November 19, 2011

Cabin Fever


In all my years playing basketball, at some point during each season, I hit a point where I start to go a little stir crazy. I think I'm reaching that point here now, but I’ll explain a little further…

The first red flag came during our drive home after our game last Saturday. The five hour ride was taking forever as we hit fog and slowed to a 90km/hr pace (no, I will not translate this into mph for you – just know that we usually drive 110-130km/hr on the highway).  Around hour three, I started to get restless and nauseous as I shifted from one uncomfortable position to another. Thank God one of my teammates offered to switch places with me to let me rest against the cold window. Our pit stop at 2am couldn’t come quickly enough and I basically bolted out of the van as soon as our driver put it into park. Even after our break of fresh air, when I piled back into the van I felt claustrophobic and sickly until we arrived at home, at 5am.

This week hasn’t improved much as far as my sanity is concerned. Perhaps in preparation for returning home (although I can’t say for sure that that’s the real reason) I started making jokes to myself…my favorite being a one liner, “untranslatable,” which I say to myself about any custom that differs from how we do things in The States. From the way people greet one another to phrases that I really want to use (like “C’est poubelle,” which literally translates into “It’s trash,” but can’t be used in the 'that’s not worthy of my attention context,') I find myself getting weird looks from teammates and giggling to myself more often than usual.

On Wednesday, I was helping coach the little kids’ practice when I took the giggling a step further and laughed so hard I cried. The kids were warming up with some basic Judo drills (ahhh Europe!), and my station was learning how to fall the correct way – tucked chin, not using your arms to cushion your fall, curving your back so you roll a little bit, etc – when one of my little players who is probably only around 25 kilos (55 pounds) went so stiff and plopped so hard while making a priceless face that I cannot put into words just made me lose it. After she fell she gave me this look like, ‘Wow,THAT did not feel right,’ which just made me laugh harder until I had to walk away to recompose myself. I couldn’t explain what was so funny since once again, I found it untranslatable. ;)

That brings me to Thursday. After our morning practice I went to the sideline to lay down and put my legs up against the wall to stretch. After I moved to get up, I looked down at my sweat marks that had transferred to the ground, and saw a beetle. Now, I was a psych major in college, but I think creating ink blots out of my own sweat is a little over the edge, probably even for Rorscach.

I think it’s fairly normal for people in my situation to lose it a little bit around this time of year. I’ve been here 4½ months now, seeing the same people and places day in and day out. Thanks to daylight savings time, there are only so many hours of sunlight I see each day; the weather is getting colder, keeping me indoors, and the Aquarium trip really let me down. I mean with all those things going on, it’s almost shocking I’m still coherent at all...

1 comment:

  1. You know what they say. It's the amazing race Phyllis.

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