Thursday, April 26, 2012

Two Month Point

Cannot believe that I've been here for 2 months. It feels way longer but the time is going by pretty quickly. I caught myself today in somewhat of a routine. Since our days are scheduled from Breakfast to Dinner, I'm basically doing the same thing day after day. My "free" time is filled with going to the store, cleaning, doing know all the fun things! I randomly schedule "appointments" to Skype with my mom and friends. My mom has adamantly followed my career from every pitch, information is her second life form. The time difference and only being able to talk to me when I find internet has proven thus far to drive her crazy with how little information can be provided. Luckily, our games have been streamed live. Not too sure if they always will be.....
But, the link is and you type JSA16 into the search box. 
There are some recorded games on there, I think. I would go look for y'all, but the only thing that would currently be on there would be footage from our 9 inning loss to Toyota (last years champs). So I hope you understand that I do not want to see any part of that game. At all. 
Speaking of that I already said we lost. We played the entire game in rain. Not a fan. Although it wasn't that cold, so it could have been much worse. The absolutely worse game I ever played in was last year's conference opening game at Northwestern. That game alone caused rule changes to be made about the minimum temperature that teams can play at. 12 degrees. That's what we played in. Absolutely MISERABLE. I couldn't feel my fingers, let alone feel the ball. I actually sprinted back and forth in between innings to their indoor football facility to keep warm. It only took about 3 innings for people to realize this and Northwestern fans would come "visit." Adam Arbour, our amazing, awesome, everything great in this world, manager acted as my bodyguard. It was kind of hilarious. I watched our offense through a fogged up window and Adam and I would have our own mini-celebrations in the empty tunnels of the building. Every inning felt like I was a major leaguer sprinting in from the bullpen. And, let me tell you, that sprint sucks. I would totally badass walk my way to the mound if I was a major leaguer. I mean the games are already long enough, it's not like anyone could really say you're taking up too much time. Plus, you'd be way less out of breath than the other guys. And you get to hear more of your entrance song. Win, win. Kate Drohan, Northwestern's head coach would later call me a "pansy" for hiding in the warmth. I gave full credit to Hutch and her genius idea of keeping me from getting frostbite on my fingers. (Ok, fine, it wasn't THAT cold). But, we won both games, so I guess I can see why she was a little upset. 
Anyways, we had 9 innings in the rain. Our rookie pitcher started the game and pitched phenomenally. She just turned 18 and graduated high school last month. You could say the professional leagues are a bit different here. After 4 innings, she hit a little rough patch. The coaches were scared of her inexperience in stressful games, so they put me in in the middle of the 5th. 
Our team played really well, nearly getting to Toyota and their superhuman pitcher, Monica Abbott. If you've never seen her pitch, you need to. She throws 70+ and has movement on top of it. If you don't know what 70 mph at 43 feet equals out to, it's about an 100 mph baseball pitch. Crazy fast. She's arguably the best pitcher in softball today. 
We played strong and kept them off the board, while threatening on offense. Unfortunately, we fell apart in the top of the 9th. A misplayed ball, pop-up, walk, fly out, base hit that scored a run off an error, all resulted in 2 runs scoring. We ended the game with a goose egg in the bottom of the 9th, and a disappointing loss. We had beat Honda 11-1 the day before. High of highs to low of lows. That's definitely something I've learned from this game: as soon as you feel good, the game will knock you on your ass and keep you humble. 
Some pictures snapped on the move on the bus

The tournament we were at this weekend was in Toyama. Not a clue where it was. All I know is about 3 hours into our 4 and a half hour drive, I woke up and saw snow. SNOW. I immediately ran through in my head whether or not I had packed long sleeves and my jacket (that would be a no, as it turns out). I had literally just taken out my winter coat from 
my travel bag thinking the weather wouldn't turn back to winter from spring. Rookie move, obviously. So, basically I froze my butt off for 3 days. Good thing Michigan prepared me for brutal cold!! (sarcasm). The snow did make for a very pretty drive, however. I swear everywhere we go is a scenic route. Every place we drive is gorgeous. 

This was just outside the stadium we played in. Everywhere is a postcard here, I swear. 

Almost forgot. Warming up for our game vs Toyota was impossible to do outside since it was pouring rain. So, pictured above is where we warmed up. "The BIG EGG" indoor batting and pitching lanes. All 24 of us warmed up in the bullpen, the top picture. It was slightly disastrous. Balls were flying everywhere. Several people were hit by mishits. No one got hurt thankfully. I spent my time in the safezone aka the lobby. 
I also almost got acupuncture this weekend. Let me run you through my relationship with needles.....
Not a fan. Not in the least bit. We had blood work done at our doctor's visit. It took me a solid 15 minutes to stop hyperventilating and actually sit down at the nurses station. I paced, fake to sit down about 20 times, and eventually plopped down on the bench. They didn't even have the cookies and juice that the U.S. doctors give you!!! Disappointing. I at least wanted a sucker or something. Would've settled for a piece of gum or skittle. I was the kid that took about a dozen nurses to hold me down while the doctor gave me a shot. I was THAT kid at the doctors office. I'm going to go ahead and blame this on my first doctor. He told me to look outside and count all the white cars in the parking lot while he snipered me in the arm with a huge needle. I vividly remember whipping around and giving, quite possibly my first, a death stare. My death stares only took off from that moment on. I would say I'm a black belt death staresman now. 
I have 1 tattoo on my foot. It took me quite awhile to gain the courage to get it, given my hatred of needles. My friends can attest to the fact that I was a nervous hot mess before getting it. I got it done at Venice Beach. If you don't know what that is, educate yourself....IMMEDIATELY. I told my mom that I was getting it the morning of my appointment. She laughed and thought I was joking. It was only when I came home with my foot wrapped that she panicked a little. It didn't help that the wrappings - which was COMPLETELY LEGITIMATE - looked like a trash bag. It looked like I got it done in some back alley shack and the guy strapped a hefty bag over my extremity. I got it done by the shop owner, who was one of the scariest people I've ever met. He just kept randomly yelling my name, which continued as I left the shop and walked down the boardwalk. I could still hear him yelling about 300 feet away. His scary demeanor did not help the situation whatsoever, as I almost fainted (literally) off the second floor loft that was rigged within the building. 
There's my history with needles. So, you're probably asking why the hell would I consider getting acupuncture, when I'm scared to death of needles? I'm freaking curious. And, I promised to be more adventurous. Not about to look like a porcupine, though. Not happening. And no weird needles sticking out of my feet or hands or head. Meaty parts only. Limiting this adventure. Honestly, I'll probably pull the plug after a single needle, which probably will do absolutely nothing to help me. So, readers, next time I post, I will have pictures of my acupuncture experience. Lord, help me. 

Next time, I will be porcupined.....xoxo Jordan 

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