Kristen Mann’s Overseas Journal: Part 3
Ringing in the New Year.
We’ve talked about it before, but there really isn’t an “off-season” in women’s basketball. After the WNBA season ends, players are lucky to have a week or two to see their families and pack before heading overseas to play professionally for seven months. SLAMonline is excited to bring in WNBAer Kristen Mann to give everyone behind the scenes access to the life of a women’s professional basketball player overseas. – Ben
by Kristen Mann / @dreamingtree44
My apologies for being M.I.A.; it’s funny because I never thought having two games a week in Europe would be so difficult and time consuming—especially when compared to the WNBA’s crazy schedule—but with all the traveling and practicing twice a day in between, I’ve been too damn tired to write or do anything! I barely have energy to take my handsome little man, Mr. Sawyer, for a walk.
I’m currently on the train right now heading up north in France for a game. Normally, I use this time to catch up on my television shows, movies or more importantly… SLEEP. However, I know I’ve been slacking big time on the blog so I’m making myself write (then I’ll nap).
You may or may not know, but my mom and sister came to visit at the end of November. Then, about two weeks later, my Dad, step mom and brothers came out for a week. So, needless to say, it’s been a full house. It’s funny when my family and friends want to visit when I’m in France. (Where was everyone when I played in Latvia?!) Anyway, that was the first time my pops had been to Europe, so they were taking pictures of everything. I don’t get to see my dad and brothers often because they live in Arizona. It was nice to spend some quality time with them. Plus, it was right around Christmas time so the timing was perfect.
Christmas break was amazing and something I really needed. My family usually opens presents on Christmas Eve at my aunt’s house, and we save the “big” gift for Christmas morning. I was so happy to see my family and all my little baby cousins. There are five of them and they are all adorable. They probably get annoyed with me because I suffocate them with tons of hugs and kisses, but I can’t help it. It’s kind of like how I am with Mr. Sawyer. I rarely see them so when I do I take full advantage.
We also go back to my aunt’s house on Christmas day (can’t get enough family time) but, unfortunately, my aunt was sick with the flu so we stayed away. =I like to think that was a blessing in disguise because I stayed at home ALL day and watched opening day of the NBA. The only times I got off my couch was to let Sawyer out, to eat and to shower; I was literally glued to the TV. It was a nice lazy day, and my mom, sister and Grandparents watched the games with me too.
New Years Eve was just another night for me. I was back in France, stayed home, watched a movie and had some wine. I’ve never been a big New Year’s person though; I blame my college days for that because we always had early practice the next morning so I never did anything the night before. We had practice on New Year’s Day in France too so I chose to catch up on my sleep instead. Since we are talking about it, Happy New Year to you all! Better late, than never. I hope 2012 brings each of you happiness and good health.
As for basketball, things are getting better. December was a difficult month for us; we hit a bit of a rough patch and lost a few games that we shouldn’t have. We couldn’t seem to find our rhythm. I think all of the long traveling caught up with us and everyone was exhausted both mentally and physically.
We had a close game this past Wednesday vs. Gospic, and thankfully we closed that one out and won in overtime. Unfortunately, it’s still not for sure that we will qualify for the next round for Euroleague, thanks to Wisla for losing to Taranto. Ugh! So, we need to get a least one victory out of our next two Euroleague games.
Aside from ball, one of my best friends from college was just here visiting. She came out for about a week and I hadn’t seen her in over a year. It was great catching up with her and reminiscing about our crazy college days. It actually made me feel old. Then I realized, I am getting old. I mean, I’m not as old as some of my teammates like Edwige Lawson-Wade (she’s gonna kill me for saying that) but it’s really crazy how time flies. Soon, I’m going to be 30…then 40…then my midlife crisis will inevitably come. So much to do in so little time…
But in all seriousness, it really does make me appreciate what I have now and all that I’ve been blessed with in my life.
On that note, I’m gonna go enjoy some coffee with some of my teammates. I hope you all are well, and wishing you all a fabulous week!