Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Baumer's Blog
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: April 16, 2007
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Senior Kristina "Baumer" Baum will blogging about life, the world and Arizona Volleyball throughout the 2006 volleyball season.

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March 22, 2:26pm


Oh, Hawaii


So many shades of a sky so blue

Everywhere you turn a different hue

Looking out at the ocean view.


Laying out, Sheraton towels, strolling like beach patrol.

Here we go, dig and roll.


A sweaty session to start the day

Floors so wet like Hanauma Bay

Pushing through the clouds, the sun’s ray.


Crashing waves, Macadamia nuts, eating a Dole,

Even the surf likes to dig and roll.


Twenty foot waves, love the North Shore

Not sure a girl could even ask for more.

Anything else? Walk to the ABC store.


Napping at noon, too many pictures, having a purse stole,

Get into bed with a dig and a roll.


Gorgeous, relaxing, successful trip,

The Pacific as our backdrop enticing a dip

Packing it up even after a luggage rip.


Beating the Wahines, sleepy plane ride home, remembering our one goal,

“Take the ball on your left.” “Dig first, then roll.”



So if you do not quite understand the poem, let me take a moment to analyze if for you.


Stanza 1: self-explanatory

Stanza 2: On the first day of our trip to Hawaii, everyone spent the day in the sun. Towels were provided by our hotel by the pool, which overlooked the ocean five steps away.

Stanza 3: We had one practice in the early AM for about an hour and a half. Since we were not accustomed to the humidity on neither the island nor the gym with air conditioning, every two minutes towels were wiping up sweat. Hanauma Bay is where some of us went snorkeling and even saw sea turtles. Really, really cool. And the weather was beautiful even when we had brief periods of rain and clouds.

Stanza 4: I think everyone brought back Macadamia nuts for someone back home which were found everywhere even in menus.

Stanza 5: After about an hour drive to the opposite side of the island, we reached the North Shore where the waves were HUGE! ABC stores are found on every corner, literally 20 feet from the last one.

Stanza 6: By the time practice was over in the morning and we had eaten for the second time already, most of us were found napping on the beach or in our hotel rooms, which had an awesome view from 24 floors up. While we were at the North Shore, Amy (Junior Setter Amy Dyck) got her purse stolen. Sad times. Don’t worry, everything turned out fine.

Stanza 7: Brooke’s (Sophomore Outside Hitter Brooke Buringrud) suitcase broke as we were packing up to head on home.

Stanza 8: After a long, relaxing trip, we did manage to play very well against Hawaii and won in three. We took care of business. Chris (Assistant Coach Chris Gonzalez) always says, “Dig and roll.” The end.


March 8, 1:13pm


Spring break is here! Woohoo! Two days and we will be in Hawaii. (I know you are jealous.) For the next week, we will be training in Hawaii and playing in one match against UH on Thursday night. Four practices. One match. Seven days on the island. Couldn’t get any better than that. Don’t worry; we’ll be thinking about you all, still in Tucson, as we bask in all the sun’s glory with the great, blue Pacific crashing all around us. We need this trip. It has been a rough first half of spring training. Hehe! Mahalo!


Feb. 13, 10:43am


Happy Valentine’s Day! So it’s not till tomorrow, but oh well. Personally, I don’t see why you need a day to remind you to show love to the one or people you love. First, you go through the awkward gift buying process. What do I get? Is that too much? There’s always that awkward L word. Do you say it? Do you not say it? Does he mean it? Then, you have the friends that don’t have a significant other who swear off the holiday and promise to wear black in disgust at all the lovey dovey couples. Some people just haven’t been hit with cupid’s chokehold.


Spring training is in full effect. Bodies are aching. Everyone walks in at a little slower pace in the morning. Girls start their walks to class a couple minutes earlier to accommodate sore legs that now only function at a steady slow speed.


Welcome to spring training! Woohoo! From day one, whether we are under the bar fighting to keep our elbows high and drive through our heels doing front squats or under our desk lamp fighting to keep our eyes open studying for a test, our bodies hate us. We wake them up at 6am and force them to not only function, but to push weight at this ungodly hour. By the time lifting is over, it’s only 8am and there is still class, study tables, homework, treatment (rehab), and sometimes individuals to get through. No wonder they hate us. And if you’re really lucky, you have a moment to spare to celebrate cupid’s day before slowly crawling into bed to get up and do it all over again. It’s all out of love. Really. Love for this game known as volleyball.


Feb. 8, 12:37pm


20 weeks and one day later... I rolled to my right. Ooooo yesss! Although an angry-faced David Rubio kicked me out of the drill after my little shenanigan, it felt sooo goood! We had an hour practice this morning with serving and passing and some three-man. I’m impressed at how good we look, and it’s only our first practice together since our season ended in November. Maybe I should start by saying HAPPY NEW YEAR! Yay for 2007!


Nov. 18, guestimation 6:59ish?


We are on a tiny propeller plane leaving Lewiston, Idaho. We haven’t taken off yet and almost everyone is passed out. It’s been a long weekend. We beat WSU in four last night. It was a very good weekend. We played back-to-back good games. I’m a proud momma. Dave (Head Coach Dave Rubio) didn’t travel this weekend because his wife Amanda was about ready to give birth. And yesterday morning she did. Twins. A boy and a girl. No names that we know of yet. Thank goodness she had them to make Dave not going on the trip more worthwhile for him. We were placing bets to see if he would fly out yesterday to be at our game last night since the babies were born in the early AM. He didn’t, of course. But he was texting our manager Shalane both games every 2 points. One text even said who should sub in for who when such and such happens. He never stops coaching. Sheesh. At dinner, we compared texts to see who got more from Dave. Shalane won by far with Domi (Dominique Lamb) a close second. This is what happens when the head guy doesn’t travel. That and I can’t even tell you how many times we U-turned this trip since Dave is usually the leader of the caravans. But it was a very successful trip overall. Last one, next weekend...


Nov. 17, 1:18pm

Just flew into Lewiston, ID. There’s not much out here. Looks like prairie lands with all the rolling hills and brown grass. It’s pretty cold, almost as cold as it was last night in Washington’s gym. It had to have been at least forty degrees in the gym. My hands were practically blue. We lost in four. We played very well, just made more errors than they did. I can’t really remember what happened because the gym made my head cold causing temporary memory loss. That or I really am getting old. Sheesh. Oh, but I do want to tell you about Lewiston, Idaho. Let’s start with the airport.... I think it is the most efficient airport we have ever been in. We got off the plane, took about twenty steps and there was baggage claim. About twenty-five seconds later, here come all twenty of our bags. About sixty seconds later, we were packing into our minivans and leaving the airport. No joke. I’d say that’s pretty dang efficient. Now the drive, maybe not so much. Three U-turns later, we were at Applebee’s eating. One U-turn after that, our hotel.


Nov. 15, 10:36pm


Two layovers, three states, eight hundred miles (I’m guessing. Hehe.), and nine hours later, we are in Seattle. It’s gorgeous with the leaves a yellow and red color. It’s so cold we can see our breath in the air. But, it’s time for bed. Good night.


Nov. 14, 11:04am


Ooooweee! Who’s on a winning streak? Oh yes! It was a good weekend for fall sports. Football won too! See, volleyball set the tone for the weekend, and football just followed suit. Weee! Yeeyah for us! Now we have to continue our winning streak and beat the Washington schools this week. For Steph (Stephanie Butkus) and Nash’s (Kim Nash) sake, I’m really glad we won this weekend. It just makes everything a little sweeter.


Nov. 10, 9:17am


WE WON! WE WON! WE WON! Winner winner, chicken dinner!!! I don’t think I could be any happier. Seriously, I think everyone is breathing a little easier, including all of our fans. (I appreciate all the fans that actually stayed till the end.) But we have to stay focused for tonight. Two in a row would be like a winning streak, right? Yesss. See, I can write about winning easier than losing. It’s much more fun for everyone. Whitney (Whitney Dosty) dominated on the outside. Sheesh! So the girl’s got a 'lil game. Okay. Okay. Steph (Stephanie Butkus) played like the amazing grandma she is. Her last night tonight. Everyone better be there! See you tonight!!


Nov. 8, 11:01am


Ladders, everybody! I did ladders! Woowee! To fully understand what I am talking about, let me try to explain. Ladders are agility movements including pivoting, hopping, and fast feet all done on... what else? Ladders (on the ground, not like a ladder you climb every Christmas to put lights on your house. Come on!). I’m not good at explaining this. Let me say it in terms of my rehab progress. Usually, ladders and agility stuff are started in the fourth or fifth month post-op. I am six weeks out to the day. Yup! You get it now. Haha. It’s true. Feels pretty dang good...


It’s senior night on Friday for Steph (Stephanie Butkus) and Nash (Kim Nash). So bittersweet. It’s funny how when Steph and I came in as freshmen we started with five. Now our original class is down to one with the addition of Kim Nash last year. Four years go by fast. One memory I will never forget, we were in our sophomore year after we lost to Stanford at home. Steph and I stood in Cherry Garage and talked for almost an hour after the game. We both struggled a lot our sophomore year (i.e. sophomore slump). We stood in the garage and promised that we were going to make it all the way through our senior year together. No matter what happened we would stay in it. (If this doesn’t tell you how bad we both were that year, then let me tell you... we were really, really BAD!!) To show you how vividly I remember that night, we were on the down ramp, on the ground between us was a huge chunk of gum (which is probably still there), and Steph was holding her grey sweatshirt and Hawaiian purse. And if you ask her, she’d probably tell you the same thing. Now, we made it through to our senior year, but I’ll be back for another one. I just can’t get enough. Hehe. I like doing things in pairs, clearly. A pair of surgeries. A pair of senior years. A pair of rings? (PAC 10 and NCAA?) Hey! Go big or go home! I like to go big...


Oct. 29, 10:24pm


Wow! Time flies. It’s going to November this week. Isn’t that crazy? But you know what that means, though, right? Thanksgiving is almost here! My favorite holiday. Food is my favorite holiday. Hehe. Girl’s gotta eat. Okay, anyway, back to volleyball. Two losses this weekend. Pretty tough. We played terrible. Plain and simple. Stanford was the hardest match of the season to watch by far. I was slowly dying sitting on the sideline. Brutal. In our meeting after our loss to Stanford, Dave talked about adversity and our next four weeks of the season. Adversity. I have never heard that word used so much in the past few months. Adversity builds character. Adversity makes you stronger. Adversity determines who you are. Adversity this. Adversity that. Positive things. The funny thing is that people don’t say how adversity can be a negative too. Adversity can wear on you. The adversity that this team has faced this season is definitely wearing on us. Losing is hard. Losing a lot is harder. But, you know what? So what? So we’ve lost quite a bit. Oh well. You’re right. We’re building character. We’re getting stronger. Nobody said that this was going to be easy. If it were easy, everyone would play. But, we’re in it for the long haul. I know I am. I know we didn’t expect to lose this much. I know we didn’t think it would be this hard. I know I didn’t expect to be out for my senior season and leave less experienced players to carry the load. A load they weren’t ready for. (But I’ll have a whole year to make it up to them. And I will.) Like I said before, this is like a relationship. Relationships aren’t always easy. That’s why some people stay together and others don’t. Highs and lows. Thick and thin. We’re at a low. But we are going to make it. Together. It must be the adversity. The adversity bringing us closer together...


Oct. 24, 9:37am


After playing Washington State on Thursday night, I don’t think we could have ever played any worse. Uuuuuugly. It was chaotic volleyball. No system. No style. Nothing that we’ve been trained to do. Friday night, we made a huge turn around. Very good volleyball. We lost, but we played within our system, doing the things we are trained to do. We were more relaxed and not so anxious while we were playing. I think it might have been the dancing to the Lion King soundtrack in the locker room before the game. Hey, it’s all about preparation.


Alright, I took a week off to get my schoolwork in order. I also went home this weekend to get some TLC from my family. While I waited for my flight to board, I sat next to an elderly couple that took turns saving seats as they went off to get food. Of course, this made me start thinking about volleyball. Everything does actually. Anyway, my first thought when I looked at the couple was I want to grow old with this sport. I want to be 80 years old and still be able to put the ball away when I play the younger generations. Show them what old school’s all about. Okay, so maybe not kills. Haha. But, I’ll probably be sitting in the stands and watching with my cane. But, we have a relationship, volleyball and me. A really good one. Almost ten years now. We’ve been through the ups and downs, wins and losses. Through thick and thin, we’ve struggled with playing through injuries or being sidelined from them. When everything went wrong, volleyball was right. (I never had to worry if it would pay for our date or call me back, you know. Hehe.) So, when my game starts to leave me, my body loses all its muscle (like now), and I have to retire from the game, I’ll still have my sport. Maybe not physically, but mentally it’s there to stay. We’ll grow old together not because it’s given me so much, but because I’ll spend the rest of my days giving back to it. That’s what I call love. Love for the game.


Oct. 18, 11:13am


So if you hadn’t noticed already, I don’t like writing about our losses. Nothing exciting happens when you lose. Yea, we beat Oregon State on Thursday night, but it was followed by another loss. Not fun. Officially, I think our whole team has gone into somewhat of a depression. We really can’t take any more losses. Next thing you know, we’ll all be in therapy for loss depression. (That’s not real, is it?) It really sucks. To top if off, we got booted from practicing in McKale to Bear Down. Sigh. Boo. Okay, so we practice in Bear Down now because basketball started up practice. When your coach’s name is on the floor, I guess you have priority.


Yesterday, I ran. Woo woo! So it was in our underwater treadmill, but so what? And it was a light jog, fast walk. A wog. Hey, it’s progress. I was winded after six minutes. That’s pretty bad. I’m out of breath after just walking up the ramps in McKale. That’s really bad. I think I need an oxygen tank strapped to my back. You think I’m kidding? You wait till you see me at the top of the ramp with my hands on my knees trying to catch my breath. And if you do happen to walk by and you’re cute... well, I might just need some CPR. Hehe.


Oct. 10, 6:49pm


After walking out of my class this evening, I started my hike up the stairs to my car in Cherry Garage. (By the way, my car is on the roof of cherry. That’s four flights of stairs if you didn’t already know. Maybe five.) Before I could even take my first step up the stairs, I stubbed my toe. Actually, I didn’t raise my leg high enough to get it up the first step, and I almost tripped. My heart started pounding as I grabbed onto the handrail. I could feel a rush of pain to my knee. Ouch. It hurt. It really, really hurt. The funny thing is, I looked up and still had four flights of stairs to climb up. I barely made one. Trying to focus on picking up my feet as I slowly started up the stairs again, my mind went back to when I first got hurt. I played the first five points of the match in my head up until I hurt my knee. My eyes started to fill up. I think about it now, and this is how sports go. Sometimes you get knocked down, whether it be tearing your ACL or losing the first five games of conference play. And it hurts. Maybe you have to go through surgery to fix it. Maybe you have to have faith and keep fighting together. And then, you get back up. Maybe you have to hold on to something until you steady your feet. Or maybe, your teammates cover you until you find your rhythm. It’s part of the game. It’s part of life. Sometimes, the past comes back to bite you in the butt and you feel its fury. But, the pain’s there to tell you something. Maybe to keep you grounded. Maybe just to remind you of where you have been and where you are going. It pushes you more. When you get knocked down, you have to take it one step at a time. Small steps. Take it flight by flight. Because once you get to the top, you can look back and really appreciate the struggles or stubbed toes that once brought the pain you thought would hold you back.


Oct. 10, 9:59am


Today’s a new day. We have clear, blue sky today. Although I love the rain, nothing beats a sun-shining day. We have one more practice before we leave tomorrow for the Oregon schools. I hope the leaves are turning colors up in Oregon. It’s gorgeous in the fall up there.


My knee rehab is going pretty well. I’m at 115 degrees now. I think complete range of motion is like 130 or something. I’m not exactly sure. All I know is that forcing my knee to bend more than the last day is getting harder and harder. Okay, so not harder, just more painful. It hurts. Plain and simple. But, I have to get it there somehow. I have started riding the bike for ten minutes a day. Ten minutes doesn’t seem like a long time at all, but when you have been doing nothing for a month, it’s hard. I was winded after the first day of riding the bike. No joke. The second day didn’t help either, because I think I was more winded and tired than the last. It’s a long road back, but I’m in it for the long haul.


Oct. 8, 8:23pm


Frustrating. What are we waiting for? I don’t know. Eventually, we’ll get tired of it or we’ll just get mad. We shouldn’t be losing to these teams. Well, we shouldn’t be doing a lot of things... Grrr...


Oct. 7, 2:03 pm


We played well last night. Well enough to lose. It seems like we are waiting for the other team to lose for us. That doesn’t happen in the PAC-10. You wait around and the other team will run you over. At the same time, I don’t want to take away from the good things we did. Each match, we show a little more composure and a little more discipline. We are just beginning to show what we can really do. But it’s time... time to run the other team over.


October 3, 3:51pm


Captain’s blog. It’s cold in here. I’m cold. So cold. I see a bright light. Darkness. There’s that bright light again. More darkness. (Okay, so I’m blinking. I’m in a silly mood alright? Hehe.) Anyway, so far practice is going well. A little serve and pass is going on. The girls had a rough weekend. I didn’t travel, and that was the worst idea ever. I decided against traveling this weekend, because I figured I would be a hassle to the team, not being able to bend it comfortably. After hearing about the sprint from gate to gate in Phoenix, I decided I made a smart choice. I would still be in Phoenix now if I traveled this past weekend. Phew!


This past weekend was a little rough for some. Overall, I have a feeling that things went well despite the losses. Our team is waiting for the big pay off. We train harder than anyone else in the country. One of these days it’s all going to come together and our consistency with result in winning. It takes a lot of patience and discipline, but we will get there. I promise.


Here I sit (with my knee at 90 degrees... woo woo!) getting some mental training in. Most of my training these days is mental, whether it’s watching practice or rehabbing my knee. Forcing my knee to bend sucks and for the most part is pretty painful, but I have to do it. Pain is mental. Okay, maybe not, but you can work through it mentally. It’s a focus thing really. So far, I must have pretty good focus, because my knee bends about 110 degrees. So much for 90. Hehe. It feels good though. Baby steps are coming along. And guess what? No more knee brace! Thank goodness! Now, I just have to make sure I don’t trip and fall...


No word on my redshirt yet...


Sept. 26, 7:08pm


Alright, alright. I’m back. So I took a little break, okay? Geez. When you get sliced open, have a dead person’s tendon or ligament (something, I forgot what it’s called) put in your body, have some cartilage snipped off, and then get stapled back together all why you’re sleeping... ummm... I think I deserve a break. All in all, the surgery went well. Rehab started two days after surgery. They repaired my ACL and took off about 20% of my meniscus. Don’t worry. I still have 80% of it left. (Better than none at all, right?) Now, I have a stellar knee brace that, for now, stabilizes my knee. So far, my knee bends about fifty-five degrees as of 3:45 this afternoon. This morning, I was at thirty-two degrees, so I would say rehab is going well. You tell me that’s not progress. Baby steps. It’s all about the baby steps.


Sooo... I’m pretty sure some of my teammates need to wear helmets ALL THE TIME. For example, exhibit A. Kara Bauman. Kara comes in Monday morning with headache. Cause? At serve and pass before our match on Friday, the girl got hit in the head by a ball, a serve even. Interesting... She must have a soft dome, because she was diagnosed with a concussion. Weird? Very. Exhibit B. Jacy Norton. Also on Monday, Jacy was diagnosed with a concussion. Cause? The victim was startled by her alarm in the AM, which resulted in the victim banging her head against her wall. Hmmm... suspicious, I know. In her defense, because I love the girl, the dorms have brick walls. That’s all. My solution? A helmet. We can work around the helmet hair. Poor freshmen. Actually, I had a concussion one time too.... From studying waaaaay too much. So I stopped. Hehe.


I will not be talking about ASU. Too fresh. It was heartbreaking. That’s all I will say.


PS. There are really no words that could truly express my gratitude for the love and support that have been shown towards me. I really, sincerely am thankful from the bottom of my heart for all the emails and cards with thoughtful and kind words. Thank you times 23.


Sept. 18, 2:04am


I can’t sleep. I can’t stop thinking about my team and my knee. It might seem odd or strange, but in a way, I am looking forward to my rehab. After having shoulder surgery, I liked seeing my progression from day to day and week to week. It was really fascinating to see and feel my shoulder get better. It got to the point that I was so in tune with my shoulder that I knew when I could go hard one day and then ease off the next. I have a better appreciation for my body and how it functions.


As for my team, I can’t even begin to describe how I feel. I’ll put it this way... I feel like a mom that isn’t ready for their child to go off to college. You aren’t sure whether or not they will be able to handle everything on their own, but all you can do is hope that what you taught them growing up was enough. Sure, you will always be there to answer their call, but it will never be quite the same as when they were under your watchful eye. And it’s all out of love. Love for these girls. Love for this game.


Sept 17, 4:42pm


Alanna’s (Alanna Resch) bag got caught in the luggage carousal today. Hehe. They had to stop the baggage claim carousal while security tried to find someone to get the suitcase unstuck. The treadmill-looking thing that dumps baggage onto the carousal was eating Alanna’s suitcase. While security tried to find a remedy to the situation, an old man and Alanna pulled out her bag with brute strength. I was quite impressed (by the old man, not Alanna). Hehe.


Freshman outside hitter Allana Resch attempts to rescue her
bag from the luggage carousal.


Well, there wasn’t a whole lot of pretty volleyball this weekend. We had moments of greatness at times and others not so great. We beat Pittsburgh in three and Eastern Illinois in four. Jacy (Jacy Norton) and Domi (Dominique Lamb) held their own. I’m very proud of both of them showing good leadership. My "sister" (Dominique) just dominated once again. Basically, she’s unstoppable. Pretty amazing. Jacy holds her own in the middle as well. She’s also my baby that I’m trying to nurture and help grow into a big cat. For now, she’s a kitten working on her roar and doing a very good job at it. She’s going to have a big growl one day. I promise.


On Saturday night, we lost to Northwestern in five games after losing the first two. The fifth went 12-15. We started playing and fighting too late. It should never have gone five. We made them look way better than they really were. We have to stop doing that.


As for my knee, I go under on Wednesday. Morning or night? I’ll find out tomorrow afternoon at my pre-op appointment. I’m scared. Really scared. It’ll be nine months to the day that I last had surgery on my shoulder. It hasn’t even been a year. Sheesh. Well, I’m glad I still have room for one more. Maybe I’ll have some “enhancements” made. Hehe. I kid. I kid. But seriously, this has to be my last surgery ever. My heart can’t take it anymore.


Sept. 13, 4:34pm


I’m sitting here watching practice unfold. I dislike spectating. They are doing three man, my favorite drill of all time.


Three man: (n.) a defensive drill ran by Dre (Assistant Coach Chris Gonzalez) that requires a lot of movement, discipline and communication with your teammates.


Run. Dig. Run. Roll. I’m in. You go. Mine. I’m left. Run. Run. Run. Chris. Back up. Roll! I’m right. Push forward. Switch. Go through. I’m middle. Run. I go. Mine. Mine up. Push. Run. Dig. Run. Roll. Middle. Middle. Middle. Chris. Stay down. It’s up. Run. Mine up. Switch. Ten feet. I go. Roll. Run. I’m in. I’m back. Stay deep. Mine up. Switch. Okay, I go left. In a nutshell, this is three man.  Movement.  Talk. Discipline. Running. My favorite drill and I’m watching... Boo.


Sept. 12, 11:11am


So... if you haven’t already heard, I tore my ACL and my meniscus. I’m not very articulate right now, so I’ll just say this... Thank you for all of you who are showing me love and support. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you. I know this is not the result anyone really expected or was looking for, but it happens. I really, truly, truly believe that everything in this life happens for a reason. My knee happened to me for a reason. I’m not really sure what that reason is yet, but in due time, I will know. For now, I plan on having surgery as soon as next week. I have a possibility of taking a red-shirt year, but we are still waiting for the word on that. I will let you know....


Sept. 11, 10:19am


After finishing my morning rehab, I found out I see Dr. Hunter at 4:15 this afternoon for the results of my MRI. Now, it’s a waiting game... (worst game ever!)


Sept. 10, 2:49pm


Ummm... where do I start? Well, I’m lying in my bed with five pillows under my right leg to keep my swollen knee elevated above my (currently broken) heart. And... to be completely, brutally honest... the tears are starting to flow. This is real. My knee is real. This blog is real. I’m keeping it real. As of right now, I don’t know the status of my knee. I could write about all the things it might be, but I’ve heard a lot of “It could be...”, “I think it’s...”, and “It’s probably...” in the last 48 hours. We’ll find out as early as tomorrow. My MRI is at 4pm today. Am I scared? Hell yes, mainly because I get claustrophobic and getting an MRI involves laying very still on a hard table that rolls through a very narrow tube that you stay in for about 40 minutes. That’s a long time, but I’ll hold my breath. I’m hoping for the best, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was nervous or that my heart feels like it might beat out of my chest. This is different. I’ve never hurt my knee before. It’s foreigner territory, we’re about to go exploring, and I don’t have a map...




Almost every Sunday morning, we have treatment for our aches and pains in the training room. After finishing my rehab and pacing gracefully (with my limp) through the halls of McKale, I noticed a paper posted on one of the windows by our study rooms. It read: “Things that happen to us do not become experience without reflection.” I don’t know who wrote or posted that quote, but it hit home. This weekend we suffered a pretty bad loss. (Not only do I hate losing, but spectating rather than playing sucks.) Not only did we lose in five games, we lost to Rice. Ugh! Clearly, I do not know how it felt on the court, but I can tell you how it looked. Trustless. (Is that a word?) There was no trust. No trust in each other. No trust in ourselves. No trust in our coaches. No trust in our system. Like Dave (Head Coach David Rubio), Dana (Assistant Coach Dana Burkholder), and "Dre" (Assistant Coach Chris Gonzalez) keep saying, we train too hard to play poorly. Maybe this is the lack of experience peeping through a little bit. I hate, hate, HATE being referred to as a young team, but we played like a teenager rebelling against their parents.