When I have a large chunk of downtime at any point during the week, one of the first ideas I always have is to put up a blog post of some kind.
I have rejected that thought for 17 straight weeks now. Until today.
Summer has been an adventure so far. The times I enjoy most in life are when I have the opportunity to wear a lot of different ‘hats’ while still having the freedom of downtime. The school year always allows for the former, balancing being a student with coaching and whatever work I am doing, but rarely allows for rest. Of course I always have time to spend with friends and rest no matter what time of year it is. But being away from school allows for more ‘disconnected’ time where I am not worrying about when my next assignment is due. It is during these periods of my life that I find I do the most reflecting, the most reading and in turn the most growing.
I am blessed to have a summer that blends both of these halves. This five month break has me coaching, continuing my work with AIA, taking a class and doing a lot of travelling. A blissful combination.
My coaching situation is perhaps the one that has people most interested. My club season wrapped up in May, which found me returning as the FVVC 16U coach. We made a sweet run at the end of the year, winning provincials and coming within a hairs breath of winning nationals, eventually finishing with a bronze medal. I will pass on recounting the entire season here but I did upload a highlight video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPrwHsCvyqg). Incredibly gifted group of athletes.
Where typically the end of the club season means either an entire summer off or at least a couple months of volleyball, this year has taken on a different shape. As the MEI Senior Boys coach I found out in March that our team was invited to compete in an international high school tournament in China this July. After a ton of legwork done by the administrative volleyball staff at MEI we have somehow made the trip happen. The worst part of the process being the selection of 12 athletes out of a whopping 25 that tried out. Hardest cuts I’ve experienced. Since the end of the club season, however, we have been training five days a week in preparation for the big tournament. No idea what to expect other than this incredible itinerary they sent us.
Other small tidbits that make the trip crazy: 12 of the top 16 FIVB nations are represented at the tournament (Russia, Brazil, etc), the tournament organizers are paying for our in-country expenses, an anonymous donor donated $12 000 to help cover our flight costs and we are doing this entire trip, plus 40 training sessions, all before the start of the season in September. Bound to be the trip of a lifetime for this group.
So clearly a big part of the summer, and thankfully my work is able to fit alongside of it. I am continuing my role as the Marketing Coordinator for AIA Volleyball through training for China. In fact I was recently offered a one year extension on my contract which has me very excited. I am currently continuing to cement the online presence of the organization, examples of which can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, the blogosphere and a variety of other places. This has been a bit of a dream job as I have been able to work on telling the story of an organization that has desperately needed it while simultaneously learning a ton about what it takes to do this job ‘right’. I have had a ton of flexibility in the way I do my job with the primary of instruction of adding value where I see fit. A challenge that has been a joy to pursue.
To top it off I am spending three weeks in August travelling South America with my girlfriend Jenelle and her family. A dream trip that they have been waiting to take for a long time, spurred on by the fact that her sister/brother-in-law are currently in Bolivia doing long term missions. We will be visiting Bolivia of course, as well as Paraguay, where Jenelle’s father is originally from. It is sure to be a trip we will never forget as the eight of us we spend three weeks seeing the origin of the ‘Franz’ family.
Although this sounds like a hectic summer, it wonderfully spread out to allow for plenty of time to read, see friends and just generally refresh. A unique time in my life and one I will not take for granted. Excited for the travel that is laying ahead but equally enjoying this time of growth while pursuing many of my greatest passions. I will be sure that this blog is continously updated throughout July and August as I visit two continents in a three week span.