As I stepped out of my house to go to my first training session of the year, it started to snow. Soft, white flakes drifted gently through the crisp air. I thought to myself  “This doesn't happen in Florida”.

Despite the temperatures of about 2 celsius — and what became, at one point, a thick flurry of snow — more than thirty guys turned out each of the last couple of weeks of our “Spring Training” programme.  The week before — while I was still resting on my winter laurels — there were more than forty.    Veterans and novices gathered on a concrete tennis court to go through hitting, pitching and fielding drills. It was an impressive turnout and a lot of the new recruits were impressive too — they will probably be forcing me out of the team before the end of the season!

After both weeks, my arms ached, my hip ached and my legs really ached. I had tried hard to keep doing exercise over the winter, but nothing that came close to three hours of running and catching. I hope that as the season goes on, the aches will become fewer, and the results of my practice will become better.

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