Monday, May 28, 2012

Calafell beach tournament: Friday & Saturday

If you recall, this weekend I went to Calafell, Spain to play in an ultimate frisbee beach tournament.  Although the team I practice with here in Madrid (Quijotes & Dulcineas) did go to the tournament, I played with Penultimanos (a team from Granada) since they were short on girls.


I felt a lot better on Thursday in comparison to Wednesday, so I thought I'd be nearly 100% by Friday.  False.  When I woke up on Friday I was tired, still had a bit of a sore throat and was stuffed up with a runny nose.

For that reason I was more of a listener and less of a talker during the car ride to Calafell.  Since we were in no rush, we stopped for lunch in Zaragoza and ate alongside the river with a gorgeous view of Zaragoza's Cathedral.

Picnic lunch in Zaragoza

Cathedral in Zaragoza

We arrived in Calafell around 6pm and checked into the hotel.  We had some time before dinner, so we took a walk along the beach to see where we'd be playing the next day.

The rest of the Quijotes arrived later that night, as we were eating dinner.  All of our meals were included in the player's fee: buffet breakfasts and dinners at the hotel, and lunches on the fields aka beach.  Although most people went down to the lobby after dinner to watch a football (soccer) game and have some drinks, I went to bed because I wanted to make it through the long day Saturday of four games and the tournament's party.


On Saturday morning when we got to the beach there was this ridiculous fog; we could barely see from one endzone to the other.

My team played our first game at 9.30.  It was against a French team that only had two girls, and we won.  Our second game was against Quijotes, and they creamed us.  For their post-game game after our circle, Mary had brought little balloons on string to tie around everyone's ankle.  Then it's every man for himself and you try to pop everyone else's balloon while protecting yours.

I accidentally stepped on my own balloon during the game... oops!  Hannah was one of the last two still in the game, though I don't remember who won:

Hannah and Taran

At this tournament it was very common to take a picture after every game with the other team (after your post-game circle and post-game game, that is).  Here's the picture of Penultimanos with the Quijotes:

Quijotes (white) and Penultimanos (blue).
Do you see me?  I'm in the front row, second from the right with a red/white hat.

Later that day we won our third game and lost the fourth, meaning on Sunday we'd be playing for 7th, 8th, or 9th place.  The Quijotes won all of their games on Saturday.

After all of the games were done the wine race was held at 6pm.  Luckily, I wasn't picked to compete with my team, so I could photograph (until my camera died), and save my ribs from having to layout.  Poor Hannah got picked to compete for Quijotes (with three others).

The Quijotes preparing for the wine race

In this wine race, each team of four first had to drink three glasses of sangria (together).  Once the sangria was gone, they had to one by one turn around two times, then run out and catch a layout.  The people on the sidelines would judge the layouts by giving thumbs up, thumbs down, cheering, booing, etc.  If your layout wasn't good enough, you'd have to do it again.  The first team to complete four successful layout catches would win.

Mary's layout

Another layout
Photo by: Lidia Ramírez Photography

Guess which team ended up winning the wine race?  The Quijotes & Dulcineas!

At the tournament party later that night, each team would perform a dance to whatever song they had picked (and practiced... some more rehearsed than others).  Penultimanos would be performing the song Shout, as performed in the movie "Animal House" (at a toga party).  I had brought some white leggings and shirt, with a white scarf to pin around me like a toga.

But first we had to go back to the hotel, clean up, eat dinner, you know.  The party wouldn't start until midnight.

So I gather up my stuff from the beach and start walking back to the hotel with Hannah and Herm.  Then all of a sudden, it feels like my ears need to pop.  I ask out loud, "Is there any reason why my ears would all of a sudden need to pop? Are we in the mountains?"

"We're on the coast, Rebecca" they replied.  Right.

I started pretending to chew gum, I yawned really big, anything to make them pop.  No success.  We arrive back at the hotel and take turns showering.  By this point, my plugged ears have now become extremely painful plugged ears.  Please no, not now.  Felt just like an ear infection - in both ears.

I've occasionally had ear infections growing up; every now and then they're double ear infections.  So I know what they feel like.  A super strong pain directed at a small point inside the ear.  Pressure. The need to pop.  By the time we were ready to go down for dinner, I was crying because my right ear hurt so bad.  But by golly, I was going to eat.

So I went down to the hotel's dining room and loaded up my plate.  Penultimanos was planning to meet for a "rum circle" after dinner, where you say nice things about everyone on the team as you pass them a shot of honey rum.  We were then going to  practice the team's dance.  As I'm eating downstairs with my ear throbbing of pain and me unable to stop crying, I realize there's no way I can sit through a rum circle (or the dances/party for that matter).

When I finished eating, the pain was so bad I couldn't sit down there with all those people anymore.  I went back up to our room (where I could burst out crying before the roomies came back) and then tried to lie down.  I couldn't even sleep, the ears were that bad.  I imagined having to lie awake during the next twelve hours with two infected, painful ears.  This thought upset me even more.

Luckily, since I hadn't told my team about my current situation (Basically I couldn't stop crying and I didn't want them to see me like that so I just went straight to my room after dinner), they called my Quijotes teammate Chelsi, looking for me.  This was around 10pm, so Chelsi knocked on our hotel room door and I explained to her what was up.  She then offered me some drugs, saying she had ibuprofen and some motion sickness pill that she takes for every bus ride.

Now I'm not one for unnecessary medicine, especially within the last two years.  I think the body can heal itself naturally in many situations, but we don't give it the chance; we jump straight to medication.  I don't usually take ibuprofen for headaches or cramps, and I'm very weary of antibiotics due to the damage they cause our stomachs.  But this was unbearable, I had to try something.  So I took one of each, and climbed back in bed.

When I opened my eyes, it was Sunday morning.  I could hardly believe that I'd missed everything: my team's rum circle, the dance contest, the party.  But for now the pain was gone; I was just left with two plugged up ears (sore throat, and runny nose).

No comments:

Post a Comment