2013: GERMANY – SC POTSDAM
Potsdam, Germany was my first professional stint overseas. Coming in I had no idea what to expect; I had traveled a lot with our Canadian National team in the past but never had I been away from home for this long. Luckily my teammates were amazing and we gelled super fast. We had 8 foreign players; 2 from Croatia, 3 from Italy, 1 from Czech Republic, 1 from Argentina, and me, so we spent a lot of time with each other. At the end of the season we ended up going to a 3rd and deciding match with the number 1 team in Germany at the time, Schwerin, for the first round of playoffs. Although we lost in the 5th set of that match and did not advance to the next round, we definitely turned some heads.
I was living 40 minutes from Berlin so on my free days / afternoons I was exploring the city with every chance I had. It’s one of my favorite cities I’ve been to; there’s such a rich culture and so many things to see and do. So many museums, galleries, streets, and local spots explore. My Canadian teammates Janie Guimond and Becky Pavan were playing on the other side of Berlin on Kopenick SC so I got to see them quite a few times. As always, there were a few things to deal with in Germany that I hadn’t ever experienced before. Being a professional athlete you are getting paid by the club; sometimes salaries aren’t on time, or they just decide the team isn’t doing well enough to have earned the money. It’s also pretty hard for me to demand things from anyone, however, it’s essential to have a bit of a back bone when playing in Europe – things aren’t going to get done unless you harass a few people… many times a day. Luckily I had incredible teammates that made some of the issues easier to deal with and in some instances, it actually brought us closer together as a team. Overall it was a very positive first professional experience and it really showed me that this is what I want to be doing as a career.