Brian Thornton Blog: My Heart is in Southern California

By Brian Thornton | March 29, 2012, 1:27 p.m. (ET)

NOTE: Brian Thornton is writing a blog for Mizuno, a key USA Volleyball sponsor and partner. Thornton is a Mizuno-sponsored athlete and will periodically provide insights into being a U.S. Men's National Team athlete while representing Mizuno. For more information Mizuno, visit

March 29, 2012

Due to unforeseen and unfortunate circumstances I returned home early from my team in Poland. I had a good time while I was out there and I was able to make a few friends that I know will be friends for life. A few of them I look forward to beating on the court this summer. I read somewhere recently that people often times don't recognize opportunity because it doesn't always manifest itself as exactly that. Although I returned home for reasons that were gloomy at best, I'm now choosing to view my early arrival as opportunity. Opportunity to make strides both on and off the court. Being home early gives me the opportunity to get the coaching I need in order to improve my game and the opportunity to get better in the weight room as well.

Often times with so many matches played with little rest over a long period time the weight room becomes more of an injury prevention center than anything else. Our weight coach Tim Pelot has done a great job punishing me over the last month or so. The constant play of Alien Communicational Noise over the Bose sound system in there also deserves its kudos. I believe the kids these days are calling it Dub Step. I'm so with the times…..It seems to me that being an avid Dub Step listener is about as desirable to women as being an avid world of warcraft player…but I guess everything has its place. Dubstep = weight room. World of Warcraft = millions of parent's guest bedrooms currently occupied by twenty-somethings filling out job applications on between group raids. I guess you shouldn't knock it 'till you try it….oh well. Knock Knock. And No…a "knock knock" joke is not coming next in text. Partly because it wouldn't work and partly because I couldn't think of one in the maximum amount of time anyone should possibly take up trying to think up a "knock, knock" joke. 3 minutes. The Knicks game is on….Jeremy Lin isn't starting anymore. That's Linsanity. Watching this is a little overBaron' now. Speaking of Linsanity….Tebow and Tebowmania to the Jets…the only thing that trade was good for is me getting to replace the word "Benny" with "Tebow" when Elton John's timeless classic comes on Jack FM. They play what they want. All joking aside, I really admire when guys do the most that they can when an opportunity finally presents itself. Such as Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin did.

Coming home early also provided me the unique opportunity to spend some time with my family and do things with them that I otherwise would have never been able to do or see. Let's stop for a second and appreciate the tie in from my random and senseless banter to the overall thematic presence of this blog. And we're back….Coming home early, Opportunity, Family. Nothing is more important than family. Yesterday I was able to go to my sister's senior water polo banquet and attend all of her games through her CIF run at San Clemente high school. They won CIF last year and I have always regretted not being able to see that. They fell short this year…but having the opportunity to watch her play was something that I may never get to see again because of my professional volleyball lifestyle overseas and I'm truly thankful I got to watch her this year.

I've been able to spend a lot more time with my Mom and Dad…stepdad, stepmom and brother. My little brother has started a band. He has an amazing voice. It sounds like seven angels all singing at once. He's very disease-free, single and has long-flowing blonde, rockstar hair. I can't wait to see them perform their first show in the next couple of weeks. My early return home started out disconsolate and ended up as a unique and invaluable opportunity. It's good to be home.

Until Next Time,

Brian Thornton