It's that time of year.
Not Christmas time or leaf-raking time or pumkin-carving time or a time to visit with family.
Nope, it's conditioning time.
After a short 2-week hiatus, we're back to the grind as our 6 weeks of Hell have begun. The anticipation built as we had our two week break from anything and everything softball. We had already experienced a more intense program in the fall than before, and could not even imagine what the coaches had in store for us. Having not been told which day conditioning would start, every time we received an e-mail from anyone, my heart would drop down into my stomach as I assumed it was from Coach telling us that we were about to die. The day finally came when we received our schedule and we learned that Monday, November 1st was the day that our lives would be changed forever.
As Monday rolled around, I can speak for my whole team in saying that we were each a total ball of nerves. I think that I almost threw up several times that day at the thought of the torture that was about to ensue. We all said our goodbyes to our friends and family, who we thought that we would never see again, and met at 4 p.m.
Off to a good start, we panicked not knowing whether we were in the correct location. Conditioning was going to be painful enough, we didn't want to add to the hurt. But we ended up being in the right place, after a frantic sprint to the field house from McKenna, and it began. We started just by learning what lifting exercises we were going to be doing as the weeks went on, which calmed our nerves slightly. We had finally settled down when Coach said, "Okay, we're just going to do a short timed mile to see where we're at."
I think some of us wanted to laugh. Last year, a timed mile was one of the hardest things that we were forced to do all year, and now it was seen as an easy, short run? I remember thinking we were in for a wild ride. Oh, and we weren't allowed to use iPods either. How was I supposed to run without music!? Well, we managed somehow. Although the coaches seemed to think it was a leisurely run around the track, we all sprinted and busted our butts to get the best times possible. Everyone even made a time better than last year's best! We had made it through Day 1.
After surviving Week 1 of conditioning, I have come to the conclusion that we may have overexaggerated just a little. Has it been difficult? Yes. Am I sore? Beyond sore, more like immobile. But have I died? No! I have made it through.
Of course there is always next week :)