Danny's Journal


Journal 2
February 27 - March 5

Ah, Sunday morning. The leaking of the sun’s rays shimmers through the blinds. There is a sound of an occasional chirp of a bird in the distance. All wakes me just as my body clock seems to want to wake. Wait, one moment please. WRONG. The screech of some avian creature which sounds like a pig being mercilessly slaughtered (a.k.a. Sulfur-Crested Cockatoo) seems to be flying in circles above the apartment. I can hear what seems like a kid moaning just outside my window to which I later find out is the black crow’s call. And all of this is happening around 7a.m. without any regard to my crawling into bed at 3 a.m.

The night before a few blokes from the football club took me out on my first night in the city. An experience it was…Started out at a very nice house on the hills of Neutral Bay with the boys. The sight was very picturesque with the lights of the houses on the hills illuminating and reflecting the bay. The cool breeze that blew in and parted the warm summer air away from the balcony where we stood made it that much better of a site.

The rest of the night was a fun and interesting time, but I need not go into much detail… I was thankful for the boys to take me around parts of Sydney and show me some of the more “seedy” areas, oh what an experience…

Monday rolled around and that meant the first week of school! (Sarcasm for those hard-headed) But unlike many of the universities in the States, most state schools in Australia have “O-Week” during the first few days of school. It’s an orientation of the new school year for all students with loads of fun activities and distractions from classes. Also, all of the student organizations set up booths during the day and promote their club towhoever would listen. So, the football club was no exception and I was out there along with some of my fellow players. Although, being the typical college-aged males, we were mainly occupied in spotting the hot chicks and trying to see who could get them to sign up for the “women’s team which was starting up soon.” In contrast, we did succeed in recruiting some new players to the team from other clubs. In all, each day sitting at the “O-Week” football booth was a great experience.

Classes went very smoothly and were very relaxed, as all of my professors just wanted to introduce the course and take it easy. I was happy about this, because I had been removed from classrooms for almost 3 months and a slow adjustment back into the school routine is much easier.

This week’s training involved a lot of running, maybe more than I have ever faced in a month’s worth of footy trainings combined back in Florida. But for some reason, despite the pain, I enjoyed the thrill.

Tuesday, we started out with the individual laps around the oval, then to the warm-up hand-balls and kicking. Moved on to two more laps around the oval together as a tight group. Back to hand ball and kicking drills. Then for the first conditioning drill, the group was split into two. I, unfortunately, was standing in the wrong part…  My group was sent off on the trot to Assistant Coach Buckets for the beep test. I had done the beep test once before and although doing quite well for my first try, had decided it’s a vile running drill.

The first beep rang and so we began. The endless running back and forth began to drain my brain of activity and also energy. I maintained a steady pace which I figured would save energy but yet also stay on pace with the beeps. The monotonous voice coming from the boom box had my brain spinning, but I tried hard to drain it except for the beeps. By about the 9th level three quarters of the boys were out, so I thought if I kept going I could prove something of myself. At the beginning of the 10th round, fatigue really set in on me. There were only 5 of us left out of 30 plus players, so the pressure for each of us was really on. At 10.3, one of the guys dropped out and there were just the four of us. By about 10.6, I knew my time would come quite soon but I just continued on hard. The other three seemed to be going strong, but my last leg was just a step away as 10.8 crept by before I could reach the line. A sense of relief flooded my whole body, but at the same time part of me wished it were me still in there running. The rest of training was hard with more running, partially due to consequence 400meter runs. I thought when this training was over, the worse would be over. Oh, how wrong was I.

Thursday’s training began as usual but with grey clouds hanging just above our heads (oh, the gloomy doom). We did our first round of conditioning by doing different sets of resistance exercises. 4 sets and 20 reps of push-ups, tuck-jumps, sit-ups, you name it, we probably did it. After this, we moved on to two different skill drills consisting of marking, leading, and other important fundamental aspects of the game. During the second set of skills drills, those grey clouds decided to drown us and they decided not to stop either. This ordered the head coach for us to drop the balls and just start running. We were split into three groups, first being fast, second medium, and third slow. I decided to run with the seconds due to semi-pulled calf muscles. We ran 5 200s, 5 100s, 10 50s, and 10 10s. Let’s just say that I was beat after that training and the rest of the weekend was for relaxing and hanging out.

- Danny Harris

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