


25 July 2009
Ottowa, Canada

Today was the busiest day so far.

730am breakfast. 9 – 11am training. 12pm lunch. We then had another training session at 3pnm where we did our shooting charts as well as a short 5 on 0 to learn and go over various base line plays.

We then had a little bit of free time before a 6pm team meeting to refresh what we went through at yesterdays team meeting. The sun came out a bit today which was nice. Even though its mainly cloudy and raining, its still quite hot so we don’t really need jumpers. We put the air con on during the day but then turn it off at night because we freeze and also because it makes a huge racket. We then wake up in the middle of the night all sweaty. Can’t seem to find the happy medium.

At 7pm we had an exhibition game against Canada. We had a shot clock but no points were put up pn the board, however, Maz was keeping tally on out bench. Trist from Canada ref’ed the first half of the game and our AC Ben ref’ed the second half.

Green team of the Gliders started the game for us. Our press felt good and did work on a lot of occasions. Causing turn overs and shot clock violations. However, a few too many fast breaks when someone speedy was able to slip past us, caused the Canadians to be up on us at one point.

The Yellow team then had a crack for a while before Cobi and I were subbed back on. I must admit, I had a lot of fun playing with fellow 1.0 pointer Amanda C. We worked well in defense, switching at the right times, etc. We got a run on the Canadians and ended up winning by 3 points. A win is a win so I was happy!

We stretched down, iced the elbow, and then went back to the residence to enjoy Chinese take-away. After a good chat and a cuppa tea its now time for bed.

Oh, and its good to hear that the cats won their game today. Ending the triple header in Sydney 2 and 1. Unlucky with the 1 against the Gong, but we will beat them in the finals. I often think about the teams I am leaving behind at home in Perth. I hope the Stars girls are training well so they are ready for the looming round in Melbourne.

 

26 July 2009
Ottowa, Canada

This morning it was back to being rainy. Before going to breakfast I gave my pee and recovery sample to Miranda, acting team physio, and then went down to have my cuppa tea and bagel. At 9am we had a training session where we went through all out base line plays again and then were taught High (another ½ court play I already knew from Stars).

We then had about an hours worth of free time before having lunch at 12 which was followed by more free time til 2pm when we had another training session. During this session we played a scratch match against Germany. We were eaten alive. Carter, Bridie, Cobi, Shelley and I started and our press against them wasn’t working. They are really fast and cross really well and make their layups. Their bigs are huge and can therefore post up pretty easy against anyone of us.

After half time they were more than double our score, like 19 to 45 or something like that, and John dropped the defense back to a d-cup and rotated the rest of the players through. Dori played like an absolute champion, scoring like 6 points within the first couple of minutes of being subbed on. Added to that was plenty of decent rebounds and awesome defense.

We still lost, but not by as such a big margin as we were when we were pressing, so the d-cup worked really well. Tomorrow we play them for real in our first game for the tournament. Hopefully we have learnt from todays game to improve tomorrow.

It was good to see that the sun had decided to come out after the game. A little bit of sunshine is better than none and does great for the mood.

(The Residence @ Algonquin College under a beautiful blue sunny sky!)

At 6pm, we went back to our fave restaurant for dinner (club wrap, yum!) and had a bit of a giggle over various stories before heading back to the rezzies for various activities before bed.

Sleep in tomorrow! Woo!

 

27 July 2009
Ottowa, Canada

Today was the first day of playing official games. After a morning training session we had a game against the Germans at 5pm.

I said yesterday that I hope we learn from the scratch match to have a better game today. We didn’t. I can’t remember the exact score, but the gap was fairly large.

It seemed like most of the time we were getting up the floor alright, but out shots weren’t going in. I ended up with about 6 points but the shot that stands out for me is when Germany was pressing and we worked hard to get the ball over ½ way. No. 10 of Germany had stopped Sarah with the ball’s chair, I pushed hard around them, was free as a bird, received the ball and then missed the layup.

We didn’t lose by one or two points so I shouldn’t think about that shot. But I do. Us low pointers don’t shoot as often as highs do in a game, so I would like to make them when I do. I hate feeling like I am working so hard but still failing.

Anyway, after the game we freshened up and went straight to dinner at Chances R (spaghetti and ribs combo!). Afterwards we came together as 12 players to talk a few things over before heading off to bed.


(My spaghetti and ribs combo.. so good!)

I heard Canada lost to the Netherlands by like 40 points. At first I thought they were joking, but good on the Netherlands! They have improved heaps since I first saw them at the Roosevelt Tournament in Warm Springs, Georgia, USA.

Tomorrow we play Canada. We better win!

 

28 July 2009
Ottowa, Canada

Today was such a good day. We beat those Canadians! Our defense was working really well and how shots were going in. We caused many 8 second and shot clock violations as well as plenty of turn overs. We were able to play the game at our pace and run through many of our ½ court plays. I played about 36-38 minutes of the game and it just felt good to be out there on court. The highs were shooting brilliantly. I hope we go onwards and upwards from this game.

After the game, we ordered Chinese take-away so that we could stay and watch the Netherlands play Germany. Germany smashed the Netherlands in the same way they did us, but it was a good opportunity to scout the Netherlands who we play in 2 days time.

Afterwards, Dori, Kat and I wandered over to what we thought was a baseball diamond. Instead it was soccer. So we sat and watched them for a while before coming back for another cuppa tea.

(In the carpark, mucking around with camera settings)


(Me trying to be creative at the soccer)

Tomorrow is our day off and we have a plans for a late breakfast so I have taken this opportunity to type up everything that I have had written since starting this journey. Now just to copy and paste over to Blogger and upload some pics!

20 July 2009

SYTYCD and Pre-Canada

It's late, I know. But its raining hard outside and the panel of fencing right outside my bedroom window is flappin back and forth, and is keeping me awake. I should have had this panel fixed ages ago, but like me having to make a dental appointment, I have put it off.

Anyway! I thought I would take this opportunity to write something.

Last night I went to the So You Think You Can Dance live tour at the Challenge Stadium. Freaking awesome! The dissy seating section was a slightly crappy distance from the stage but you could still see and hear everything. All those guys danced amazingly. Charlie was my favourite during the season so it was great to be able to see him dance live. Every now and then I would draft a txt in my phone the lyrics of the songs they danced to. I highly recommend you download James Morrison's 'You make it real'. It's the song for when they danced about the fires in Victoria. Awesome song. I'm still trying to find a song by Jane Siberry called 'Honey Bee' (well at least thats what Google told me it was called). But my program of choice doesn't seem to have that one.

I fly to Melbourne on Tuesday (which technically is tomorrow) and then stay over night to fly to LA then Chicago and finally Ottowa before bus'ing it to where ever it is we are staying. I haven't packed yet. I never do til either the day before or on the day of flying. I do however have a huge pile of uniform and random items on my couch, waiting to be sorted into some logical order. Its going to be tough. Maz the Manager has told us to pack light, but I have to fit in everything that was listed on the Gliders uniform list, as well as stuff needed for the Western Stars when I arrive back in Melbourne. PLUS a few sets of casual wear for when Im hangin with Dori for the 2 or 3 days between arriving in Melbourne and meeting up with the Stars for WNWBL. Anyway, Im rambling, but my main point, is that it will be a challenge.

There is so much that I have to do tomorrow (sorry, I mean today). I have to go to the shops, go to the physio, go to the hairdresser or at least make an appointment for tuesday morning, pay all the bills that are due while im away, and ring up anyone that I have to (like re-arranging my car service). I know that probably doesnt sound like a whole lot but its strange how time just goes by and all of a sudden its time to go to training. I also have to finish the last 2 chapters of Jodi Picoult's the Pact so I dont have to take 2 books in my backpack. Last trip away I stayed up til 2am just so I didnt have to do just that. Its surprising just how much space they can take up.

Hopefully, the facilities in Canada will have some sort of internet. Whether its a net cafe or wireless. I have bought a new camera on the DutyFree website so that it is waiting for me at Melbourne International Airport before I leave. So I should be able to take better photos this time around (unlike Japan where I got Dori to take all the photos coz her camera was the better one between the 2 of us). I'll try blogg some if I can while I am there.

Anyway, thats enough rambling for tonight. I apologise for any boring-ness and/or typo's. I dont have my glasses on, so its a little blurry. And I'm tired. The wind has died down a bit so hopefully my fence will be nice enough to stay quiet for me. Up early tomorrow so there is no wasting of time.

Ciao!

13 July 2009

WNWBL Round 3

Friday the 26th of June saw the Western Stars fly out to Sydney for the third round of the Womens National Wheelchair Basketball League.

The weekend itself was great. We stayed pretty much in the heart of Sydney, just a short monerail trip to Darling Harbour, in a pretty swanky hotel, surrounded by shops and markets, and lots and lots of places to eat. I even got to see my Dad, the first time since finals last year.

(Stars @ Timezone)

(Kent the Pig - won @ Timezone)

(Massive feed @ Darling Harbour)

(Some famous boat @ the Museum)

It was the basketball that was shit. 3 games. 0 wins. 'Nuf said.

(Poor elbow *sad face* JT, Lee and Dad in the background..)

(Dori - no. 7 - played like a champ. See you in Canada chick!)

(HC JT and AC Lee, putting some fire back into us)

(At least we look good. We couldn't have placed ourselves any better for this photo..)

Lets do better next round girls.

I leave for Canada next week with the Gliders. Will try post as much as I can. Otherwise, I get back into Australia on the 4th or 5th of August and stay in Melbourne for the next WNWBL round.

23 June 2009

WNWBL Round 2 and NWBL Round 3

Ok so I apologise for not writing this straight after the rounds happend. So if the commentary is kinda boring, its because my memory has faded and am relying on the League websites.

Firstly, it was the second Womens League round, held in Melbourne on the weekend of the 12th of June.

Unfortunately, due to the current Oink Flu epidemic going on around the world, and with the high number of cases in Victoria, our HC John was unable to fly with us (he is a teacher). Therefore, AC Lee stepped up to play HC for the weekend, and Wheelcats physio Katie was able to fly with us (Stars physio Zoe was unable to fly to Victoria because she had prac in a hospital).

So the Stars flew out 9am on the Thursday. Not after getting a headach from a certain check in chick who said I had to pay $220 in excess baggage. In my 5 years of basketball, never have I heard of my state team having to pay excess. So I sat there telling her to waive it, which left me negative 2 minutes to go to the loo before boarding my flight.

We got into Melbourne around 2 in the arvo, met up with our interstate player Cobi, and was on our way to Dandenong. I was trucker chick with Lee, while the rest of the girls and Tom (as in GPS) told us how to get to our hotel while avoiding any kind of road toll. About an hour and half later, we arrived at the same hotel I stayed at with the Wheelcats a few weeks before (which by the way, only took like 30 or 40 minutes because we didn't avoid tolls!).

After checking in, with Katie, Amber, Sarah and I in one apartment, Lee on his own, and the rest of the girls (Cobi, Alicia, Eileen and Mandy) in another apartment, we went out for dinner, breakfast shopping and then back to the hotel for sleep.

The next morning we were able to do whatever we wanted until 2pm when we left the hotel for our 4pm game. So most of us slept in and then went to the Plaza for lunch.

Both the 4pm and 8pm games were against the Hills Hornets, the team we beat by 1 in the first round in Perth. Pretty much the stats talk for themselves. We didnt do very well. I can't explain why, but we were shite. Despite improving in the second game, we ended the day with 2 loses under our belt. Not very good.

That night we had pizza and movies, followed by bed.

The next morning was pretty much the same. We had a lazy morning of watching Bambi 2 and then a sausage sizzle courtacy of Lee (who cooked the sausages in the kitchenette due to the coldness outside and the inability to light the BBQ).

4pm we played the Gladiators. Unfortunately the stats were not recorded on Live Stats so I can't be specific, but we were SO much better than the day before. Even I got a few good baskets. As a whole, we were awesome. We won that game fairly convincingly.

Now the 8pm game was against the Dandenong Rangers. Erg! I say 'erg' not because we lost. We actually won. It was a great win as well. We were down by heaps and then the girls shot their lights out and won with a nice gap in front. I say 'erg' because at the end of the 3rd quarter, I was the meat (or nutella, whatever you fancy..) of a Shelley and Cobi sandwich. There was a whole lot of wheel, a whole lot of floor, and I ended up lying on my arm and bursting into tears. It wasn't that painful at all, but for some reason, like when you get hit in the nose, the water works started automatically. I remember hearing someone say 'just stay there for a bit, don't move'. So I did. I eventually turned myself over and was pulled up by HC and subbed off. Luckilly we had the physio there because even though my left elbow wasn't really in pain, it did feel slightly stiffer. Either way, it wasn't normal anymore. So after some ice, a short push around on the other court, and some strapping later, I was able to play the last 2 or 3 minutes of the game. By this time the girls were ahead by like 10 and the Rangers had resorted to fouling every time we had possession to send us to the line in hope to get the ball back quicker. It didn't matter though, our girls were hitting most of their FT's and we won.

The next morning I was in pain. My arm had stiffened dramatically and was very sore to move. I had to lifted into the Truck (thanks Lee) because I was unable to transfer myself. I think the flight didn't help either.

On the Monday, I booked myself in to see Loopy - the Rollers physio, and he told me I had partially torn my medial collateral ligament. The fact it hurt when he tried bending it too far meant that it wasn't severed completely and doesn't need surgery to be put back on. Which is good news. Bad news was that I needed to rest it, which meanr no training and no NWBL game that weekend, and purhaps no WNWBL games the following weekend. I wasn't a happy girl. I've never really been injured before and I hated to think that I would be disappointing my teams by not being able to train or play with them.

Luckilly, the boys were able to win both games against the Adelaide Thunder that weekend without me. It sucked watching from the sideline and not being able to play. Especially when things got a bit hairy and scary when a 30 or whatever point lead went down to 5 or 8. But in the end, it was 2 wins and the Wheelcats remain undefeated. A few of the boys know what they need to work on and will hopefully be better and ready for the next NWBL round in Sydney at the end of July (I will be in Canada and will miss the round - so good luck boys! Will be thinking of you!!).

On the weekend, just before our first NWBL game against Adelaide, one of the Stars was involved in her first car accident and received a spiral fracture to her pinky on her right hand. She had surgery to make it right but will not be able to play for a while, which means not traveling with us to Sydney this weekend for the next WNWBL round. Thankfully, Loopy gave me the all clear to play this weekend, otherwise the Stars would have only had 1 sub. I will be on light duties because I dont want to be hurt and not be able to play in Canada, but I am still thankful that I am able to play. I am a basketballer at heart and not playing is a heartbreaker!

Lastly I just want to put in a special mention for a special someone. You know who you are, and I want you to know that the strength, loyalty, and bravery you have exhibited over the past 2 weeks is inspirational. Your ability to play the cards you have been dealt, and to continue to climb onwards and upwards is amazing and all those around you should be thankful to have you there. The Stars and the Cats will always be there to support you and your family. We are so proud to call you one of us. Xx

Thats all for me tonight. Hopefully there isn't too many spelling or grammatical errors. I've typed this pretty fast :P

11 June 2009

NWBL Round 2

Perth held their first round of NWBL last weekend. It was against Woolongong, the team who we defeated in the final last year.

The game started off a little shakey, with there being only 2 points between us at a few stages. But in the end we ended up winning by like 30.

This morning the Western Stars fly out to Melbourne for their 2nd round of WNWBL. Fingers crossed for a few wins and not coming back with the Swine Flu!

Our HC John isn't allowed to travel with us to Melbourne due to the Pig flu, so AC Lee will be taking over the role as HC for the weekend. And Katie, the Wheelcats physio, will be coming as well to be an extra set of hands.

Good luck girls! :)

04 June 2009

First NWBL home round for 2009

Be there!


If you can't be there, then check it out via LiveStats!

Oh, and happy birthday JT!

01 June 2009

NWBL Round 1

The Wheelcats flew out of Perth early Saturday morning (up at 5am so that Abdi and I could be at the airport for 7am - thanks to the guys who left me alone with my ipod, a tired Clare is a cranky and irritable Clare!) to arrive in Melbourne about 4 hours after take-off, for the first round of the National Wheelchair Basketball League against the Dandenong Rangers.

Melbourne is a beautiful city but holy cow its cold! Good thing the heater in our car was working. We had about an hours drive straight to the basketball stadium with about an hour til tip-off to get organised.


As a team we started off well, in the lead right from the start, but individually it took me a while to get into the swing of things. I was pretty shite in the first Q. Getting in my own teams way, unnecessary fouls, etc. etc. But I think I got into the groove of things, started reading the D a little bit better and working with my big a bit more. I must have been nervous at the start but hopefully I can leave those nerves behind, move forward, and be a great player right from the start of the game.

We ended up winning 91 to 72, with 6 points being mine, which I'm happy with because in past years, I didn't tend to shoot that much in NWBL. I was too scared of missing and disappointing my team to want to try. But Coach has been drilling me out of that thought process, so I think I am improving in that aspect. My fellow low pointer, Abdi, was a gun, scoring 12 points for our team. Go the lows!

After the game we checked into our hotel, me and Sam sharing an apartment. I shot-gunned the master bedroom with ensuite straight away. We then went to the other guys rooms for a laze around the tv with pizza. It didn't take long for the away trip tradition of proving one's masculinity against each other to occur. There was a suggestion of a low pointer bout but I kindly declind :)

I went to bed around 11 and had a nice sleep in til 8.30am, for a 9am breakfast followed by an 11am check-out.

Our second game against the Rangers started at 1pm. We scored the first shot of the game, but 4 minutes into the game, Dandenong were up. However, it didnt take us long to catch up and accerated past them to win the game 99 to 68 (despite several unsavoury calls from the officials). I felt better in this game than the previous one. I only scored the one goal but I felt better in the other aspects of the game. Congrats to J for his triple-double and Shaun for scoring 47 points!

The drive back to the airport was relatively event free, not really needing the road book ('can you see the Crown, Ben??'). After a slight delayed departure, we finally took off and after many hours of sleeping, reading or annoying the person in front or behind of you (*cough* Lee *cough*), we were back in Perth by 9pm.

Next weekend we have a home round against the Woolongong Rollerhawks. Its just the one game on the Saturday but it should be a good game. Hopefully there will be a sea of red in the crowd!

Now I should start studying for my exam on Wednesday (have taken the challenge of not going on Facebook today.. hmmmmmm thats a tough one!), or at least get started on some house work :(

Ciao mio amichi! (i think thats how it goes..)

29 May 2009

AIS camp #2

I've got about 15 minutes until the potato bake is ready so I thought I would do a bit of a catch up.

Lets go back to last Thursday - 21.5.09. Between the end of the first womens league round and that Thursday, I had Dori, fellow Glider, staying with me at my place in Perth. She came here to train with me and the Wheelcats and Western Stars, but also to have some fun. And that we did! Thanks goes to Mother Nature for giving us 3 beautiful weeks of sunny cloudless days. She did, however, give us a proper good bye by letting it pour down with rain on Dori's last day in Perth!

(Cruising down the Western Australian coastline)

Thursday afternoon, Dori and I, the other two Perth girls and John (HC) flew to Canberra for the 2nd Gliders training camp for the year. We arrived a few hours after everyone else, so it was a quick check in and then to bed so that we could be up very early the next day! Dori and I decided we hadn't had enough of each other just yet and ended up being roomies for the camp as well :)

Friday - 22.5.09
The morning started with what was for me, a 5am (as in Perth time..) wake up, breakfast and then a team meeting. It was awesome to see all the girls again. There was even 1 new face, and a few familiar faces, but new to the Gliders.

The session was a testing session. We went into the Physiotherapy testing room and had our sitting heights, arm span and weights measured before we went out on court for fitness testing. Fitness testing involved 20m sprints, with gates measuring our acceleration every 5m, an Illinois agility test, measuring how fast you can turn, and a 7 minute push test, to see how far you can push in 7 minutes. Results showed that I have improved since the last time it was recorded at the AIS, which is good!

We then had lunch, some photo's taken and then a 3 hour session filled with a defence session with Ben, an offence with Matt and John and shooting testing. The girls then had recovery in the ice plunge room but I stayed back with our physio Emma who did acupuncture on my shoulder to fix the inpingement I've recently developed since starting work.

It was then dinner, followed by free time until bed! (I'm liking this concept of having time to recover so we can train at our peak the next day!)

Saturday 23.5.09
Another early morning for breakfast, a team meeting and then a training session from 9 til 11.30 followed by lunch and then a meeting with Liz about nutrition. Cheesecake is at the top of the food pyramid but apparently being at the top is bad in this case :(

We then had another 3 hour training session filled with going through offence and defence plays and alot of scrimmage!

More recovery (acupuncture for me!) , dinner and free time before bed!

Sunday 24.5.09
Breakfast, a training session, lunch followed by another training session. We then had a team meeting where John concluded the camp and we watched the video that Dori and I made about the Osaka trip while she stayed with me (and by golly, THAT video took forever to do! There were a few things that could have been tweeked but by the time it was published using Windows Media Player the first time, we thought it would do!).

It was then time to shower up and go back to our respective states. It was sad to finally say goodbye to Dori but I will be seeing her this weekend when I travel to Melbourne to play in the first round of the Mens league with the Perth Wheelcats.

Which leads onto my next thing! Mens league! Well, mixed league more like it. Im not a man, but the league is about 95% men.

This year the Wheelcats are going for the big, never to have been done before, 4 in a row! We've been training 3 nights a week as a team since around end of Feb, but many of us have been doing our own thing for a long time before that. So hopefully we are ready. But im confident in my team. We have a huge number of members in our squad and no matter who is chosen to play for each of the games, everyone will put in 100%. We all have a common goal and we want it BAD!

It help us, we have gotten an inport from the mens national team from Great Britain. A 'top gun' 1.0 pointer called Abdi (who is staying with me for the first month, and will move onto someone else the next month, to share the Wheelcat spirit). We have welcomed back Shaun, fresh from his stint in Spain. And we also have a few new faces in the team, including my girl Amber from the Western Stars.

Yet again, I'm nervous in the lead up to the game, but so so excited!

I will let you know how I go :)

16 May 2009

Basketball

Found this video on the Basketball Australia website, and saw you can post it to Blogs.. Thought I would give it a try :)

07 May 2009

Random adventure

Straight after our last game on the Sunday, Dori (who is staying with me until next Gliders camp), her two friends Fi and Ant, and I went back to my place for a quick shower and change and then drove down to Busselton (4 hours away from Perth).

We got there around 7ish pm, checked in, found some dinner and then pretty much passed out (from being tired! Only had a coke zero..).

The next morning we got up, had a bit of breakfast and then after Fi got back from taking Ant to his scuba dive, the 3 girls had a bit of a drive around Busselton. Went to the really long jetty (I heard its the longest one in the southern hemisphere..?) and had coffee at one of the little cafe's there. Went up the jetty for a little bit, then had a relaxer on the grass, and then drove out to the Marina where we had to pick Ant back up, had a drink, some hot chips and aioli, saw the scuba boat come in, then started our trip back to Perth.


The first round of State Comp was cancelled for the Stars because the other team forfeited, so we had the luxury of not having to rush back to Perth. So we stopped at Rockingham so the Melbournites could watch the sun set over the water. We also had dinner at a restaurant called Sunsets on the foreshore.



We finally got home and pretty much went to bed straight away.

The next day we decided to go to Scarborough Beach for a coffee with views of the beach before driving down the coastal road to Freo where we had lunch at Little Creatures (brewery). We all picked share plates so we had a nice feast of marinted kangaroo skewers, a gormet pizza, king praws and salmon with potatoes.

After a small walk around the jetties, it was time to take Fi and Ant to the airport. Afterwards, Dori and I went for a huge food shop before training in the evening.

I didn't want my extended weekend to end! But it was back to work on the Wednesday..

(oh and if your wondering why I am up so early, its coz I thought I had a WAIS breakfast on this m0rning, but its actually tomorrow. My bad!)

WNWBL Round 1

Well hinesight is a wonderful thing!

We won all 4 games! So I didn't have to worry so much after all!

The first game on Friday night was against Dandenong. We started off pretty rusty, with a 8 - 0 on the score board at one stage in the 1st Q. But we got our nerves under control and ended up winning 65-28.

The 2pm game on the Saturday was against the Hills Hornets (7 time National League premiership holders). This game came right down til the last few seconds. Such a stressful situation to be in. We were tied with a few seconds to go. Alicia was sent to the line for 2 free throws, completely missed the first one, but redeemed herself by making the next (nice swish too). So we ended up winning that 45-46.

The 6pm game on the Saturday was against the Gladiators. We won that 31-81. Oh, and I've got a request to say hi to HKP.. So: "Hi!".

Our last game was at 11.30am on the Sunday. Coach told us that if we win this one (which would make us 4 of 4) then we wouldnt have to go to training on the Monday. We won 54-23.

The last game was probably the best I've felt like I've played since starting basketball. I don't normally shoot and in this game I got 12 points. So unlike me! I also got a few rebounds, assists (love it when my high's get it in the first time and not miss, catch their own rebound and then make the shot!) and steals. I also only got the 1 turn-over, unlike the 2 games on the Saturday where I was on 4 near the end of the game. (Woops!)

So we were pretty happy about our first round. And now that I've seen the other teams play, I don't have to stress about the scary unknown anymore :)
If you want to have a read of all the results and statistics, then check out Sporting Pulse and follow the appropriate links.

25 April 2009

So much for doing weekly training log blogs

Happy ANZAC day!

For any Non-Aussie/New Zealander's out there who don't know what ANZAC is.. Anzac Day is a national public holiday in Australia and New Zealand, and is commemorated by both countries on 25 April every year to honour members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipolo in Turkey during World War I. Anzac Day marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. (and because I go to uni and have had referencing and plagerism drilled into me, I better just state that I copy-pasted that directly from old faithful Wikipedia - so for more info: click here).

So its a nice long weekend for me! No uni on Monday or Tuesday morning (because no point in holding a tute for a lecture that didn't happen). Yeay!

Not this weekend, but next weekend. As in Friday the 1st of May, its that scary time of the year again. First round of the Womens National Wheelchair Basketball League ("WNWBL"). Like last year, the first round is being held in Perth. Which is good because we don't have to travel anywhere, so can't blame travel for being tired. We also have home ground advantage, playing on the court that we train on nearly everyday and having a crowd for support.

That leads to my con for having first round a home round. So many people in the crowd that I know, to see me hit or MISS my shots, stick or totally screw up that pick, play awesomely (is that even a word?) or be completely shite. I know I'm not meant to think about it like that, in such a negative view, but I do. I hate disappointing people. I hate people seeing me fail. I hate thinking that people are probably whispering to others 'she's crap, she should have gotten that'. I tend to focus on the crap things I do in a game rather than the good things I did, even if the good things I did outway the bad.

I suppose that is why I am never satisfied with the way I play during a game. Even if we won by 20 points and I got 3 from 4 free throws and 4 from 5 field goals, 10 rebounds, 2 steals and only 1 turn-over.. It is still 1 missed free throw, 1 missed field goal, 1 too many turn-overs and I didn't help my team as much as I could have. Im never happy enough. I'm always thinking I could have been better.

The Western Stars were in the final last year (no we didn't win but hey, still the final!) so we are expected to be relatively good compared to the other teams. But we haven't played a WNWBL game since like August last year. We don't know if what we have done is good enough to beat the other teams. Have the other teams improved dramatically? Have they found a secret weapon that we aren't ready for? I hate the unknown. Sometimes its exciting. But in this case, it scares me. I HATE losing. That is what drives me to play so hard during a game. I hate losing for myself, I hate losing for my team mates, I hate losing for my coach, I hate losing for the crowd that supports me. I don't want to be a disappointment.

If our home round wasn't the first round, then we would have already played a few games and have a few results under our belt and I would have an inkling to what to expect and what to tell my crowd to expect. You can't be disappointed if you don't have high expectations, right?

I know I sound like a huge pessimistic princess right now, but hey, Im just being honest. Im probably abusing Blogger, letting it be my vent outlet, but my vents might make interesting reading. Especially for me, who can re-read this after the event. Hinesight is a wonderful thing.

Oh, and before I go, even though I just told you my thoughts about me playing in front of people I know, I do still like having our crowd the best crowd in the WNWBL. So come. There will be raffles on the Friday and Saturday night games :)
  • 1st May - 6pm
  • 2nd May - 2pm and 6pm
  • 3rd May - 11.30am
(who we are versing is totally irrelevant). All games are being played on court 1 of the Herb Graham Rec. Centre in Mirrabooka. See WSWA website for more info.

I'll keep you posted :P

04 April 2009

Japan 2009 cont.

Okay I know I haven't written in AGES and I apologize, but I am a huge procrastinator and after a while there was too much to have to write so I just kept putting it off. Make any sense? No, probably not. But here I am. One Sunday evening. Making a start on it. Im gunna blogg in parts to make continuity a bit easier for you to read :)

So where was I? Japan 2009.. Whoa, february was such a long time ago! (I've had to resort to reading my training diary for details of what happened. My memory sucks!)

19th Feb 2009 - Opening ceremony. Same old, same old. Teams are introduced one by one as we wheel from backstage onto the court. Then a whole HEAP of IWBF head honcho's make their speaches, welcoming us to Japan and to the Osaka Cup Friendship Games of 2009. Japanese speach then its english translation times about 6 times. Meanwhile, we are all watching the big screens above the court and wave stupidly when the camera goes on us.

(Dori, Kat and I with one of our team allocated helpers.)

We then have lunch. Sandwiches (no crust), orange juice popper (or fruit box, depending on the Australian state you live in) and a range of different and unknown things to eat.

(Sometimes the choice was rather easy to make - "neither")

We then watched the Japan vs. Canada game. Then it was time for our game against USA. Starters being Kylie, Tina, Dori (yeay!! first international game and starting!), Cobi, and myself. We won! Woo hoo! Congrats to John T. for his first international game as coach as well as first win as coach! We won by 19 points (HR Max 185, avg 136).

(Yeay for starting!)

20th Feb 2009 - Early start. Then a game against Canada. Starters: Kylie, Kat, Tina, Cobi and myself. Lost by 8 points. *sad face*

We then had lunch then had another game but against Japan. Starters: Katie, Cobi, Kylie, Kat and myself. We lost again. *sadder face*

BUT! We were still into the final. The top 3 teams all only won one game. And since we beat USA by such a high margin, we were able to get into the final.

(Coach coaching)

I was absolutely exhausted after that day. Im pretty sure I fell asleep on the couch where he held our team meeting. Early night to bed that night!

21st Feb 2009 - Final vs. Japan. Starters: Kylie, Cobi, Sarah, Bridie and myself. I was not subbed off. I played a full 40 minutes. I can't remember if thats ever happened before :P

We won! Can't remember the score. Check the Basketball Australia website if you want to know more stuff like stats and scores. But we won! Yeay! It was such an awesome way to start off 2009. New look Gliders and we are successful! I was so proud of everyone.

(2009 Osaka Cup winners - the Gliders!)

That night was the closing dinner. We played the "BINGO SHOOT!" game like we do every year. I was pleased to see the lasagne there again this year. Sooo good! There was also the usual free saki and Japanese beer, but I stuck with the whatever it was juice in the poppers/fruit boxes. I think it was orange juice. Think being the main word. I cant read Japanese yet.

(5 ways to win but still no bingo!)

Congrats to Kylie for making the All Star 5 and also to Cobi who was tournament MVP.

We then went back to our hotel and the celebrations continued. Canada and Australia mingled together, chatted, laughed, drank, ate. One by one we slowly went back to our rooms to pack and then go to bed but a few energentic individuals were able to stay up for a fair bit longer.

22nd Feb 2009 - Travel. It felt good to travel back to Australia as winners. But it also felt good to get back to the warmth that Perth was providing. It was sad though to have to say goodbye to Kat, knowing that I wouldnt see her for a couple months. Thanks Kat for my beautiful xmas present by the way! Love it!! I put it with all my other pictures of the special people in my life! (PS. I wear the UnderAmour all the time!)

(Dori, Sarah and I in front of the Japan Airlines Smile Suport counter :D )

Okay, just a note to finish off with. During the tournament in one of the games I got fouled off. I can't remember if it was the first or 2nd game that we played. I think it was the first game but not entirely sure. But anyway, there wasnt that much more time left in the 4th quarter. The girl I was defending had the ball but then lost control of it. As I was reaching to try get the ball (which was loose and near the side line) I think I chair fouled her. I felt extremely bad because due to classiication points, for me to come off meant that other Gliders had to be subbed off so we could put a different combination on court. So if your a Glider who was subbed off because of me being stupid and getting too many fouls, and if your reading then, then i'm sorry! I will try not be that stupid again..

18 February 2009

Japan 2009

I am absolutely freezing and too lazy to go back to my room to grab my jumper (at the moment, sitting on the ground with Matts laptop up on the couch that looks like half a hotdog, in a common area of the hotel), so Im going to be pretty quick.

I flew out of Perth with Head Coach John Triscari on the 16th after a very busy day (uni in the morning - a 3 hour lecture, then to Herb to grab my chair and then home, but then all the way back to my house to turn off the alarm that had apparently been going off since 6am before getting a taxi to airport). We got into Sydney really late, had some room service and went to bed. Breakfast was then at 6.45am, too early for my liking seeing as I stayed up til 1.20am to finish off the 2nd Twilight book so I didnt have to have 2 books in my carry on bags.

We met up with the rest of the Gliders at the international airport for a 9.30 flight to Tokoyo/Nartia airport. We only had an hour and half from landing to takeoff for our flight to Osaka. Somehow we made it, though I think we may have held the plane up, it ended up taking off an hour after it was meant to.

(On the plane)

Like I said before, it is absolutely freezing here. Going from 35 degrees in Perth to like 8 degrees here in Japan was a shock to the body. I had my UnderAmour, one longsleave, another longsleave, my hoodie and my winter jacket on. As well as scarf, and beanie.

(Its so cold in Japan!)

Anyway, we finally made it to the hotel and met up with the Aussie girls who have been in USA for study and training. Check in and bed followed.

The next day (today) we had breakfast and then bus'ed it to a Japanese school where we did an exhibition game followed by several clinics for the Japanese children. The joy and admiration in the faces of the children were awesome. They loved having us there. They had made posters of each of our names as well as a big poster with Fight Gliders written on it.


(Dori and I with our fans :P )

We then traveled to the place where we train where we had lunch and then training. The first official training session involving the USA girls. I think that they melded in pretty well and fast as well. After training we all got in our togs (or swimmers or bathers depending on the state your in) and had a recovery session in the spa and cold showers.

It was then home time where we had a bit of spare time (cuppa teas for my room - Dori and Tina), then individual meetings, a group meeting and then dinner.

(Roomies)

Now its more free time. We are lucky enough to have free wireless internet, except that I didnt bring my laptop. Hence why I am on ass. coach Matts laptop.

Okay, I have endured this cold common room too long. My fingers are practically frozen and numb. Its bed time. Or maybe a little bit of Edward and Bella before bed time.

Catch ya all later!

15 February 2009

Week 6

Monday - Stars training followed by Local League
Tuesday - Gym and shooting around
Wednesday - 1k swim and gym
Thursday - House stuff
Friday - House stuff - I got the keys!
Saturday - Training with the junior squad
Sunday - House stuff

Fly to Sydney tomorrow afternoon. Then fly to Osaka, Japan the following day with the Gliders. Going from 30's to like maximums of like 8 degrees. A nice change but I still prefer the heat :)

09 February 2009

Quick addition

Just found this picture:


I've ridden a bike!? It's got training wheels on it but hey, I can say I've ridden a bike!!

08 February 2009

Clare Louise Burzynski - part 3

Sorry if you all have been waiting in anticipation for the next episode of Clare Louise Burzynski :P I am a procrastinator, a forgetter, and can get distracted by doing other things and then all of a sudden the day is over! So sometimes, things don't get done for a while if they aren't of high priority (and hence why all through high school and university I seem to be doing assignments and study a week or even days before they're due!).

ANYWAY!

Obviously, after the accident there was a whole lot of learning for that little girl to go through. Learning new ways to do things that, as a 3 year old, I probably had only just managed to learn normally. Obviously getting used to wheeling around in a wheelchair was a major part of the learning curve. Not being able to squeeze past tight spaces. Not being able to go up stairs (which later in life turned into not being able to go to friends houses because they had stairs). Learning how to balance on just the back wheels (a.k.a. wheelies or mono's or whatever kids call them these days). Learning how to jump up and down small steps (now at 2 or 3 at a time, which can be a heart rate raising experience even as a 22 year old with 19 years of wheelchair experience).


(1. The wheelchair I had in hospital. 2. The first wheelchair I had out of hospital, funny, I have red wheels now too.)

Then came all the physio therapy. Stretching my legs this way and that. Building up my upper body strength to handle to new fact that I have to pretty much carry my lower half around with me. I spent countless hours and days at the children's hospital doing this test and that. But the main thing that I remember from all that physio is what we called the RGO. I honestly couldnt tell you what those letters mean, maybe someone out there could post a comment to remind me. But thats irrelevant right now. What it is, in laymens terms anyway, is this brace thing that you strap your legs into as well as your back. Its all joined up so that you can technically get up and walk around with crutches (without crutches you would just fall over and face plant the ground, trust me, it happend). You would pretty much put your weight to one side and swing a leg through. I guess its point was to make sure that the muscles in my legs would grow as my body grew through childhood. As well as to make sure they get all stretched out so they dont get tight and erg (wow thats an awesome medical term :P ).


(1. At home with the RGO, I've always been a bit of a poser. 2. In some hospital corridor. I almost look normal with the dress over the top of the RGO if it wasn't for the crutches.)

Obviously, the Doctors wanted me to be in this a few hours every day which becomes a bit tiresome for a kid, especially on a grumpy day. So you had to make it into some kind of game. I remember at some time there was this chart on the wall. I had to do certain things in my RGO and if I did them then I would get a gold star sticker. I can't remember now what the ultimate reward was but I do remember that chart being stuck on the kitchen wall. Sometimes I thought the RGO was kinda cool. I was taller than I was in a chair and could reach certain things like the kitchen sink, which my parents thought was cool as well because they were able to make me do the dishes or handwash my dolls clothes.

(1. Doing the dishes. 2. Cooking. 3. Putting my dolls clothes on the line.)

Oh man, now that I'm thinking back to those years and looking over all the photos, I was in that RGO pretty much my entire childhood. It was there when I was in Pre-School where it allowed me to wear the pretty purple swishy dress from the dress up box. It was there through Kindy and Grades 1 2 and 3 where they even bought a special desk so I could stand and do school work at the same time.


(1. The purple swish dress that I could only wear standing up. 2. The table I had in school.)

Like alot of things, things come to an end. It was probably a mixture of me not liking it any more (it makes me look "more disabled") and the fact that my legs were starting to grow at a slightly odd angle (more about that in a future 'episode') and made swinging my legs through in the RGO kinda hard. So there went the RGO and all the appointments associated with it. Oh, just a quick side note: to make a RGO, they needed to make a mold of your back/chest and legs and to do this they wrap you in heaps of plaster of paris, wait for it to dry and then cut you out of it. Those were interesting hospital vists!

If I wasn't in my wheelchair or the RGO, around the home I mostly crawled to where I wanted to go. Which meant stopping regularly to stop my pants from being dragged down to my ankles. This is when my creative mother invented the all in one play suits. Pretty much they were a top and pant combo, similar to that a convict or paramedic would wear, but with the early 1990's for children flare to it. Mum even made some in school colours in winter but as all kids strive to be or look cool, I would take my arms out of the top bit and tie the arm bits around my waist so it looks like I'm just wearing trakki daks with a jumper tied around my waist (obviously Im wearing a tshirt of some kind as well :P ).

(1. The All in One play suit, this must have been a clown edition. Ive read IT, yes it scares me too! 2. Me on the swing in another All in One. My mum was very creative, she made alot of clothes for me.)

If I wasn't crawling, I was using what I called my skooter board. This was where my dad became creative and inventive. It was basically a bigger version of a skate board which I could sit on and use my arms to get around. There were a few versions of these skooter boards. One had a seat with bigger back wheels that I could actually push instead of having my hands on the ground, but my favourite was a big red one with Spot (that cartoon dog) painted on it. So little Clare didn't have any problems at getting around the home :)


(Me on the Spot skooter having a 'run' around in the sprinklers on a hot day.)

Anyway that will do for now.. Will talk about school next time I think :) I can see this thing being longer than what I originally expected it to be.

Local league tonight. Woo!

07 February 2009

Week 5

Monday - Gym in the morning. Then in the evening a shoot around for an hour followed by Stars training (the court was hot, I was sweating like a pig!) and then at 7pm we had local league.
Tuesday - Nothing. Very sore from Mondays gym session. Yes I know, no excuse. Call me weak.
Wednesday - Gym followed by 1.5 hours of shooting around.
Thursday - 1k swim followed by 2 hours of shooting around.
Friday - Gym (arms = jelly after this session, lighter weights but longer reps)
Saturday - Training with the juniors.

Just so you all know, "shooting around" consists of a mixture of 5 spot shots around the key (each day doing different distances from the key, for example, on the line, or 1m or 2m out from the key, i like to mix it up over days or else it gets boring), layups (either overhand, underhand or hook, left, right and centre) and free throws. I measure my shots by makes. So if I decide to make 10 or 15 or 20 or whatever, and I'm having a crappy day, then I dont get to go home til its done. If I'm having an awesome day, I get to go early woo! I have to train myself to make these shooting sessions a higher quality compared to long quantities for when uni and possibly work starts. This year is the year of balance for me (compared to nothin but ball last year). I need to balance basketball, uni, maybe work, and of course what I like to call 'me time'.

Next week might not look so crash hot, I have meetings on Monday, and house stuff on the Thursday and Friday (handover Friday yeehaa!).

30 January 2009

Week 4

Well this wont be very detailed. Read my AIS blogs if you want detailed..

Sunday - Travel to AIS
Monday - AIS
Tuesday - AIS
Wednesday - AIS
Thursday - Nada
Friday - Niente
Saturday - 아주 적은 aju jok-eun (I realise Saturday hasn't happend yet but I don't plan on doing that much on Saturday either :P )

Today I had my last on site meeting before handover. Looking good!


(1. My kitchen/dining area. 2. THE cheesecake that I spoke about in an earlier post :P)