Hello again!

March 17, 2009, 4:56 p.m. (ET)
March 12, 2009

Well now that you know a little about me, what about my team? I won’t bore you with the bio details about each of them but thought I’d give you a little inside information on them and who they are as people and athletes.

Our second, Jeff Isaacson (better known as Little Ike or Ike), is a pretty quiet guy but very dedicated and loyal. He has a teaching degree and wants to pursue a career in teaching whenever this journey of ours ends. Jeff is a fierce competitor and often spends extra time at practice working on his delivery. (That’s what we call it when we throw the stone. We think of it a lot like a golf swing.) As quiet as Ike is at times, he still cracks me up when he does say something. He seems to like to tease me about my age!

Our third, Jason Smith (also known as Smitty or Smythe), is a super competitive guy. He truly believes that he can beat most people at just about anything! He loves the challenge of competition…no matter what the game is. Jason is a pretty natural athlete and plays most games by “feel.” As far as I know, he hasn’t settled on a career path, but he calls Cape Coral, Florida, his home, so once this all comes to an end, I am sure he’ll be interested in getting back to warm weather.

Our skip (captain), John Shuster (which nickname should I use? Shoostie, Shoots, Ladders), is a very loyal and passionate curler. Much like most skips at his level, he is overflowing with confidence. He really wants to have that last shot in his hand. That confidence can be contagious and has a great deal to do with our success. John has a degree in marketing and is looking forward to making the most of it through our experiences in the next year. I should also remind you that we have a great leg up going to Vancouver next year because John was part of the last men’s curling team to represent the U.S. in Torino. He did an “OK” (wink) job at that as well, by bringing home the bronze.

So what happens now? Being the first athletes named to the 2010 team is a great honor, and it carries with it a big schedule! Last weekend we spent our first of many weekends in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where we’ll be training over the summer. We met with our ADD, CDD and other coaches and staff that will be our support team over the next year. In these meetings, we learned about out tentative training and competition schedule leading up to Vancouver. It looks pretty intense and will be the first ever systematic and periodic training and competition plan for curlers!

But in the more immediate future, we leave for the Bear Mountain Cash Spiel (tournament) in Victoria, BC, next Wednesday. There we will face many of the teams that we’ll see the following week when we travel to the opposite coast of Canada for the 2009 Ford Men’s World Championships in Moncton, NB. Many of the teams in these two events are likely to end up in Vancouver as well, so this is all great experience.

So wish us well, and I’ll post again while in Victoria!

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