Let me introduce myself

June 24, 2011, 8:15 p.m. (ET)

Hello. I guess I can use this blog entry as a way of introducing myself. My name is Michelle Cesan and I am a “newbie” to the National Team. Many refer to me as “Shelby," but I have just recently been given the nickname of “MC Hammer.” I am not quite sure which nickname I prefer, but I trust that the appropriate nickname will stick…no use in fighting it. Though my multiple identities are fascinating, that is beside the point. My real intention is to speak about my first tour and the highlights and memorable moments that came along with it.

The bloggers that came before me discussed most of what I was going to touch upon; the bikes, the rain, and the rain. The weather in Ireland is tricky and I definitely have been a victim of its deceit.  I look out my window and see sunshine, so I wear the simple sweatpants attire. I arrive at the dining hall, finish my meal, and walk out to my bike only to realize that the sun has been replaced by dark clouds and the once still trees are now violently bending back and forth. Now its a race against time. I mount my bike and I’m off to the races. But my quick urgency to “pedal to the metal” is useless; the rain wins.. Always. So if you ever visit Ireland and get stuck in the rain without rain gear, just remember, I told you so. 

Besides the rain, Dublin is a beautiful place. On our day off, we had a chance to visit the city. Our first stop was Dublin’s main attraction; the Guisness Factory. We learned the history of Guisness beer, its creators, its ingredients, and the process of the brewing and bottling. Speaking of Guisness, Dublin is also known for its’ high quantity of pubs. Interesting fact: Only one man has discovered a route to get through Dublin without passing a single pub. Next came a visit to Grafton Street, which was full of energy. Performers and vendors stood at every corner and restaurants and stores filled the streets. A few of us stopped for lunch at a delicious restaurant, which took up most of our time, but well worth the wait.

Finally, the biggest highlight: our game against Ireland. As you all already know, we didn’t get the outcomes we wanted for our first few matches. Though we played well, we knew our potential, and our performances against Japan and Scotland just didn’t sum it up. And what better way to prove our vigor than against the home team? We worked together, pressed hard, and defended strongly. Final score: 3-1.

As a new player to this level of intensity, I am amazed to see the amount of heart and energy that is required to win a tournament. After playing along side my new teammates, I have no doubt that we are capable.

Michelle Cesan #10