I don’t mind Mondays.

People who work regular jobs are not into them and I get that, but within the parameters of my life, Mondays usually aren’t that bad. It’s really the day games after night games that get to me, but I shouldn’t complain when I get to watch baseball games for money.

One last picture of Allyson, me and Amanda before Bard on the Beach, before we had to say goodbye.

One last picture of Allyson, me and Amanda before Bard on the Beach, before we had to say goodbye. My face is in a shadow, but maybe I like it that way.

This one was especially un-Monday-like because it would be the first day I got to join the Canadian Women’s National Team. I had been previously unsure of which day I would meet the team and start writing and head to the hotel with everyone, but it turned out to be the first day of the business week. Because I had been unsure, I had a few things left to do before I could join them in Surrey, about a half hour or so away from where I had been staying in Vancouver.

After dropping Amanda off at Allyson’s place and getting a quick tour of the condo she and Ryan have, which is beautiful and great, I debated between heading straight to the mall to continue my quest for red shoes or to head back to the house to pick up my mom and bring her along for the journey. I figured my mom would probably want to have some lunch and not be stuck at home all day, so I opted to head back to get her.

We tried to look up some sports retail stores with the GPS, not really knowing where we were going, and we ended up on the campus of the University of British Columbia. After finding nothing at a Foot Locker, there was a Champ’s Sports nearby where I actually found another pair of shoes I liked, but they didn’t have my size, once again. We kept looking around but eventually decided to just go to the mall Amanda and Allyson had recommended to me earlier. It seemed the best way.

I finally found another pair of Team Canada-worthy red shoes, and again they didn't fit. My feet are too small I guess.

I finally found another pair of Team Canada-worthy red shoes, and again they didn’t fit. My feet are too small I guess.

It took far too long to get to the mall but eventually we made it. We went straight to the food court, which also seemed to take forever because the shopping centre was so huge. I opted for sushi, apparently not realizing that I would be heading to Japan in just a few short days, and it was delicious. As far as sushi goes, everyone talks about the stuff in Vancouver as though it is the next best thing to the authentic stuff on the other side of the world, so I think it was a good pick.

We had to go to all three of the sports stores in the mall before I found an acceptable pair and they came in my size, but finally I got a pair of shoes I deemed acceptable for my trip with Team Canada. I wouldn’t want to show up to the field with my red, white and black Baseball Canada gear on, rocking white Asics with lime green accents, now would I? No, most certainly not.

Finally, I found a pair of shoes I like (though not as much as the other ones) and that fit. Does it matter that they cut the back of my one foot? No, it doesn't.

Finally, I found a pair of shoes I like (though not as much as the other ones) and that fit. Does it matter that they cut the back of my one foot? No, it doesn’t.

We immediately left the mall, because that was all we came for, I’m not a big shopper, and I was in a little bit of a hurry to join the team as soon as possible. It took equally as long to get back to the house as it did to leave, so the day seemed to be going far too quickly for my liking. When we got back, I debated between taking a quick nap or packing all of my stuff up and leaving right away. I was exhausted but after five minutes of trying to sleep I decided I wasn’t getting anywhere, plus Tam warned me that I should probably try to leave before rush hour, so I quickly packed what I could. I figured I would have time later to sort it out if I made any packing errors or if I need to send anything home with my mom when she departed Vancouver to go back to London and I took off for Japan (!).

I left and heading to the Sandman Suites in Guildford, which I think is a part of Surrey maybe. When I arrived I told the desk clerk that I was a part of the Baseball Canada group. Honestly, that was a little exciting for me to even say. It’s an awesome thing and I don’t think I should underscore that. The clerk directed me to turn around where the team’s business manager was sitting in the lobby. Penny Fitzsimmons introduced herself to me and gave me a key to the room we were sharing. She mentioned dinner would be at six-thirty that night in the hotel restaurant, Moxie’s. I had almost two hours so I decided I should take the opportunity to go for a run. Before I could leave I ran into Andre Lachance, manager of Team Canada, and he and Penny set me up with a bag of goodies, including Baseball Canada shirts, a hat, sweaters, and more. It was like Christmas.

I passed this near the Guildford Mall while I was running and I thought it was cool. So I stopped to take a picture and here we are.

I passed this near the Guildford Mall while I was running and I thought it was cool. So I stopped to take a picture and here we are.

Then I took off for a run, but not before asking the desk clerk where I should go. She told me there weren’t really any paths or trails in the area, so I figured I should just stay on the main streets and try not to make too many turns. I obviously don’t have a very good history of not getting lost.

Under two kilometres into the run I saw signs for a bicycle trail, so I decided to follow them. As it turns out, there are paths and trails right near the hotel. I found them. It was a really nice place and I enjoyed running in the area.

So yeah, there were some trails and paths. Just so you know.

So yeah, there were some trails and paths. Just so you know.

I got back to the hotel with enough time to shower before dinner but I was still the last person who walked into the dinner area at Moxie’s. That was a little embarrassing, joining the team for the first time and not having a place to sit. There was one empty spot, but one of the players was standing next to it so I figured she was sitting there. The ladies at the table told me I could take the spot though, so I joined them.

Weird, more trails and paths. Thanks, Surrey.

Weird, more trails and paths. Thanks, Surrey.

As it turns out, the standing player was Melissa Armstrong, a pitcher from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She is having back issues so she can’t sit down at all. She had to stand for the entire meal and she also can’t really do anything comfortably. It kind of seems to suck but she is very positive about the whole thing.

One more, as proof of the running trails.

One more, as proof of the running trails.

After dinner I had to head straight to the mall next to the hotel for khaki pants. I had forgotten that we need a pair of khakis for the trip and didn’t bring any, nor do I think I actually own any. The mall was only open for less another hour so I had to hurry. My first stop was Hudson’s Bay Company, because it was closest and the biggest store I could see. I tried on a couple of pairs of khaki pant options and they didn’t fit at all. I somehow ran into the Olympic section of clothing, however, and ended up walking out with an awesome Team Canada shirt, and a fantastic pair of sweatpants.

From there I went to Old Navy, mostly because it was the next place I saw. I tried on a few pairs of pants and none of them really fit but I bought a pair that was too big anyway, just in case I didn’t find anything else. They would work if they had to. As it turned out, they were only thirteen dollars too, so that pretty much made them a perfect fit. Before heading back to the hotel I had time to go to London Drugs to get some laundry detergent for the group, plus some other essentials I had forgotten, like shampoo and conditioner. It was a successful trip.

From my run, I think British Columbia is pressing a little too hard here. No one wants rain.

From my run, I think British Columbia is pressing a little too hard here. No one wants rain.

When I got back to the room, Penny and Melissa were chatting. I learned that they are both from Saskatchewan and Penny was actually Melissa’s sixth grade teacher back in the day. They were heading out for a walk and made an offer for me to join them, so I did. I figured it was great to have something to do, and to start spending some more time with the people I am about to spend a whole lot more time with.

Our walk was great and I actually even had some background knowledge on the area after running around it a little bit earlier in the day. I felt a little bit smart. I got to know the Saskatchewan natives a little better and shared some information about myself and all in all, I would also consider the trip a success. Then I got some work done before everyone eventually retired for the evening.

Who doesn’t like Mondays? Not me.

 

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The pieces you're reading are written by a baseball enthusiast who can completely confirm the notion that if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. That's me. I never know what day of the week it is, but I always know who's starting tomorrow. There are no limits, but there are plenty of rain delays and extra innings...just embrace them.

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