Euro Blog Day 5: Jennifer Doris
May 24, 2009
Hello again! I'm back for a second straight day and it has been another exciting day in Slovenia. I love waking up every morning to look out the window at the beautiful view of the mountain and alpine slide.
Our day started with our outdoor buffet-style breakfast around 9:30 a.m. It was pretty much the same stuff that we had yesterday, but it is very good so it doesn't get old. We sat outside and talked until 11 a.m. when our tour guides came to meet us. They took us up on a ski lift to a ropes course. We split into two teams, got strapped in our harnesses and put our helmets on before beginning our activities. We didn't know exactly what was in store, but we were excited for the adventure.
The first one was the hanging slide. I went first and was scared to death. I was harnessed in and my team, which consisted of Ashley (Engle), Heather (Kisner), Rachael (Adams), Sydney (Yogi), Kiley (Hall) and Nick, all pulled a rope until I was hanging straight in the air. I was dangling in the air looking down on all the people dining outside the restaurant and trying to smile at (special assistant) Nathan (Mendoza) while acting like I wasn't scared. I accidentally pulled the release too early and shot out really fast. It was scary but fun. The girls decided to let me go again since I didn't get all the way to the top. So again, they pulled me to the top and this was high. I mean, about 30 feet off the ground. I went to pull the release and I couldn't get it to go. My heart was beating fast. My hands were getting sweaty and I could barely breathe because the harness was so tight around my ribs. Kiley then yelled `let go of the ring' and as soon as I did, I was swinging back and forth in the air. It was an adrenaline rush. Some girls were adventurous and went upside down which looked like a lot of fun too.
The other activity was to climb up a skinny eight-meter cylindrical pole, turn in a circle and then jump. It looked really easy until it was your turn to go and you got to the top. Kiley made it to the top with ease, and was rather fast. Sydney and I took a little longer. I'm usually not afraid of heights, but this one got me. I was so scared I couldn't say a word. Every time I tried to open my mouth I could not get anything out. Sydney was terrified. It took her about seven minutes to climb it and do a circle, but she conquered her fear and did it. It's easy until you climbed on the last peg and had to put your foot on the top. There was nothing to grab on to at the top for balance and the pole was shaking so it didn't help at all. I didn't quite make the circle before I lost my balance and fell, but it was awesome to stand up at the top and look down and see all of your teammates and coaches. On the other team Juliann (Faucette), (Michelle) Kocher and (assistant coach) Brian (Hosfeld) made it look super easy. Nathan and (head coach) Jerritt (Elliott) were busy videotaping and taking pictures. You can check out photos in the gallery on TexasSports.com.
We sat down at the restaurant right by the ropes course for a nice lunch. We had salad, pork and fruit. We tried to keep it light because we knew what was in store for us. After lunch we raced down the mountain on sleds and we were timed. It was part of our Amazing Race competition. For every second difference between the teams, it was a 3 minute lead in our actual race. Being that Heather, Michelle, and Rachael all came in an hour ahead of everyone, it was crucial that everyone else did well and went fast in order to get ahead. Basically, you sit in a little yellow cart at the top of the mountain and go around a track until you reach the bottom. You have a handle to control how fast or slow you go. Ashley, Amber (Roberson) and I made a pinky promise before we started that no matter how scared we get we would keep going full speed the entire time. It was a lot of fun. The coaches are still figuring out the times, so we don't know who the winner is or how much of a lead or delay we will have. Our team is determined to come back and win this thing!
We had so much fun the first time that a couple of us paid to ride it again. Nathan and Sydney videotaped themselves, so it should be funny to watch it.
We had a couple hours off for rest and naps before we left our hotel to head to the gym. We played five sets with a very good professional Hungarian team who were joined by seniors Lauren Paolini and Kiley. It was definitely a test of our mental toughness. I have to say I am very proud of our team. We fought very hard and put together some unbelievable runs. Our pin hitters were practically unstoppable.
After dinner, we showered up and ate our final meal downstairs. It was delicious pizza and salad. Like always, we went to our favorite ice cream stand for gelato. We are starting to get spoiled. We have been lucky to have it three nights in a row! I'm really hoping we will continue this trend the rest of the trip. .
Well, tomorrow morning we will depart for Croatia. We are so excited to get to see another country. It's hard to believe we have already been to two. This trip has been unreal and something I could only imagine in my dreams. We are so thankful for our wonderful tour guides, coaches and everyone who has helped make this trip absolutely phenomenal. This trip would not be a success if it was not for them. We can't wait to see Croatia and Italy. Stay tuned and we will continue to update you.