Briann January is a guard for the Indiana Fever, who are facing the Minnesota Lynx in the best-of-five WNBA Finals.
When we left Indianapolis after Game 2 of the best-of-three Eastern Conference finals against the Connecticut Sun last Monday, we didn't know whether we would be back in three days or 10 days.
If we beat the Sun and earned a spot in the Finals, we would be flying straight to Minneapolis after Game 3 on Thursday. If we lost, our season would be over, and we would return home to Indy the next day.
We all packed for 10 days.
And here we are, in downtown Minneapolis, one game in the books (a hard-earned win) and another ahead Wednesday.
Getting here was no small chore -- and I'm not even talking about the work we did on the court. There aren't a whole lot of direct routes from Indy to Uncasville, Conn., where the Sun play their home games. We had to take a plane into Boston and then bus two hours south to the arena. After the game, we had to take another bus -- this time to Rhode Island, where we picked up a flight to Chicago before connecting on a northbound flight for Minneapolis. Whew!
But the time rolls by on these trips. It's an incredible experience going through all this with your teammates, going through hilarious or difficult moments that bring you all closer together. Everyone is super laid-back, and we have tons of fun together, talking, eating, laughing -- especially Shavonte Zellous and Erlana Larkins, who are the biggest clowns on our team. I can hang out with this team all day, especially Jessica Davenport, who is my best friend -- I can talk to her about anything and everything.
There's always plenty to do. You can watch a movie, listen to music or read. On this trip, I just finished reading "A Thousand Splendid Suns" and I'm rereading "Mind Gym" right now. And of course, I sleep! Half the time, I'm exhausted from the nonstop physical activity. And though I'm a big sleeper, I'm nothing compared to rookie Sasha Goodlett. Luckily, we're roommates on these trips, and the arrangement works out well. Our room is dark the majority of the time so she can get her naps in.
Now, we're staked out in Minneapolis. We've been here since Friday, and we'll be here until it's time to go east for Game 3. This is a great city, but we have to remember this is a business trip, so there isn't a lot of time to go out. We'll go out and hit a restaurant -- we had a great meal at Murray's the other day -- but mostly we're focused on getting out of here with another win.
It's definitely fall here. There's a chill in the air and a lot of excitement around town about the Finals. We know we're not done traveling yet, and it's not time to rest. It's time to get ready for Game 2.