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So Linds, What are you up to over there?

It is official, the 2019/2020 season has ended without a League Champion, without a Cup Champion, without any true closure to this player's sixth season overseas. As of about a week and a half ago, the French Federation had finally announced that they were officially canceling the LNV. (National French League) We all knew that this was bound to happen, but since there had been such a delay to the official announcement, we were left to our imaginations as to what the Federation was discussing during that time. For four weeks we had been brainstorming all types of scenarios. "Would they just delay the season for a month or two, and then have the teams come back in July to finish out the remainder of the season?"


- "No no, if that were the case, there'd be some ugly volleyball happening since not a single player's been able to get into a gym anywhere."

All possibilities that came to mind just did not make sense. The league's gotta be cancelled.

The funny part is when it was finally terminated, it hit. "Wait, the league's cancelled. Oh Sh**!"

We're are still trying to process the oddity of how this season ended in such a sudden halt. It's quite peculiar processing a year that now seems to have just been fully erased within the blink of an eye. As if none of it ever happened.

It's hard to accept that all of the work put in to this season by every single team, led to a big dollop of nothingness.


We've all handled the last couple weeks in our own ways. When the lockdown was first administered, we were only given hours to figure out where we would spend our quarantine. My teammate, Sara drove to Monaco to spend the two weeks with some friends. Our right side, Moni, drove to Paris to be with her boyfriend, and our outside, Silvi decided to straight up flee the country as fast as possible😂 Her situation is a bit different; she is from Russia. With all of the rules changing daily, there was the possibility that if she had waited any longer, she would not be allowed back into her country at all. Fair enough. So within hours she had impressively packed up her entire apartment here in the South, and at 5am the next morning we were off to the train station. (The quarantine lockdown wouldn't start until noon that day, so I was able to drive her to the train station.)

Quarantine Family

After that, there were six of us left in our complex ready to endure the two- week quarantine together as one.

I decided to stay because I personally was not prepared (both mentally and physically) to pack this chapter of my life within hours. Back when we were on our "normal" timeline, my plan was to go to Luxembourg post-season and spend a couple of weeks with my love, Gilles before I would fly home to California for the summer! But my mind was prepared to do this in May: when the season would be completely finished and I was able to process the 9-month journey that had unfolded before me.


When the lockdown came, I just wasn't psychologically capable of packing up all those emotions, thoughts, memories, and feelings together in such a short amount of time. I was still in "season" mode, and personally felt like I just couldn't leave my teammates yet.


I mean, at that point, our minds were supposed to have been getting ready to compete in Le Coupe de France! It just didn't feel right having to go so quickly from thinking about our goals as a team, to abandoning them. I didn't want to cheat myself out of this moment.


A moment that I truly cherish for my own growth, I needed the time to heal and reach closure for myself, while being present to support my teammates who's same rug was swept under their feet.

The Packing Factor

I have a fare amount of "things" in my apartment. I'll be honest, packing up this apartment within the Hours that the country gave us to set up shop for this "two- week" lockdown, was damn near impossible. Moving out of this place is a multiple-day type of event. Let me explain it like this: There are two types of players that live overseas. The Nomad, and The Nester. The Nomad player is one that comes with a temporary mindset. Simplicity is their name of the game because as long as they have a bed to sleep in with a roof over their head, they're happy. Usually homed- good purchases are held off for this Nomad's post- playing lifetime. They are able to accept the fact that they will just be "taking up space" in an apartment for 9 months, knowing that it is a temporary place of residency. The Nomad usually lives exclusively off of those two suitcases that were checked in by the flight crew. No need for anything else.

Efficient mindset✔️

Low maintenance✔️

Simple living✔️

Then there are players like me...The Nesters (stills from @vb_ci 's youtube channel☺️ )

We are the players that have spent too many years playing overseas to accept the space that which we will live in as just, space. We hope to transform this space into a home, a sanctuary if you will. While this apartment alone supplies everything one would need to survive, I of course prefer to put a little personality into it. So, to this Southern French apartment, I have added two carpets, one in the living room and another in the bedroom, a footstool to make lounging on the couch more comfy, a table and chairs if I want to either have a proper place for writing or guests over for a 3-course dinner, a 60 pound mattress pad to help me sleep through the nights when the body is really feeling the season, two separate shelving areas to hold toiletries and the 16 paris of shoes that I have brought over with me, along with about eight different canvases, two bins of paints and arts and crafts, two blankets, endless pillows and a new purchase of 6 separate bags of flour due to the shortage in the grocery stores.

We. Don't believe. In packing "light."

Purycard Dreams

Your quarantined home away from home

We really are in the best case scenario over here. Our little town of Purycard is about as isolated as you can get. It is surrounded by endless vineyards and a vast array of agriculture. My backyard balcony specifically opens up to sounds of birds chirping in the trees and a view of utter openness with occasional tractors grooming the fields.


Here in France people need, essentially a permission slip, ordered by the government, in order to leave the house. It must be filled out with your name, date of birth, address, current date, and hour of when you left the house, along with a checked box showing that you are out for either groceries, health reasons, or for a small workout within a constrained distance to your home.


While I have this on me at all times, I really haven't seen many policemen patrolling our little town. I think that it's automatic location is already remote enough to be classified as it's own quarantined center!👍 I mean, just take a look at this view...

Long Distance Banned Relationship

Unfortunately being over here in France means that I cannot be in Luxembourg with Gilles. The lockdown was originally only supposed to last a couple weeks; but in France, the time frame continued to extend with each passing week, essentially making it triple the amount of time as the first wave.


It has been difficult not being able to hug and kiss him, but it really feels like we're going through this together. He is my rock and I am his.


Being in a distance relationship already calls for heaps amount of communication. Now add a country-wide lockdown, and that makes the situation ten times harder. The cool thing is that this situation has actually made us stronger. We've become closer to one another having to fight this thing together. If one of us is feeling the distance, we're able to express that to the other and lean on them for support. It really is something special.

...but hot damn I cannot wait to jump onto him for the biggest hug and kiss once the time comes!!!😝

Okay but really Linds, what are you doing over there?


For the first two weeks of the lockdown, we were pretty disciplined in getting a workout in every day.

It's actually really nice to finally have the workouts in our hands again. I've been incorporating all the training that I had done with Fletch and Ben over the summer into a workout for all of us to do together.

We always end with a massive finisher that usually encompasses a mix of Zuu workouts. I love these finishers because it's physically so taxing that it hits you mentally. The distraction of fatigue, I think, brings out your best as it pushes you to overcome the pain. All of a sudden, your thoughts grow into fierce motivation. Your mind wants you to overcome the challenge; it wants you to finish out and succeed!...probably because it just wants you to be done.😂

I think that this is the perfect time to go through that type of mental exercise. We all could practice this type of encouragement in our heads. Moments that are hard, moments that hurt. Yet moments that we will overcome. Isn't that what we all need to hear during this time?

Our little quarantine family would have occasional movie nights and dinner parties together. Dinners at Kim and Simon's meant exposure to Vegan cuisine! I'm not gunna lie to you, the meals are delicious. Within the group there are two pescatarians, one vegan, another vegan-transition-er and two meat eaters. So the meals dispersed between this family is pretty eclectic. It's good though, it gives us all the chance to exercise our culinary skills. Something I personally love as I am still desperately trying to make up for the year of pureed dinners in my exhausting first season in German. Our first dinner at the Puerto Rican household with Ray and Jessie turned into a full on karaoke night! Some players bring their favorite clothes, others may pack their favorite snacks, but Ray, my sweet spirit animal Ray, had brought from home, her dear karaoke microphone. Thattagirl.

The night started with a calm jam sesh with her husband Jessie playing guitar, but quickly progressed to singing disney musicals on the karaoke screen. We were there for a good two hours, and actually singing the majority of the songs in french! Well, in our best french.

Quarantine Fam

We really tried to give our best during this quarantine time. Whether it was dinner parties or karaoke nights, movie nights or picnic potlucks in the backyard. We did it all.


As the time went on though, we started to get a little more sporadic with the workouts. I've been switching up my days of exercise between these backyard "strength" workouts, with a day of running for cardio, aaaand yoga! I've noticed that changing up my workouts daily has allowed me to stay motivated, heck even excited to get out and do something. I usually just despise running. You couldn't catch me on the side of a road trekking along if my life depended on it. But our strength coach was all about cardio so I've been trying to keep it up. I will say that there really is something different about running when you're doing it in the South of France. When I started to add running into the mix it was, well, ugly. But I did it! I mapped out the same route that I decided to be my route every time. Then on one beautifully sunny day, I decided to turn right instead of the usual left. I don't know if it was the Missy Elliot melody bumpin' in my ears or a change in the winds, but it brought me a couple miles further into a scenery so beautiful that I swear it was fake!! I was surrounded by twelve different shades of green with vineyards on my left and luscious crops on my right. I even turned Missy off just to listen to the wind dancing with the trees. It was liberating getting to see that this run had transformed into a moment of adventure. I couldn't believe that this world was in our backyard all this time.

It was from then on that I committed myself to use these runs as an opportunity to really live in the moment, mindlessly. Our world is beautiful, we just gotta allow ourselves the moments to cherish it.

Lessons Learned

When you're so used to going through your day to day schedule, you forget to set aside time to explore.

When we're in season, our minds are so tightly wrapped around a different set of priorities. Priorities that take control of our minds, our bodies, our spirit.😂 (pause for teeny tiny violin playing for undeserved pity) But it's true, when we're not at trainings, workouts, meetings, or physio, we just want to rest. It literally comes down to "Do I want to take myself on a walk, or do I want to take nap." ...LET ME TELL YA, The nap, wins 9 times out of 10. 90% success rate. That walk doesn't even stand a chance.

It got to a point that I would go months without ever pulling my bedroom shade up to see the outside world. I wanted it to be an absolute black-out whenever I walked into that room. Because that room meant one of two things: Naptime, and Bedtime. I was too tired to experience what was on the other side of the shade because I was just trying to keep my body together to get through the season. Crazy to think because look what I missed out on!!? (Granted it was a lot more rainy during the season; this is Peak springtime views)


I'm trying to break the habit of staying up late so that I can rise with the sun in the early morning. I've noticed that this is the most peaceful part of the day; the calmness of our European morning mirrors the quietness of my family's California night. It's a moment where I feel connected.

I want to be a Yogi

As I've mentioned before, yoga has played a huge factor in caring for my mind, body and spirit during this time. I've always loved yoga ever since I started working for Lululemon after my Philippines season and before my German season. We're lucky to live in a day in age where a novice like myself can access classes online or through social media. (Thank you Chelsey Lowe) My 6 man team is sponsored by SOHO YOGA and they have generously given us players a free subscription to online classes as well! (Thank you Nikki Jagd) All of this exposure mixed in with the free time to really figure out my own practice has inspired me to dive into this way of life. Now I have a feeling that it is pretty unconventional and damn near impossible to get certified online, but I have decided that when this is all over, I want to get certified to be a yoga instructor!

I've realized that the more I learn, the more I don't know, which makes me


want to learn even more!! you follow?? There's just such a powerful energy that consumes me when I'm either practicing yoga, meditating, reflecting, dancing, all the things! It gives me peace. And that is something that I hope to create more of.

For years I had just practiced on my own with whomever was on the other side of the computer, but this quarantine has allowed me to spread my love to the people that I love. One way that Gilles and I stay connected during this time is through yoga on Facetime! The more classes I took, the more I wanted to practice running my own flow with someone. Gilles, frustratingly picks up just about anything and everything new to him, very quickly. He's an athlete and a teacher. A physical marvel and a scholar. We get it Luxembourger, you're gifted. Setting my ego aside, he was the perfect candidate to test out running a flow with...He also expressed a want to do yoga with me, so, all the stars aligned for this one!

My fellow quaratinees also knew that I loved yoga, and asked for a little group session as well! This, was a little daunting. I was comfortable being a student of the craft, I was comfortable running it with ma man, but a small group!?? Scarryyyyyyy. Luckily, it went pretty smoothly! I've realized that the second you forget about what people think about you, and just let your mind fall into the energies around, it's all good baby! I remember finishing that session on an absolute high! My first time running a group yoga session, and I loved it! I felt everyone's energy as they allowed themselves to surrender their minds to their bodies. It was such a powerful moment for me to see just how connected we all can be. To see how much of an impact we can all make on eachother when directed to the positive light.

Creative Minds Come Together

Ciara and I are totally using this time to feed into our creative juices! It's really fun what two people can put together when given all kinds of time to do so. She has used this time to dive into her passion for photography and videography. As someone who Loves being in front of the camera- thank you philippine genes- it's like a match made in heaven!

Over the past weeks we've been playing with different ideas for photo shoots and videos. This girl is INCREDIBLY talented with the camera and just so creative in the mind. It's safe to say that she's chosen the right passion.


My next blog will highlight some of the projects that we have worked on so STAY TUNED.


But for now, I will just leave this gem here for you to enjoy.


I've been baking a Ton lately because it makes me feel like I'm at home and well, who doesn't love a nice slice of cake to fill your midnight cravings!? Check out the video that we made showing how to properly (?) bake a carrot cake from scratch.

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