Saturday, January 14, 2017

Liberty Lacrosse Blog Day 6

Day 6: Saturday, January 14, 2017

We woke up just before 5:30 a.m., packed our stuff up, and hit the road around 5:55 a.m. We drove for just over three to Rock Hill, S.C. and stopped at a Panera for breakfast that we preordered.

We are back on the road again, just south of Charlotte. The weather is definitely going to be cooler in Lynchburg.

I think back to Thursday night, walking back to our vans from downtown Charleston. I had a sudden surge of emotion come over me. It was hard to describe exactly why it happened, but it was just one of thankfulness. I am incredibly blessed to be in this situation and have this opportunity at Liberty that I do. A year ago today, I never would have envisioned that the Lord would have me at Liberty doing what I’m doing. I’m incredibly blessed by Him.

Liberty Lacrosse Blog, Day 5, Part 2

Day 5, Part 2: Friday, January 13, 2017

After I had lunch, I packed up a bag and biked over to the beach. The girls were about 20 minutes into their workout on the beach with Karyl when I got there. I set my stuff done and went for a 3.1 mile run around the neighborhood. The temperature was in the mid 70s, so it was a bit toasty. I got in two runs today, which was good.

As I made my way back to the beach, I could hear the girls from a quarter mile away. Once I got back, I saw that they were taking an “ice bath” in the 56-degree waters of the Atlantic Ocean. They began chanting “Bill, Bill, Bill”, encouraging me to go in the ocean. I had no issues with this, as this would definitely cool me down. Before hitting the water, I dropped my sunglasses, and take a dive into the water without barely feeling it.

The water was quite chilly, but it did feel good. After swimming around for a bit, I got out and went to grab a frisbee, the boogie board, and a football. Unfortunately, the tide was very low, which was not ideal for boogie boarding. The girls went looking for shells, and we happened to see dolphins traveling, jumping out of the water not far from the shore.

The rest of the time at the beach was spent laying out and reading the Bible. The coaches and staff all had a book or reading material in hand, making for a relaxing afternoon. A little after four, I biked back to the house, changed, and packed up more books to meet the girls up at the Starbucks in Freshfields Village.

When I got up there, I went into the sporting goods store. Some of the girls were in there, and Victoria (Tori) got good news that she passed her teaching exam. At the store, the girls tried to talk me into buying a lacrosse stick. I'm certainly going to need some lacrosse lessons this spring.

I got a coffee from Starbucks and some stuff from Harris Teeter and just hung out with the girls, as they snacked on chips and guacamole, sushi, and other lighter snacks. Dinner was set for 7 p.m., so Abby, Paige, and I began to ride back at about 6:25. It was a challenging ride, with very little light (phone lights). It was a fun trip home, as I became the third Britton for the night.

We stopped half way to the house to look at a perfectly clear, starry sky. It was the first time I had seen the stars that clear in a while. We dodged cars and eventually made it back to the house. Lindsey, Grace, and Sarah had quite the run-in on the way back, as a deer came out of the woods and jumped over Grace’s back bike tire.

When we got to the house, I played some doubles ping pong with Katherine, Nina, and Lexi. Lindsey, Michaela, and Kayla eventually came down to play before dinner was served.

The dinner consisted of pasta, meatballs, and salad, with chocolate chip cookies and ice cream for dessert. Following dinner, the coaches reviewed the week with the girls, and I stuck around to soak in some lacrosse knowledge. They also handed out schedules for the spring.

We heard roars coming from downstairs from the doubles ping pong battles between Joey and Karyl and Danny and Logan. Eventually, I got into the mix and played doubles matches with Logan against Danny and Karyl.

Currently, we are just sitting around and talking around the fire. I’ve packed most of my stuff, as we’ll be leaving around 6:30 a.m.

Overall, this has been such a great trip. Spending five days in houses with this team has been a blast. I’ve gotten to know the staff and girls and look forward to spending the spring with them.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Liberty Lacrosse Blog, Day 5, Part 1

Day 5: Friday, January 13, 2017

I got up around 6:50 a.m. and got ready to go for a run. Danny and Joey biked down to the beach to see the sunrise, and Kelly, Nina, and a few of the girls drove over. I ran the mile-and-a-half over to the beach and arrived about 10 minutes before sunrise. It was a sight to behold, as the waves crashed in and the sun appeared from the horizon. I didn’t even bring my phone to capture it because I just wanted to soak it in.

After hanging out for another 15 minutes, I finished up the remainder of my run and got ready for practice. Practice followed a similar structure, with a full field passing drill, positional skill-specific breakouts, and a scrimmage situation to end it. We had to pack up everything for good, being that it was our last day of practice at the school.

We all drove over to the Seabrook Island sign at the entrance of the town, and I was put in charge to take the team picture while the coaches filled up on gas and went to the grocery store. We took the team picture and then headed back to the houses for lunch.

The girls have a beach workout scheduled for 2 p.m. I’m going to bike over there in a bit, go for another run, and try out some boogie boarding.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Liberty Lacrosse Blog, Day 4, Part 2

Day 4, Part 2: Thursday, January 12, 2017

After everybody got ready, we made the trek to Charleston and arrived around 2:30. I didn’t realize just how hopping Charleston was. The downtown area featured a market, the College of Charleston, tons of restaurants and shops, huge houses, and tons of museums that looked like houses and had historical significance. Finally, the city is situated on the bay, which feeds right into the Atlantic Ocean.

We parked and walked to the Charleston City Market, which was established in the 1790s. There were numerous vendors across the four blocks. I ended up getting an Arnold Palmer that was made from freshly squeezed lemons. I don’t think I had ever seen lemons turned to lemonade and an ultimately an Arnold Palmer.

The girls wandered off in groups at the market and to various other stores in town to shop. I went with Kelly, Nina, and Karyl to the waterfront area. As we were approaching the bay, we saw a pod of dolphins traveling together and jumping out of the water as they went along from our left to right. When we got up there, they were off in the distance and kept moving along. Eventually, Joey, Danny, and Logan met up with us, and we ended up hanging out there for another 20-30 minutes. We did see some more dolphins, but they weren’t quite as cool as the first group we saw.

After that, we went to Rainbow Row, a series of colorful historic houses in downtown Charleston. It was cool to see and read about the history of the buildings dating back to the late 1700s.

We continued walking along the coast, eventually finding White Point Garden, which was a really cool park with humongous trees, green grass, and a pavilion. As we approached the park, we saw a guy proposing to his girlfriend and now fiancée. She said yes, and a short photographer guy took pictures of the whole event as we applauded in the distance. Just a normal Thursday.

We made our way back down Meeting Street, passing several more gigantic houses and museums that once were houses. Eventually, we walked into the College of Charleston basketball arena to use the bathroom. It was a smaller gym but still very nice.

We finally met up with the girls just before 5:30, and most if not all of them had successful shopping trip, as evidenced by the many bags they carried.

We crossed over the Ashley River and made our way to Swig & Swine, a BBQ joint in the area. As we pulled into the lot, our staff van belted out its best version of Edwin McCain’s song “I’ll Be”.

The aromas alone made me hungry. The brisket, pulled pork, mac & cheese, baked potato salad, and banana pudding all were incredible. I don’t think anybody walked away hungry or dissatisfied with the delicious southern BBQ.

On the ride back, we listened to some good tunes and had a good time. We are now at the house, about to watch This Is Us. Joey is satisfied that he’s getting to drink his chocolate milk for dessert. 

Liberty Lacrosse Blog, Day 4, Part 1

Day 4, Part 1: Thursday, January 12, 2017

It was another warm morning for practice. The girls did conditioning with Karyl first and then got into practice. I’m learning a good amount about the game just by listening or asking the girls questions. The girls worked on a full field passing drill and then split up by position to work on position-specific skills.

The defenders worked on ground balls, while the attackers worked on a new offensive scheme. After that, they came together and worked on some 2v2 situations. Practice wrapped up with full field work.

We got back to the house a little bit ago and had lunch. Everybody is getting ready to head to Charleston. We’ll spend the day there, exploring the stores and the area. We’ll all have dinner at a barbecue place later on. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Liberty Lacrosse Blog, Day 3, Part 2

Day 3, Part 2: Wednesday, January 11, 2017

I went for a run around the island and happened to pass by Mel, Lindsey, Caroline, and Jenna as they were biking back from their lift. After getting back, I finished up some work for the tennis teams before heading over on a bike to watch the sunset with everyone.

When I got over there, the sun was about 20 minutes from setting. Some of the girls thought it’d be a great idea to go in the water. The water is 56 degrees, and I only went in with my feet. It was quite cold to say the least.

The sunset was stunning, as the waves crashed into the shore. The girls took several pictures and a big group photo right before the sun went down.

I went over to the one house but didn’t have my hotspot handy for The Bachelor. It would have to wait until after dinner. We went next door for dinner at 6:40, and the girls in the house were finishing up preparing tacos.

After praying, we had a delicious meal. Following that, we went back to the other house to finish up The Bachelor. Following the episode, I just hung out with the girls and got to know them better.

Four of us rode bikes back to the house, where we watched part of an episode of Shark Tank and a full episode of This Is Us.

I’m pretty wiped out from all the sunburn and activities today. Tomorrow should be another fun day. After conditioning and practice, we will have lunch and then head to Charleston for the rest of the day. 

Liberty Lacrosse Blog, Day 3, Part 1

Day 3, Part 1: Wednesday, January 11, 2017

It was a beautiful morning in Seabrook Island as we headed to practice. When we got there, it was already pleasant out. Within the first 10 minutes, I removed my jacket because it was plenty warm. The girls had a tough morning of conditioning, with numerous sprints orchestrated by Karyl.

During practice, some of the high school girls from the school came up to us asking if they could film practice because they were doing a project on women’s leadership. I set up an interview with them and Faith, and they asked her some questions. I spent practice watching different elements of lacrosse. I spent some time watching defending, passing, and goalkeeping. For the final part of practice, the team worked on full field stuff.

After practice, we came back to the house for lunch, and I worked on stories for men’s and women’s tennis while the girls went to rehab and lift. I’m about to go for a run now, and then we are all meeting at the beach at 5 p.m. for the sunset.

After that, I’m bringing over my hotspot to the one house so we can watch the end of The Bachelor. We’ll have dinner at the house next door at 7 p.m.