Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Toronto

After a light day of full travel I have arrived safely in Toronto and my new beach partner Ahren Cadieux was at the airport to pick me up.  Unfortunately Air Canada has recently replaced the backings in theirs seats to a non-adjustable head rest which conveniently sticks into the middle of my shoulder blades.  Needless to say, my posture on the entire trip was poor and consequently my lower back has tightened up.  

To resolve my back issue, we immediately went to the beach to get warm, move around a bit and play some ball.  It always amazes me when I land at Ash Bridges Bay in Toronto because there are over 100 courts set up every night for league play.  With 4 or 6 people per side, you can imagine how many people are down there!!  It is a great vibe and it staggers me how the popularity of our sport hasn't influenced a pro league across our great nation. It was great to show up and see some familiar faces and friends who are highly involved with the development and promotion of the sport.  Mark Riley and Brian Hiebert who I have played with and against are still heavily involved in beach and it was great to see them both running training sessions for numerous male and female youth teams.  The level was high and I am excited to say that there are some great looking athletes coming through Ontario.  Lets just hope BC has what it takes to compete with their bitter cross country rivals!!

Ahren and I jumped in with a few kids he had coached this year in club and it was an easy transition to play with him.  We will be working out our team play over the next few weeks but I am confident everything will fall into place by the end of this week.  During the training I was also invited to play in a beach tournament happening this weekend with Christian Redman, a solid friend and beach athlete! I agreed to play so I can look forward to playing in a top Ontario series this Saturday as Ahren will be attending a funeral all weekend.

Ahren and I finished the training and chilled on the beach for a while discussing the west coast and how amazing it is.  His mother lives in Victoria and he frequents the Island for holidays so we were able to share some thoughts on the best place to live on the planet.  From there we hit an all you can eat Eastern Buffet in the Beaches area and discusses past partners, mistakes and our commitment to the sport.  I wasn't sure what my role was going to be or how the vibe would be between us but I am pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to connect with him and communicate about our mental stances, playing styles, dreams and equality on the court.  I am really looking forward to the partnership and the next 6 weeks of competition!

Cheers from Toronto


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