2010 brought about many challenges; 21 tournaments in 14 different countries on 4 continents and 130,000 United Airlines miles flown. It sounds like a Christmas carol. Add in there the collapse of the AVP and you have a recipe for chaos. On paper, the travel looked insane, but actually having to do it all was ludicrous. The jet lag, exhaustion, up and down results, bankruptcy of the AVP, and accumulating list of injuries added to the frustration.
But one thing is for sure: it was a "learning year." Having a "learning year" leading up to the start of Olympic Qualification is never a bad thing. I will tell you what I learned. First, flying from California to China to Italy to Korea and back to California back-to-back weeks is not a good thing to do when you are trying to compete at your highest level and/or sleep. Arriving at a Grand Slam half-way across the world, a day ahead of competition is not a good thing to do. Forgetting to double check that your governing body remembered to sign you up for a Grand Slam is not a good thing to do. The list doesn't stop here, but I will.
After the long, grueling season came to a close, I was able to relax and go on, perhaps, one of the greatest vacations any volleyball enthusiast could ever imagine with South of the Border Volleyball Vacations
. The destination was Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The weather was incredible. The people/vacationers were amazingly nice, fun, and diverse. The hotel was a fantastic 5-star All-Inclusive resort with great food, swimming pools, staff, and 85 volleyball vacationers all there for the same thing; a week of fun in the sun! We even went zip-lining through the beautiful forests of Puerto Vallarta. It was so much fun to fly like a bird high over rivers, boulders, and trees. Forget any fear of heights. It was exhilarating!
After Mexico, the holidays were fast approaching. It was such a fun time of year to spend with friends and family, although a bit challenging with no competition to prepare for. I made the most of it by devoting a great deal of time to rehabilitating my body and mind.
Having learned so much from the trials and tribulations of 2010, I am excited to move forward in 2011. We still are not sure what will happen domestically in 2011, but we are confident that there will be professional beach volleyball in the United States. The sport is too great not to resurge. More on that as it develops.
Happy 2011 to all! I wish you health, happiness, and success, always.
All my best,