Dawson's Diary Returns

Dawson's Diary Returns

CLEMSON - Three score and fifteen days ago I sat on the sideline of the Music City Bowl attempting to thaw my frozen appendages, watching the clock run out on the 2009 season.

Four days ago I sat in my locker waiting to go out to practice, thinking to myself, "How in the name of Jon Kitna am I already doing this again?" And with that thought, an introspective avalanche of memory cascaded down the icy slope that is my mind, making me think about what I've done this spring and why I'm ready for spring practice.

In summary, here are the reasons why I'm ready for the full brunt of spring practice:

1. Weight-Lifting
After getting a generous two week break from football (of which I mostly spent my freetime playing Mario Kart 64), it was back to the weight room and into the world of Coach Batson. Speaking of Coach Batson, one time I found myself walking with him into the West Endzone at 5:45 am for morning workouts. I told him, "Coach I actually got up pretty easily this morning," in reference to how that morning, like most early mornings, I didn't groggily stumble out of bed like I had dystonia. He chuckled and then proceeded to tell me that he couldn't sleep the night before.

At this point I need to add that usually when I can't sleep, I get up and drink a glass of water, try out interesting sleep positions, or read Great Expectations until I drift off again, but I guess that's how Coach Batson and I are different.

Coach Batson, as he told me, found himself in a state of unsleepy-ness at 3 AM. So naturally, he got up, probably got a glass of water…and then, like any normal person would do, went to his basement and worked out for 2 hours. I consider it a good thing to have someone like that overseeing your own lifting.

I can say I've really worked hard this offseason in the weight room, working on things like leg strength and flexibility, and I think it will pay off for next year. I know all of us have been extremely dedicated this offseason and made some solid strength gains. As a side note, if Tyler Shatley gets any bigger, Matt Skinner might mistake him for Godzilla.

2. I saw Avatar
I want to be a Na'vi.

I want to live on Pandora.

I wish I had a braid.

Relating Avatar to football, would it be that crazy for us to sit in rows during our stretch lines, join hands, and slowly move back and forth while chanting? If you've never seen Avatar, this sentence may seem weird because you don't understand the mental image. If you have seen Avatar, this sentence may seem even weirder because you do understand the mental image. But never underestimate the power of team Unity. I see you, brother.

3. We conquered All-In Drills
Imagine that you're Batman. You've been fighting crime in Gotham City for the last five months, turning in villains to Commissioner Gordon, and attempting to protect your city. While fighting crime you've been using a weapon on the villains called a C.J.S.P. Iller, which stands for Compact Jaundice Sustaining Projectile Iller; it is highly effective on weakening the villains mainly through emaciation so you can keep the streets of Gotham clean.

After these 5 months are over you get a small break in your actual crime-fighting, where you are basically training with Alfred in the Batcave trying to become a better Batman. While the training is hard, it's good to have a break from actually sparring with the low-life criminals that invade Gotham.

But there's a catch.

Commissioner Gordon tells you during this training break, that at the end of February, the Joker will be in town.

While you attempt to keep training with Alfred trying to develop some more skills and combat moves, in the back of your mind you know that the Joker will come at the end of February, and for three weeks, from approximately 3:00 to 4:30 every Monday-Wednesday-Friday, you will have to battle him.

At last the three weeks you have been dreading arrive, yet you know that to achieve a safe Gotham City to please Commissioner Gordon, you must engage the nefarious Joker in battle.

And battle him you do, employing a flurry of side-shuffles and rolls and sprints that leave you completely exhausted each day. Yet you keep grinding, keep sprinting, until finally the three weeks is over and you emerge a more complete Batman—obviously in better physical condition from the taxing demands of battle, but also in a better mental state from having gone through the process of defeating a nemesis that has battled you as much psychologically as he has physically. You're ready to work to protect the streets of Gotham once again. You need to be, because the true super-villains come to town September 4th, 2010.

And that, in a nutshell, or a strange convoluted analogy, are All-In drills.

I need to conclude this thing because at this moment I am being nagged by William Korn, who wants to try to beat me in NFL Blitz. But in conclusion, I think that we're ready for spring practice, ready to get better every day, and ready to work towards a championship.

It's been a good break from actual football practice, but in the immortal words of Dwight K. Schrute, "Playtime is over."

-Dawson

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