Editor’s note: Please welcome Ryan Powell to LaxAllStars.com! Syracuse great, Team USA World Champion and Founder of Rhino Lacrosse, the man needs no introduction from us! RP will be blogging on LAS throughout the rest of the NLL season and beyond. Check out his first post below and learn what it’s really like to play in the NLL.
What’s up LAS followers?!
This is my first blog for the site. Each week I will focus on something lacrosse-related that I’d like to share with you. So, for my first attempt at this I figured I would lay out what a typical March weekend is like for a Boston Blazer like myself. Here you go!
5:00am – The alarm goes off at my house! Wow! This was actually the second alarm of the a.m. as my wife Lee Marie and I just had our first child. A baby girl named Piper Lucia Powell; She was my first alarm at 2 am. I was up from 2am-3am trying to get her back to sleep. At 3am, I finally crashed. So my second alarm (my clock) rings at 5am.
Wake up with a shower, get packed, breakfast, take my dogs to the park (Gracie, a cheseapeak bay retriever and Mingus, a loud snorting pug), get back from the park and fill their bowls with food and water. Then I make my way back upstairs and kiss my 2 girls goodbye for the weekend. I’m in the car and on my way to the airport at 6:45am. Sometimes I take a cab and sometimes I drive myself. Both cost just about the same. Today I drove.
7:00am – Arrive the airport
7:10am – Check in for an 8:10am flight. I get through security and to my gate at 7:25am, open up my compurter and check some emails for 15 min. Free wifi at PDX is really cool! No wonder that airport has been voted the best in the US for 3 straight years (or something like that). It’s a great airport.
7:40am – Now boarding. I fly United Airlines all the time in pretty much any travel I do – lacrosse or personal – so I have build up some pretty good status with them. By the way, I travel all the time. I’ve been gone almost every weekend of the year for the last 11 years, playing professtional in both the NLL and MLL. So back to the status part. About 90% of the time I get upgraded to first class which is awesome! On today’s flight I’m indeed up front. Not sure if you readers have flown first class before, but for someone that travels as much as I do there is nothing better.
— 3hr 39 min flight —
During the flight I have my headphones on (most likely listening to Talking Heads or Polite Rebel), computer open doing work for Rhino Lacrosse and Nike, and I usually watch an NLL game of the team that we are playing during the weekend. This week is Buffalo and they have a very good defense. Time flies on my trips from PDX to Chicago. I always connect through Chi town.
1:40pm – Touch down in Chicago.
I get off the plane and find a seat at a work station to get online again – sending the emails that I wrote on the plane and viewing the new ones that have come in. 2 hours of work – I was able to get a lot done today.
4:00pm – Lunch in Chi-town at the airport. Have you ever been to Salad Creations? They have a salad that is call the Tivilloi. Let me just say that you need to try it.
4:30pm – Plane is boarding for Buffalo, NY. 30 degrees and snowing we are told…….Awesome. There is nothing like Upstate NY. In a weird kinda way I really mean that. If you’re an upstater you get it – if not, you don’t. One State- Upstate!
Wheels are down and we are landing in the Buff. It’s 6:15pm local time. Little quicker trip for me this weekend as I usually land in Boston for home games at 7:25pm.
6:30pm - In a cab and on my way to the hotel. I check into my hotel and now I’m watching UConn vs. Syracuse in a great hoops game. Big East Semis. Oh no, that sucks, UConn wins.
8:30pm – Hit the workout center in the hotel. Sometimes we practice the night before, but we didn’t this weekend for some reason. Stretch, bike, stretch. It is important for me to get the legs moving after a full day of travel. My short and easy workout on Friday night goes a long way.
9:30pm – Ice bath. This is also key. I load ice up for the machine in the hotel and put it into the bath tub. Probably about 6 or 7 buckets worth. Then I fill with cold water and sit in the cold tub for about 15/20 mins. It sucks when you’re in there, but it feels so good when your done.
10:00pm – Room service. Tonight I go in for the chicken dinner and a side salad. Water to drink. Seems like a late dinner, right? Let’s not forget that I’m still on Oregon time today so a 7pm dinner for me at 10pm ET.
After dinner the feet go up on the bed, I throw Sports Center on the TV and I watch that until I can’t keep my eyes open.
Saturday March 12th (game day)
7:00am – Alarm goes off. This is by far the hardest part of the trip for me. Remember, it is 4am in Oregon. So even though I’m getting up at 7am I’m actually getting up an hour before my second alarm yesterday.
8:00am – Hotel breakfast (toast, banana, cereal, juice and some coffee)
9:00am – Leave the hotel for HSBC Arena in Buffalo for our team shoot around, and then a 1-hour long workout from 10am to 11am. Great chance to get the legs going and get the stick dialed before the game.
11am-12pm – Now we are in a team room at the arena watching game film of Buffalo and us. It is important to watch film. You can see what other teams like to do and what you need to improve on. I watch a lot of film.
12:30pm – Arrive at Chef’s for a team meal. Not sure if any of you readers have plans to be in Buffalo, NY anytime soon, but if for some reason you find yourself there you need to hit up this resturant. Very good Italian and many famous people have eaten there.
*notice the bibs that they give you to wear while you eat. Sweet!
1:30pm – Arrive back to the hotel for an afternoon nap. It’s really important to get the nap in. I’m a huge golf nut so I always enjoy having a golf tournament on when I fall asleep in the afternoon. CP is my roommate, he falls asleep before he hits the bed every week.
4:30pm – Alarm, up and at ‘em. Shower and get in our suits and leave for the arena/game at 5pm. Big game tonight so the game face is already on. Getting the game face on is important – this is a business trip for me. I don’t joke around once I leave for the arena. It’s all business.
5:20pm – Arrive at the arena. Stretch on the turf along with some easy shooting. I take some time to get the old body warmed up.
5:45pm – Offense meeting. I meet with all the offensive players and our coaches go over the game plan, letting us know the things that we need to do to be successful.
6:00pm – Warm-ups begin.
7:30pm-9:30pm – game time. The game against Buffalo was a pretty good one. I had 2 goals, including the first goal of the game. It was very disappointing that we did not win because we executed the game plan pretty well. Our defense was as solid as they have been all year. Our offense was really good too in my opoion. We just didn’t get the results. We moved the ball well and got a lot of good shots off, but we did not bury the ball. And in this league you have to score the goals when you get the chances if you want to be successful. Give some credit to Buffalo for this game as I thought they played really well.
10:30pm – Take off from the arena after the game and head back to the hotel.
11:00pm – Bags have been dropped in the room, and CP and I make our way down to the hotel resturant for a bite to eat. My uncle Charlie was in town so he and his buddies joined us for dinner.
12:00am – Now heading back to the room to get some sleep. Turn your clock forward? Oh yea, forgot about that one. So now it’s 1am. Sleep.
4:00am – Alarm, Really? Yes, Really! In the shower and getting packed up. In a cab and on my way to the airport by 4:15am. It’s about a 30min trip to the airport in Buffalo so I get dropped off at 4:45am and get checked in, through security, grab a juice and am at the gate by 5:10am.
6:00am – Flight to Chi town, then flight to P town. I’m back in Portland at 10:42am and back to my house at 11:30am.
Readers, not as much fun as everyone might think playing pro lacrosse would be. You must love this game…. and I sure do as I have been doing this for 11 years.