After a brief week in Virginia with my family, I am back on the road. Well, let me explain in more details because the phrase “on the road” is not accurate. I departed my house in the early morning hours on Sunday, February 6th. My husband, son and I drove 3 hours to Baltimore where we meet my parents for a lovely Maryland style brunch. After crab cakes and fish, we departed the local establishment and headed for the parking lot. This part of the transit was one of the most dreaded in my mind, saying good-bye to my baby boy.
My parents were watching over Xavi for the duration of my trip to Argentina, while my husband needed to return to Virginia to work. After ten minutes of transferring the car seat and all the necessary baby items, it was time to say farewell. I have learned over the years that fast departures are the best option, the least painful route. Of course, I always cried once I turned around to leave, but at least the event wasn’t prolonged like a bad dramatic film.
Inako and I buckled our seat beats and off to the airport we drove. I watched my parents enter the highway headed north and my eyes couldn’t help but fill with tears. My husband was sad to leave our son (and me, I like to think), but strong and realistic about the short two-week period.
The difficult moment was over and now we were moments away from check-in at LAN airways and the separation from my other half. This part was hard, but not emotional. We were used to being at a distance (we spent the first 5 years of our relationship in different cities) and have become comfortable with these moments. Although, it’s not the preferred scenario!
Nineteen hours and two meals later, I finally arrived in Mendoza, Argentina. I meet up with the rest of my team on a stopover flight in Santiago, Chile and have been with them ever since. Together again and this time, we have new challenges ahead.
We are scheduled to play four games in Mendoza and four games in Rosario. Each block of games represents a new tournament but with the same four teams. Here we will get an opportunity to play Argentina, German, and Australia; #1, #3, #5 in world rankings respectively. It will be the first time many of my teammates have had the chance to play these three countries. Big challenges await our team and I anxiously look forward to the opportunity.
Stay tuned for results and the latest happenings in sunny Argentina!
All the best,
Keli Smith Puzo is a two-time Olympic Field Hockey player, Wife to Inako Puzo, head coach at Miami University, Mother of two young boys and your everyday kind of gal trying to keep it all together.