Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Copper girls take on Hamburg.. via Fahrrad

We have officially made it through the halfway point in preseason!
I can't believe it, and neither can my teammates. This month has flown. 

What's a better way to celebrate knocking out a whole slew of double days but with a day sightseeing bike!

The past few weeks in practice we have been learning about each other being that we have a lot of new teammates, and it has come to be known that we are a sing-song team. Especially in the locker room; some more than others, but we love to sing. 

One of my teammates found this gem of a Youtube video this week and I absolutely died watching it. Instant favorite. 

Since we were going on a bike tour it wouldn't be the same without music, so I made sure to bring my trusty fanny pack. But it isn't just any ordinary fanny pack, it is a bright pink 'Jammy Pack'.. plug in my iPod and it plays music through the speakers. A great asset to our ride today, it won the ride I would say haha 
mein Fahrrad und meine Jammy Pack :)

It had been a very sunny week but low and behold the clouds decided to come our way on bike day. We only needed the first half of the day and on take off we were covered in clouds, but not we tackled our journey!
It took all about 5 minutes until we had a bike malfunction and had to stop for a fix-it. Thankfully, we were staffed with men to take care of our job, not without a quick jaunt to the store, but after a 20 minute pause (after being on the road for 2 minutes) we continued! 
Mr. Fix It's

We went to a part of the city I have never been to before, through apple orchards and ended up in a district of Hamburg called Cranz which was right by the riverside.
Cranz riverside

After a good ol european coffee break we hopped back on our bikes and made the trek back!

We made it alllllmost all the way, literally 500 meters from the gym when the clouds opened up and poured rain giving us a classic refreshing Hamburg rain to cool us off after our hard work. Pretty good timing on our part I would say.

It was a good team bonding activity and a nice break from the gym.. although I am very sure our butts are going to be reminding us just how nice that ride really was for the next couple of days :)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Schönes Wochenende

I made a very important life observation today. 24 degrees Celsius (or 75.2 degrees Fahrenheit) is THE perfect temperature.
#nofilter #therealdeal
Sun, lakeside, plush green grass to lie on, a nice breeze = my happy place.

Hamburg is very well known for their rainy days, so when I open my eyes on a day like today I immediately jumped in my car after breakfast to head down to a favorite Hamburg spot.. the Außenmuhle Lake in Harburg.

I'm a sucker for water. So lakes, oceans, rivers, you name it; I feel at peace when I am near it.

This lake has it all; families, couples, young and old, lakeside cafe, paddle boats, grassy knolls, kayaks, and most importantly a beautiful view. Just the right combination of life to make it a soak up the sun, soul searching, serene Sunday.

A great way to end a solid weekend and to start a new week! I love sun. It makes me happy. Pretty simple.

Saturday was also a fulfilling day, an IKEA day! With two of my teammates, Eva and Alyssa, we made the quick trip, a little bit outside of the city 45 minutes, to the infamous IKEA to walk around in, get lost and find random trinkets to make our apartments a little more homey feeling.

What is an IKEA trip without the purchase of wine glasses and candles?

After visiting the mammoth store we worked up an appetite and went to a near by Italian store. It was in a big warehouse and was FILLED with authentic Italian goodies, wine, cheese, pesto, pasta, all the good stuff that makes my heart melt Italian style.

There is also a restaurant in the warehouse where you can order huge bowls of pasta and great giant Italian style pizza for CHEAP. It was a good move.

We left with our car full of household goodies and stomachs full of Italian awesomness.

Overall it was a top notch wochenende! On to the next! :)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Mary Canary, 6 years old, the last in the long line of 8 Ammerman kids. And I'm pretty sure she is the combination of everyone's best personalities in one little human being; she's awesome.

Just to give you a little insight on what a witty little intelligent nugget she is, this is the email I recently received from her this week.

Background: This was the first week of school. Canary is going in to 1st grade and attending real school for the first time. Like her two older sisters, Hannah and Emma, she was home schooled for her first year of kindergarten. Hannah and Emma were home schooled a few years longer than Mary, but Mary is so stinkin smart she just needs to get in the school system and shine.

All of them are attending a Catholic private school and receiving a pretty amazing education, I'm pretty sure at the age of 13 and 11 Hannah and Emma know more than I do; it's impressive.

I talked to Canary on Sunday, the day before her first big day; she was very quiet. Which is a combination of me getting my silent treatment on Skype the first few weeks of leaving for Europe, it's not fun but it is routine and although it breaks my heart I know with time she will warm up to my flat face on the computer.

But another part of the quiet spell was probably a bit of nerves and anxious feelings, diving in to something new.  I was SO happy when I received the email mid week giving me the update on real school life..

First of all:
the subject: Howdy Partner
I mean it doesn't get cuter than that. Well it does, just keep reading...

 I saw your video.  YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL
We have 5 deer in our front yard!!!!!
do you like your number 8, and do you have a team name .
Do you play volleyball a lot?
here are my friends names at school .
what I like  about school is I have friends.
When your frightened they come and join you in
all my love

I don't even have words. She melts my heart. 'When your frightened they come and join you'. If that doesn't sum up a friendship then I don't know what does. At 6 years old she already has a whole heck of a lot figured out.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


If there is one thing I have learned about this league the past couple of years; it's that Germany takes Picture Day seriously. How seriously you ask? Well the photographer began set up in our gym Monday night, showed up in the gym at 8:30 Tuesday morning and left the gym at 12:25. AM. Talk about a full day.

Our team began showing up around 9 am for professional make up and hair. Apparently they don't trust us to do our own, I wouldn't either quite honestly, we live in spandex for a living, makeup and hair isn't often too high on our priority list. And after you see the finished product, you're impressed, and glad the professionals got brought in.

Even though at some points you might have a bag over your hair blowing hot air. This was part of my getting ready process. Apparently it's the latest and greatest hair drying technology for hot curl rollers here in Deutschland, well maybe it's from the 50's, that is still up for debate, I've never seen it before. But hey it worked!

Throughout the day we have a series of pictures with you and the volleyballs in various poses. These pictures are your main photo for the year and are blown up to more than life-size and placed all over the gym. Then a new addition this year, there was a photo with your own "personal item".

There were ideas from all across the board; from sunflowers, cupcakes, pancakes, real live kittens; it was fun to see what everyone came up with. I chose to do mine with my pretty pink I Pod; can't live with out that music! Always jammin!

The next photo was a 'beauty shot'. First year for this one as well, it will be interesting to see what they do with them, basically I felt like Madonna for a few hours.. haha

Team photos are mixed in the middle of all of this shennanigans and then at the very end of the day we have the infamous 'action shots'. Basically you jump around in all of the volleyball poses 8 MILLION times and wait for the photographer to get juuuust the right one. It takes....awhile. Some girls end up with mat burns all over their bodies trying to get the perfect diving picture, some girls are jumping over and over and over again spiking that imaginable ball up in the air. And then there's me, holding my 'annahme' position. Waiting 18 hours for 3 shots of passing.

Needless to say there are a LOT of laughs that come out of the day, most from deliriousness and you usually just end up being crazy at 11 o'lcok at night dancing in the gym aimlessly while waiting for your turn to the photographer's random music he plays. Great times! :)

Check out the preview... the real stuff coming at ya soon!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Life of a nomad. That seems to be my tale these days. A tale I am embracing and loving more than ever.

"You're 20's are your 'selfish' years. It's a decade to immerse yourself in every single thing possible. Be selfish with your time and all aspects of you. Tinker with shit, travel, explore, love a lot, love a little and never touch the ground."

Thank you Kyoko Escamilla for explaining my life in three sentences.
After college my life has been a 100 percent whirlwind. That thing they tell you when you're 17; life will get away from you if you're not careful and the next thing you know you wake up and you're 75 in a rocking chair watching your grandkids run circles around you...well, it's true. If you don't stop to smell the roses someone else will and there will be no pity party thrown in your favor. Life is cruel, there aren't many second chances unless you take the bull by the horns.

I love life. Truly, 100 percent, in every way possible, all of the ups, all of the downs, the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful. You name it, I love it. Because all of those things added together create one unique gorgeous life. Yours. It's yours. You own it, you create it and you nurture it in any way you please.
If there is one lesson I have learned from being blessed to travel the world the past 3 years, it has been that there are as many different ways to live life on this earth as there are people. And no one is better than the next. Each one has it's advantages and disadvantages, sure. But who are we to judge that.

"Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always."

Everyone has a story, a background, a tale to tell. And if we're smart, we will try to live our story to the best ability that we can while listening to the other stories being told around us. When we begin to cultivate our own stories while learning about those around us, that is when we start to really live, and feel ALIVE inside.
Because I have come to find that the best part about life is people; their stories, humor, passions and good company. Yes life is hard, there is no such thing as perfect, and sometimes you will wonder why or how or what is supposed to be the point of it all. But the bad makes the great greater and experiencing the moments where you are at the ultimate high, makes the trenches worth trudging through.

It's a beautiful life. Embrace it. All of it.