Munoz: Aloha From Hawaii, Next Up Japan
Stanford goalie Lyndsey Munoz has blogged for LaxMagazine.com since her sophomore season with the Stanford women's lacrosse team. She wrapped up her senior season last month. Read her previous blogs here.
Aloha! Wow! This trip has been seriously amazing so far, and it's only halfway through! If you don't know what trip I'm referring to, it's our Stanford team trip to Hawaii and Japan. Right now I'm on the plane headed to Japan, and I've got my movies all lined up for the 8-hour flight.
I had never been to Hawaii prior to the trip, and I can say that I want to save up money quickly so that I can return soon. I haven't done much traveling in my life, but so far it's my favorite place.
Upon arrival in Honolulu, we headed straight for the Pearl Harbor Memorial. Although saddening to learn about the damage and pain the event caused for so many people, it was a unique experience to actually see in person a place that I have only read about before. One of the items that shocked me was the Navy uniform that was displayed with blood remnants all over it. This display really brought it to life, along with seeing the USS Arizona underwater of course. It was a good chance for me to reflect and be thankful for everything and everyone I have in my life because you really never know what any given day will bring.
Each day we were there we hosted a clinic and followed by a practice. It's always a good feeling to be able to spread the game you love, and to play in that location was unlike any other. The first day we had practice it consisted of us competing against each other to solve puzzles and we had to sprint certain distances after each one was completed. After relaxing for more than a month since season you can just imagine how I fared in that. The next day we had a scavenger hunt, which ended with a swim relay in the ocean. Another day we played burpee tag, which I somehow ended up being it for most it (shocking I know). It was a really great way to have tons of fun while still working out.
A unique part of the trip is the reading assignment. Yes, even the seniors are participating in reading Jay Bilas' book called "Toughness" that Amy [coach Amy Bokker] gave us. Each day we read a chapter and apply it to what we're doing. It's been really interesting reading after not playing anymore, because there's a lot from the book that can be applied to my future life, not just in sports. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself reading ahead and am looking forward to the rest of the book.
With the rest of our time we really got to embrace the Hawaiian culture and life. The second day featured surfing lessons which was so much fun. I had never done it before but getting up and catching my first wave was so exhilarating! The following day I, along with some teammates woke up at 6 a.m. (yes, 18-22 year olds willingly got up at this hour). Some of us went surfing, but I went with the stand up paddleboard group. Again, never having done this before, I wanted to try something new. Both activities were definitely harder than I thought they would be, especially the paddle boarding. My legs and abs were hurting!
Another day we got to go snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, which was a little further from where we were staying. The view was gorgeous with the mountains surrounding the bay, and the water was so blue. Definitely nothing like the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay water I'm used to! The coral reef itself was a spectacular sight on its own but I also got to see a ton of fish, and some teammates even saw a turtle! One of my personal favorite moments though was on the last day a few of us bought an inflatable bed and just laid in the water and had a chance to soak everything up.
We couldn't have gotten luckier to be able to go on this trip with our teammates and best friends and get one last chance to play together. Especially for the senior class, it has been unreal. Getting to go on a trip like this after graduation before we go into the real world, I just don't think you could ask for anything better. I'm just so grateful for the opportunity. The crazy part is it's only halfway through! I can't wait to see what Japan is like, and I'm really excited for some yummy sushi! If you want to know more details about the trip you can find teammate Mackenzie Tesei's daily blog of the trip on the @StanfordWLax twitter account!